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LeSS Newsletter - January 2019 - Happy 2019!

January 3, 2019

2019 already, which brings us another new year newsletter.

Reflection on 2018

Every first LeSS Newsletter of the new year has started with a reflection from me (Bas). I'm not sure what to write about 2018. Certainly a lot has happened and some of it has been amazing, I feel I've had too much work in progress. For 2019, my goal is to reduce my own work in progress.

For me, 2018 started with coaching a new LeSS Huge adoption. That has been going great and has been enjoyable, thanks for all the people who are involved. It also reminded me (again) how hard LeSS Huge adoptions can be. Getting a Requirements Area to work is relatively "simple" but dealing with all the organizational dynamics that come with it is not. One recurring theme that surprised me in 2018 was the worry about the loss of productivity caused by people learning from each other. I hadn't experienced it as strongly in previous LeSS adoptions as in this one. It reminded me of a presentation I used to give called "Things you need to know about managing software development" in which I shared five principles for managing software development (unfortunately, I don't have a good reference for this as this has been work in progress and I'll need to write something about that... another time). One of these principles is "software development is knowledge creation" which suggests that you can improve software and software development (including 'productivity') by focusing on maximizing the learning between people. 2018 has reinforced this principle for me but also has shown the need for better explaining and 'proofing' it. I do not know how yet, something to do for 2019. In 2019, I'll continue with this LeSS adoption (at least in the beginning of 2019) and will work together with some of my close friends. I'm looking forward to that.

Also in 2018, the first US LeSS Conference happened in New York City. I've thoroughly enjoyed it and was happy to meet a lot of you. Some talks of the LeSS Conference were recorded by InfoQ and, in this newsletter, I'll share some videos that they have published. For me, one of my favorite moments was my presentation with Tero, former head of the Nokia LTE Basestation development. The video of this was already shared in the previous newsletter, but we'll include it again in this one. Preparations for the 2019 Munich LeSS Conference have started, although the organizing froup will need to pick up some steam soon... otherwise there won't be any 2019 conference or it will be without a venue (which is an interesting idea though...).

The growth of LeSS continued during 2018. We had a record amount of site visits, people trained, and a couple of new LeSS case studies published. Last year, we've had three new LeSS trainers of which the first Chinese trainer (Lv Yi) and the first Russian trainer (Illia Pavlichenko). We have also added many candidate-LeSS trainers and LeSS-Friendly Scrum Trainers. We also expect this trend to continue in 2019 as the number of case studies we are aware of is rapidly increasing. Some thoughtful and well planned ones and unfortunately also some ugly all-at-once LeSS Huge adoptions (don't do that!).

We improved the site a lot during 2018 and many thanks to the Team for their effort. Our focus has been on staying in contact with our users (by handling bounced email and avoiding spam filters) and on improving the LeSS Conference system. During 2019, we'll continue our improvements and are specifically looking at helping people share their experience with others within their company and improving the course registration process.

LeSS Conference Videos

As mentioned, the LeSS Conference in New York was recorded by our media sponsor InfoQ. Most of the videos are now online and we'd like to share them with you. A couple of additional (amateur) videos were made which we'll also share. There should be more videos added in the future. We'll keep you informed when they are available.

Practices for Scaling Agile & Lean Development

For a while now, we've made two LeSS books (Scaling Agile & Lean Development and Large-Scale Scrum) available for every Certified LeSS Practitioner/Executive course participant. We've frequently been asked about the third book, the Practices for Scaling Agile & Lean Development book. We've now also made it available at the LeSS site (login required). The Practices for Scaling book provides practical experiments related to the different activities in product development. It is less conceptual and organizational as the Scaling Agile & Lean book and less introductionary as the Large-Scale Scrum book. It was written to be browsed during an active LeSS adoption where you can pick and chose experiments to try out (or avoid!).

LeSS Case Study - SITA Border Security

This experience report is from Government Solution Line of SITA based in London, UK during 2010-2012. Dinesh Sharma worked as an internal consultant to help their large-scale agile adoption.

The transition happened from waterfall to Scrum to LeSS to LeSS Huge using Multisite and Offshore partners. The GSL applied LeSS organisational design elements from the beginning that played the big role in this successful transformation. The focus of the case study is around building the Multisite Offshore teams (including vendor & team selection, onboarding and focus on continuous improvement) using LeSS principles to form a long-term partnership. We hope you'll enjoy this case study. Thanks Dinesh.

Misconceptions about the Product Owner

In the past, we have worked together with Michael James on creating some LeSS related videos. This has been enjoyable, and we plan to continue creating more of these. About a month ago, Michael and team completed a video they felt was highly needed: How Misconceptions About the Product Owner Role Harm Your Organization and What To Do About It. The title of the video probably says it all... the Product Owner role is poorly adopted and that can cause quite some harm within organizations. Hopefully you'll find the video useful, and we'll be looking forward to future videos from Michael James.

Learning Resources

As always, we'd like to share a bunch of learning resources related to LeSS.

Videos and audio:


Community and Global Events: