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LeSS Newsletter - June 2017

June 15, 2017


The previous newsletter hasn't been too long ago, but a lot has happened on the LeSS Conference and we'd like to share some of that!

LeSS Conference

I (Bas here) am excited about the London LeSS Conference. The preparations are proceeding and most of the program and logistics are finalised. We want to use the learnings from the Amsterdam conference while trying out some new experiments. One experiment we did is to incrementally deliver the conference program. That caused some confusion as some people weren't used to incremental delivery (of conference programs). We were amused by that and do want to apologise for the caused confusion.

Team-based Conference

We will continue experimenting with team-based conferences. Therefore, after a few introduction notes and a talk by Craig, we'll proceed with a self-designing team workshop where we'll create conference teams. The teams will get their own space and name, do some introductions and then together plan out their conference participation. After every session, there is a team-reflection session where the team gets together and shares their session experience. Towards the end of the conference, we'll have time reserved for the teams to build an expression of their shared conference experience. We'll end with an end-of-conference bazaar where each team shares their major learnings.


In Amsterdam, we had 2 tracks plus Open Space. The tracks were named Experiments and Experience. The Experiments track focused on practices you can try out in your LeSS adoption. The goal was to be practical and usable. The Experience track was about sharing experiences of LeSS adoptions. We'll keep these two tracks and we'll experiment with two additional tracks. The Games track is about learning through playing games. Many practitioners have built games in order to teach LeSS concepts in fun ways and they will share these games (and play them!) on the games track. The Training Snippets track is where a few LeSS trainers will share a section from their LeSS training and ask for feedback. This allows participants to learn about specific LeSS topics and the trainers to receive feedback on those.

Of course, we'll also have Open Space ongoing and both Bas and Craig will be giving a talk again. Both will focus on practical tips. Craig will share interesting techniques he used in LeSS adoption and Bas will share what he has been doing coaching a LeSS Huge adoption.

Experiments Track

We'll have five sessions on the experiments track. I'd like to highlight each of these as I'm excited about each of them. My friend and colleague Lv Yi will be flying in from China and he'll share his thoughts about applying systems thinking and systems modelling while coaching LeSS adoptions. Lv Yi's clear thinking has inspired me personally for already 15 years. Ellen Gottesdiener will fly in from the US. Ellen has been a big influence to both me and Craig, particularly her early work on discovering requirements through collaborative workshops. We've applied much of her techniques in Product Backlog Refinement sessions to collaboratively explore requirements. In the recent years, she's continues to refine her thinking and will share some of that during the LeSS Conference. Two days before the conference, she'll have a public workshop, so if you want more on this topic then we'd recommend that.

Michael James has influenced us early on, especially with his writing related to the Scrum Master role, expressed in the Scrum Master checklist, which is a tool we still use and recommend. I've always enjoyed working with him and he will team up with my friend Jacek Bochenek, who is a Scrum Master in a huge LeSS Huge adoption. Together they'll be sharing tips and experiences on becoming better Scrum Masters. David Gurteen is a knowledge management expert who has been working with Ben Maynard and will be joining based on his recommendation. He'll be talking about Knowledge Cafe's, how to facilitate them and when to use them. I do not know a lot about this but hope to learn a lot more during the conference! And the last speaker on the experiments track is Kevlin Henney who will be sharing some technical insights related to large-scale development. It is always a pleasure to see Kevlin talk.

Other Tracks

I won't write as much about the other tracks, but that doesn't make them less exciting. On the experience track, we'll have LeSS adoptions at Societe Generale in Hong Kong, the Dutch police force, Solarwinds core IT in Czech Republic, and Fiducia in Germany. On the games track, we'll have "Build your Own LeSS," "Build a Feature Team," "The Waterfall Game," and "LeSS Simulation with Lego." Also on the Games track, we'll have David Gurteen facilitate a knowledge cafe. The last 2 sessions will take longer than the usual session. Last, on the trainer track, we'll have training sections about Scrum Master, Culture and Structure, Role of Management, and Multi-team Sprint Planning.

I'm a bit sad that the tracks are in parallel as I would like to participate in all of them myself. To make it worse, we'll also have Open Space in parallel and Ellen promised to had additional sessions on backlog refinement there.

The full program can be found on the conference site at:

Learning Resources

Although the main focus of this newsletter is the LeSS Conference, we'd like to still share some learning resources:

LeSS Coach Camp

In the last newsletter we mentioned the upcoming LeSS Coach camp. We'd like to remind everyone about that as there still is some space left and seems like it will become a great event. Info from last newsletter:

In the summer time, there will be the first LeSS Coaching Camp. This is organised by and for LeSS coaches and will happen on August 25th to 27th in Berlin. The goal is to create a space for co-learning with other practicing LeSS practitioners. The maximum amount of participants will be 30, so if you want to be one of them you'll need to hurry up. You can register here.

LeSS Rules cards

Also, reminder from last newsletter... Michael James still has LeSS Rules cards. You can find these at LeSS Rules cards (and with a de-scaling article). If you want him to send you some, contact him at mj AT