A fascinating thing happened in my life two weeks ago. I went to a three day class with Craig Larman in Toronto. At the end of it, I was totally blown away.
A fascinating thing happened in my life two weeks ago. I went to a three day class with Craig Larman in Toronto. In the end, I was totally blown away, by the simplicity of his thought process and its ensuing answers. There he was with his signature tie and boots, being exactly as Craig himself, the person he is encoded to be.
Not that I found religion of some sort, perhaps, but Craig was particular to point out multiple times that his approach was not based on religion, but on science. As I abhor complexity, I continue on a journey to finding simple answers that answer complex problems, by design. And in this journey I found more in these three days than I have ever in the last decade or more.
During the three day class, Craig spent most of his time on two areas where I always wanted more answers – systems thinking and Agile adoption. Those two were really at the heart of the problem as root causes for most teams and organizations doing Agile than being Agile. He held a mirror to my understanding and it showed me that there were simple answers to how I could assist my teams and organizations that I work with.
Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) and descaling organizations
Mind you, it is paragraph four, where I wanted to point out that the course I attended was on Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) as Craig Larman and Bas Vodde, the co-creators call it. But stepping back, the concepts for Large Scale Scrum spoke equally well for a single team – practices that should be the norm if there was just one Scrum team, because just that was how Scrum was meant to be.
From there it elegantly scales or descales the organizational teams to 2-8 Scrum teams and to 100’s of team’s (LeSS Huge) when there is such a need to support the Product that the organization requires for it to succeed.
But this article is not about descaling, this is about simplicity.
Concept 1: It is all about systems thinking
Well, there are a lot of folks, I mean really lots of folks blabbering about Agile and Scrum and Lean. Gurus of all sorts. I do that too. Drop names like I went to school with Edward Deming and he was my buddy of some sort. Talk like I am connected to Ken Schwaber though an Avatar Na’vi like mind connection, better than someone else out there in my understanding of it all. Well, the net answer is, it is all in the systems thinking and those who find those answers better than others can help teams and organization succeed at scale.
Concept 2: Adoption
It is not often about Agile, Scrum or XP, SAFe or even LeSS and other frameworks that are used for doing Agile or being Agile. It is that none of them have considered the aspect of how to change. And that part is an important aspect of being Agile. Often ignored, often misunderstood and leads to getting to the results which need another transformation to fix the transformation which was done in the first place.
LeSS adoption methods, its principles and rules lay the groundwork for a proper Agile adoption and this sets the cornerstone for introducing change. A fantastic piece of the missing puzzle in all other frameworks. Agile and Scrum, two key meta frameworks, just lay out it at a high level and tells you to figure it out. And people with their own irrational way of interpreting it with their limited understanding run away and implement it in the most flawed ways possible, mostly due to their ignorance.
I wonder why Ken Schwaber needed his NEXUS system to scale Scrum, was it possibly his ego that prevented him from adopting such a wonderful system like LeSS which has been around for a longer time, and makes more sense that what he has proposed.
- The LeSS course is what a Scrum course should be in the first place. Take LeSS and apply its principles and rules to a single team, you have the perfect Scrum team.
- LeSS is simple and descales the organization, if you follow the science, this is the way until you find a better simpler way.
- There is nothing new in LeSS, it uses Scrum as a building block and allows simple concepts to bring together multiple Scrum teams in support of a Product.
- I wonder why Ken Schwaber needed his NEXUS system, was it possibly his ego prevented him from adopting such a wonderful system like LeSS which has been around for a longer time, and makes more sense than what he has proposed.
- It was an important part of my Agile and Scrum journey and is going to be pivoting point in how I do things from here, moving forward… truly valuable.
This was first published in www.effortLeSSagility.com at http://effortlessagility.com/2016/04/25/after-11-years-of-agile-i-learnt-scrum-again/