LeSS Newsletter - August 2021 - Coming LeSS Conference PragueAugust 23, 2021
LeSS Conference Prague
This year's LeSS Conference is coming up again! Last year, we managed to have an in-person LeSS conference in Amsterdam. In retrospect, we were lucky that we managed, as it was right before the first big COVID wave. A year later... and the situation looks quite different, let's hope we are towards the end of COVID!
This 16-17 September, the LeSS Conference will be in Prague, and I'm looking forward to joining sessions and especially to meeting all people and hearing from them what they've all learned. LeSS adoptions take time, courage, and persistence and every LeSS conference is like an update on the challenges and experiments organizations and people experience in their LeSS adoptions. Some of these will be the informal coffee and beer conversations, and some will be through the official sessions.
The first experience session and keynote will be by Vaclav Muchna, the CEO of Y-Soft. They have been in a LeSS adoption since 2019, and I have heard about a lot of experimentation with remote work during the COVID lockdowns. I'm looking forward to hearing Vaclav's perspective and what they are planning next. As expected, this is not the only session in which coping with COVID is a major topic. Evgeniy Labunskiy will give a 1-year later session from PandaDoc, the eSign company, which has continued to grow while the teams were remote. Furthermore, Greg Hutchings will have a session to share different remote experiments he has collected from various LeSS adoptions, and Robert Briese will share experiences in remote Sprint Review Bazaar. I'm looking forward to picking up some experiments to try from these sessions.
The second keynote is from Craig Larman... again, this time called "Proof it works", and Craig has given his usual description... nothing. I'm sure it will be worthwhile. Also, Bas Vodde is having a session called "Technical? Practices? Scrum?" which will explore how technical technical-practices are and whether LeSS is still Scrum.
This conference has some interesting people-/skill-focused sessions. Jacek Bochenek and Sebastian Zebrowski will do a systems thinking session about multi-skilling and the job market. Nils Bernert and Anne Hubner will have a session with the question on whether a Scrum Master in LeSS needs to be a super human. I would guess not, but I hope the session will share more Scrum Master experiences and experiments as the Scrum Master role is still widely misunderstood and adopted poorly. Stijn Decneut has an even broader skill session with the question "The Most Important Skill for Succeeding with Agile?"
The right people and skills are, of course, important. However, a LeSS adoption is not going to work without experimentation, problem-solving and learning. This year, Yves Callens from Toyota will be back with a Problem-Solving Workshop, and Wolfgang Steffens will have a workshop about Causal Loop Diagrams and A3 problem-solving. Dinesh Sharma was going to have a session on team identity and organizational learning. I was looking forward to that; unfortunately, it is unsure whether that session will happen due to travel restrictions from the UK. I assume that there will be more last-minute changes.
Certain organizational structures facilitate (or create) teamwork, learning, and experimentation. No LeSS Conference is complete without exploring these. Ari Tikka has a session about simplifying organizations by creating teamwork. Saloni Seth-Watkins should have a session about the goal of simplifying structure at two LeSS Huge adoptions at Deutsche Bank. And, last but not least, we'll hear from Konstantin Ribel and Frederic Siepmann. Their session is titled "Phasenangemessenheit." Next to showing off long, complicated German words, they will explore phases in Product Development.
I'm looking forward to the conference and hope to see some of you there!