(If you are interested in becoming a candidate LeSS trainer (after reading all the below), please mail less_trainer AT less.works)
What is a Certified LeSS Trainer?
A Certified LeSS trainer is someone who has:
- Experience in Scrum
- Experience in LeSS
- Experience as a trainer
- Been assessed (by an authorized assessor of the LeSS company) and fulfilled the criteria for being an experienced LeSS Trainer
LeSS trainers can train using their own training material and training style. The LeSS Company will require a few slides (if the trainer uses slides) to be included in the material.
Expectations to LeSS trainers
- Contribute to the LeSS community
- Increase the visibility of LeSS
- Share training material and experiences with other trainers
- Be available to mentor other LeSS trainers (including co-training)
- Continue hands-on work with LeSS to increase experience (potentially as coach)
Becoming a LeSS Trainer
That each LeSS trainer is a world-class experienced LeSS organizational-design consultant, executive coach, change expert, team coach, and expert in the hands-on work of Product Management and/or Development.
That there are a cadre of LeSS trainers.
That many large product groups worldwide achieve more with LeSS.
Currently candidate trainers can go through the below trainer recommendations and criteria. In the future (unknown when) the new LeSS trainer selection will go via a mentoring program which will have similar (but somewhat stricter) criteria. All of the LeSS trainers are expected to be open for mentoring future trainers.
The details of the mentoring process have not been decided yet. They will be developed together with the first LeSS trainers.
Summary of Criteria:
- Ensure you have informed Bas/Craig of your interest, so they are tracking the progress.
- Confirm the prerequisites
- Write an experience report (“case study”) of at least one of your LeSS(-like) adoptions.
- Complete the Readings
- Create a LeSS graphical representation
- Pass the In-Depth Knowledge interview
- Attend a LeSS Practitioner course
- Describe how you plan to do your LeSS Practitioner course
Confirm the Prerequisites
We’re looking for people with:
- long and deep experience with Scrum
- experience in training Scrum or Large-Scale Scrum
- experience with one or several large product groups adopting LeSS or LeSS-like structures
Write Experience Report (or case study)
The goal is to both publish an experience report at a public site such as InfoQ, ScrumAlliance, etc., and/or to publish it at the less.works site.
Most major changes involve challenges and compromises, and we’re interested in seeing realistic descriptions, rather than “sugar-coated” descriptions. Readers learn a lot from descriptions that involve describing problems and forces that were difficult, and how they were handled.
Highly polished, quality writing and story. At least 1000 words. Preferably with adoption photos.
- product summary
- forces compelling the change, and context
- how got introduced to LeSS
- change kickoff activities
- structure before & after
- role changes
- was it worth it?
Why case study?
The case study serves three purposes:
- it demonstrates the authors LeSS knowledge and experience
- trainers will be linked to case studies (in the near future), so it serves as a reference for potential clients
- it exposes LeSS usage to the world for learning and promotion
Valid LeSS(-like) case studies
The case study must be a LeSS adoption or a LeSS-like adoption. LeSS-like adoption are adoptions that have been inspired by the first two LeSS scaling books, but at that time the LeSS rules weren’t explicated. So, the structure isn’t exactly LeSS, but the spirit of the adoption is the same.
We’re likely to look at these factors for LeSS-like adoptions:
- Not “small”. e.g., 2-3 teams in a localized change is too small, but we will consider each case separately.
- We expect LeSS trainers to speak out of experience and most 2-team product groups do not give enough experience for training LeSS.
- Move towards feature teams
- One Product Owner and One Product Backlog
- One Sprint
- PSPI each Sprint, or clearly moving to PSPI (Done each Sprint)
- Some decent structural change within an organization, and involvement of changes in management.
Cases weaker than the above are likely to be rejected and we’d ask the candidate trainer to first gain a bit more experience. The experience that is expected is a deep involvement with the adoption, not just giving training to the company.
LeSS trainers need to be deeply literate about LeSS and related principles and concepts. The basis of achieving this is reading the LeSS and LeSS related books. Through these readings, a trainer should be able to precisely and thoroughly describe the LeSS rules, framework and guides and experiments.
Read about LeSS
- the LeSS rules: http://less.works/less/rules/index.html
- All other content at less.works
- Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum
- Practices for Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Large, Multisite & Offshore Product Development with Large-Scale Scrum
- Large-Scale Scrum: More with LeSS (or draft)
- Leading Teams - Richard Hackman
- The Fifth Discipline - Peter Senge
- Workplace Management - Taiichi Ohno
- Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths and Total Nonsense - Pfeffer, Sutton
- Extreme Programming (preferably 1st edition) - Kent Beck
Additional (optional but recommended) reading
- Recommendation from the Large-Scale Scrum - Managers chapter:
- Recommendation from the Large-Scale Scrum - Scrum Master chapter:
- The Toyota Way (and others in series) - Jeff Liker
- Lean Product and Process Development - Allan Ward
- Out of the Crisis - Deming
- Agile Software Development - Bob Martin
- Lean Startup - Ries
- Getting Naked - Lencioni
Create a LeSS Graphical Overview or Mindmap or Video
Motivation: This will help you form a mental model of LeSS, and help us understand your mental model
Without copying an existing LeSS graphical overview or mindmap, create one of your own that summarizes:
For the best ones, we migh ask if we can publish them at less.works or in all of our training materials, for the benefit of others.
Pass the In-depth Knowledge Interview
Bas or Craig will spend time in an interview to understand your depth of understanding of LeSS. Essentially, we are looking to see that the candidate has a deep and thorough understanding of LeSS by being able to extemporaneously discuss and describe:
- the LeSS rules
- the LeSS frameworks
- the LeSS guides and experiments
Rules, Frameworks, Guides and Experiments
In the interview, you should expect to able to summarize and expand on all of these.
You will be asked:
- Summarize LeSS and how the rules follow the principles.
- For some chapters of the three LeSS books, explain some guides and experiments.
The interview is recommended to be done with the one of us you know least well.
Attend Practitioner Course from Bas and Craig
Participate as a regular student.
After each day, there might be a debriefing with Bas or Craig and you’ll be asked for a summary.
Describe how you plan to do your LeSS Practitioner course
After being accepted as LeSS trainer, you’re able to do LeSS Practitioner (and Executive) trainings yourself. We (Bas or Craig) would like to hear how you plan to do your course. This could be by sharing the training material, the structure, the concepts or however you like to do it. This allows us to give feedback on your course, kick-starts your LeSS training, and gives us a better insight in how you plan to teach LeSS concepts.
In order to help the trainer candidates:
- Each public class (from Bas and Craig) will have 3 seats available for candidate-trainers (for no cost).
- Candidates are encouraged to join both Bas and Craig’s course as they are quite different.
- We are open (and encourage) candidates to co-organize a class with us. This makes it easier to do the participation and interview in the same visit.
In order to help us proceed with LeSS:
- Please get the word out and promote the LeSS site and courses via social media or other ways. (Thanks, appreciated)
Costs to LeSS Trainers
- Annual fee (5000 USD)
- Fee per participant (75 USD)
Revenue from fees is used to pay for the creation and evolution of the less.works site, student ebooks, global LeSS branding & marketing, conferences and gatherings, etc..
How to apply?
You can apply to become a Candidate LeSS Trainer by sending an email to less_trainer AT less.works. That will start the typically long process of becoming a LeSS Trainer.