2018 LeSS Conference - Open Space

LeSS Conference Open Space

Just like the previous years, we’ve had an Open Space during the LeSS Conference. Due to the many parallel session, the Open Space was unfortunately not as active as it ought to be. However, we’d like to share the Open Space results and thus put the photos of the different sessions in this post. Hope they are useful to you.

Open Space - Time-Space matrix

Time Space Matrix
Time Space Matrix

Open Space - The Space

The Space
The Rules

Open Space - The Sessions

Tips to Avoid During LeSS Adoption
LeSS Outside Software
LeSS Candidate Trainer Group Brainstorming
ScrumAlliance and LeSS

2018 LeSS Conference on twitter

Conference Experience Report by Ram

Though I have been associated with the Large Scale scrum (LeSS) community for about five years (though the “community” did not exist, I can think of my association with like minded folks) this is my first LeSS conference. While I used to attend a lot of conferences in the past, I have started focusing more on deep learning (by attending focused workshops) than focusing on conferences. But this year, I had to make an exception for the LeSS conference. Why? (a) It was the first LeSS conference in North America, (b) It was not very far, and (c) I was thinking that I might meet some of the smartest people in the LeSS community whom I may not meet otherwise, and (d) I have heard that it is a “team based” conference (unlike other conferences where you are on your own), and I wanted to find out what the heck it was. I was not disappointed.

The venue itself was very different from the conventional Agile conferences – not a hotel. That definitely caught my attention!! I was pleasantly suprirsed to see both Howard Sublet (the new Chief Product Owner from Scrum Alliance) and Eric Engelmann (the Chairman of the Board of Director of Scrum Alliance ). Howard and I had good discussions on LeSS, Scrum Alliance, the marketplace, and scaling.

Some sessions that I attended and major takeaways:

  • Day 1 morning keynote – Nokia LTE implementation – Takeaway – Yes, you can do Scrum with more than 5000 engineers
  • Day 2 keynote by Craig Larman. I always find Craig’s thinking fascinating and learnt quite a few interesting facts about cognitive biases (and strategies to overcome them).
  • LeSS Games – component team and feature team simulation lead by Pierluigi Pugliese – very interesting simulation – I used a variation of this in my CSM class past weekend and people liked it. I hope to write about sometime, in the coming days.
  • LeSS roles exercise by Michael James – I have always been a fan of MJ. Very interesting exercise which reinforces the concept of LeSS roles
  • TDD in a flip chart – Guess I was there again, with MJ. Well, just learned that you do not need a computer to learn about TDD.
  • An open space session with Howard Sublett on LeSS and Scrum Alliance partnership (yours truly was the scribe) – Lot of interesting discussions on market, strategy, and positioning of the LeSS brand. I personally got some insights from Rafael Sabbagh and Viktor Grgic.

Two days was short!! Time flew away. It was a great experience!! And I wish we could have a North American LeSS conference every year!!

Conference Experience Report by Mark

I’ve attended the 2018 LeSS Conference – my first – in the Angela Orensanz Center in New York. I was really inspired by the many great speakers, experiments and experiences and was glad I could help Jurgen de Smet by his workshop on Management 3.0 practices that can complement LeSS with experiments.

A couple of notes on the Conference; it has been the first Conference I attended in years where I actually learned a lot, either from the many speakers, experiments and experiences, but from my ‘team’ as well. As the LeSS Conference is a team-based conference, we reflected on the content and our insights during the Conference, which accelerated my learnings.

As I use many games and practices in organizations or courses, I’ve seen several great new games that I can use myself. The ‘building agile structures’ game of Tomasz Wykowski and Justyna Wykowska was the most outstanding game for me, because it makes the differences between component and feature teams very clear when scaling work, and I will use this for sure in the future. The experiences at Nokia by Tero Peltola were very inspiring and especially the focus on the competences (of everybody) and technical excellence I will take with me. Thoughts that will stick with me the most after the conference: the focus on technical excellence (including e.g. automation, code quality, engineering practices etc.) and the importance of the structure of the organization, following Larman’s fifth law ‘Culture follows structure’. The latter I’m already familiar with, but needs to be reprioritized in my mind again. The former will be my main learning goal the coming period and I will need to dust off my former experiences.

Interesting quote to think about, by Bas Vodde: ‘we should maximize dependencies between teams’ (to increase collaboration between teams).

My 2018 LeSS Conference

I enjoyed learning from Real people with Real solutions to problems many organizations try to solve(strikeout) avoid.

I wish I made it to parallel sessions too 👥😅, here is


Nokia’s journey

Manager’s view on failures and breakthroughs.Tero Peltola Bas Vodde did the impossible to summarize it in an hour, Thank you! There are no short cuts, always balance out long vs short terms, start with what’s possible.

Dependency Board

Link to the session and download materials

Self-designing Teams

Alexey Krivitsky took us through one of the most critical exercises to success. Emerson Mills thx for sharing with me your experience. Thank you both! Define product to be delivered, not preassigned roles/people; personal choice of the team is best motivator.

Link to the session

Effective coaching and common pitfalls

True coaching, secrets for making it sustainable->decentralize(!), along with anti-patterns very practical “how to”. Thank you Ari Tikka Gene Gendel!

Dependency Board

Link to the session and download materials

LeSS Huge in BMW

Nothing speaks louder than benefits of transformation being presented by the Firm itself.Bravo Konstantin Ribel!

Dependency Board

Link to the session and download materials

Discussion panel

Viktor Grgic Jürgen De Smet Venkatesh Krishnamurthy Mark Bregenzer Ran Nyman Craig Larman Cesario Ramos Bas Vodde Greg Hutchings Karim Harbott THANK YOU for making Thinking fashionable again! Loooking forward to Day2😉💪🏻👉🏻

Dependency Board


Blind Spots: Cognitive Biases and Systems

🎯Enlightening talk how much we truly control our own decision making process. Thank you Mr Craig Larman!

It takes deep understanding of human mind and system behaviour to successfully lead transformation. IMBO what I took away, what I think, or at least I think that’s what I think;) What tools we have to train mental stamina? What to change knowing blind spots? How we work in the fog of biases? How do we make change for better? How do we eliminate suffer in the way we work?…

Link to the session and download materials

Building Agile Structure

Experience impact of different structures in a fun way, while building common understanding across the board Thank you Justyna Wykowska and Tomasz Wykowski!

Dependency Board

Link to the session and download materials

Innovation Games

Learnt from the expert approach to sequencing games, its underlying purpose and best ways to leverage it, which comes only with years hands on experience. Greg Hutchings Thank you!

Dependency Board

Link to the session

Sustainable changes in large organizations

3 huge transformations. Merrill Lynch, UBS. Gordon Weir huge shout out! It’s close to impossible, but it’s doable. My favourite🗝Team=Product, if you get that, you get it all.

Dependency Board

Link to the session

Last, but not the least, beers, laughs and thought provoking conversations! Looking forward to hashtag#LeSS2019!

Dependency Board