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LeSS Newsletter - November 2016



It has only been a few months, but so many good things have happened. We'd like to share some of them.

Kindle Book

The Kindle (and other e-versions) of the LeSS book took a bit longer to release. We wanted to fix the formatting for the book, but in the process were disappointed that the eBook was only an e-version of the printed book. We wanted to use the medium better and decided to hyperlink the whole book. This was more work than we expected, so it took a bit longer. For those waiting, we hope the result was worth waiting for.

LeSS Book Images

When writing the LeSS book, we've spend a lot of time working with Bernie from Sketchpost on the book images. Her patience when working with us was appreciated. It couldn't have been easy to iterate over the images as many times as we wanted. We are very satisfied with the result and want to share the images with everyone so you can use them in your own training or presentations. Therefore, we've made them all available under creative commons. You can find them on the LeSS site.

LeSS Conference

Last newsletter, we shared some info about the previous Amsterdam LeSS Conference, which was awesome. We had promised to send additional material when it is available. First, three blog posts with conference feedback:

Also, all the presentation material is available on the LeSS Conference site.

We've not fixed the date for the next London LeSS Conference yet, but that should be soon. We'll probably put it in the next newsletter, announced seperately.

Systems Thinking

In the LeSS community and during the meet-up talks, there has been a lot of discussions and learning about Systems Thinking. During these discussions, a few useful Systems Thinking resources were shared that we'd like to share.

LeSS Case Studies - Merkur

MerkurWolfgang Richter published a new LeSS case study about the Austrian insurrance company Merkur. It is a thorough description of the multiple years long journey that the company took when adopting LeSS. They started experimenting with Scrum. After some success, started scaling to multiple teams inspired by LeSS. Eventually evolved further to a full LeSS adoption. We love case studies that are thorough experience reports such as these so people can learn about what and how. Much thanks to Wolfgang for writing it.

Other LeSS case studies can be found on the LeSS site.

Learning Resources

There has been lots of new LeSS-related articles and videos out there, and we'd like to share some of them.


Last newsletter we shared information about the LeSS meet-up groups in New York, Berlin, and Holland. We'll keep announcing new meet-up groups in this newsletter and started listing the communities we are aware of on the LeSS site. The new communities since last newsletter are:

LeSS Trainer - Ahmad Fahmy

Ahmad FahmyI started my career in the late 90’s during the first dot com boom. I was a second year computer engineering student learning about VLSI and assembly. I loved everything about a newish phenomena called the web and lived in IRC rooms during my overnight shift at the university computer lab.

There I learned HTML and devoured everything there was to know about programming for the web. At the age of 18, a sophomore at university, I got my first full time programming job at one of the largest investment banks on the street. I went from making 7 dollars an hour in the computer lab to making what I thought was a small fortune doing the thing I was passionate about.

I jumped around different investment banks during this time. Delivery was lightening fast during this time.

After the bust, I decided to stop contracting and act like an adult and became an employee at a large investment bank. I moved “up” the corporate ladder and became a development manager. As programming began being viewed as a commodity it was seen as a career liability to be “in” the code. I continued moving up the corporate ladder and had many roles in many countries, Dev manager, project manager, program manager, enterprise architect, strategy, etc.

My company decided to “adopt” agile. The person that was to help us was Craig Larman. My first introduction to Craig was during his Certified Scrum Class.

Ahmad at LeSS Conference“And what do you do?”, he asked me during our initial introduction.

“I am the functional architect”, I responded.

“Interesting, that role will no longer exist here”, he responded with no emotion.

I was more intrigued than offended.

What I learned over the next three days was not as important as what I unlearned. A decade’s worth of anti patterns that I thought were sacrosanct were undone in 3 days, e.g. quality control, strong project management, strong management, etc.

I worked closely with Craig and others on the transformation of the organization and then in subsequent firms as well.

I have since led multiple large scale scrum adoptions in London, New York, India, Chicago in both large investment banks and small product companies.

What attracted me most about the approach was the simplicity of the rules of large scale scrum. The sheer simplicity of the rules coupled with the depth of the principles results in a meaningful and often painful change. I help guide organizations through the growing pains.  

When the opportunity presented itself to teach others LeSS I didn't hesitate. My primary motivation is to share my experiences with others as well deepen my own understanding through teaching.

More about Ahmad can be found from his site and twitter