There's better-than-even odds that if you're reading this, you think you want to learn an approach to scale agile development.
Surprisingly, LeSS (Large-Scale Scrum) is not about scaling. It's about descaling and simplification of the limiting organizational structures so that many teams can work together on one product as simply as possible to towards the system optimizing goals of (1) highest value from global perspective and (2) agility to change cheaply based on learning.
But there's a change problem that you the reader are part of... If I had to boil down about 40 years of this work to one key idea, it is:
You must own, not rent, your change and organizational design.
And to own it, senior managers that have the authority to change the organizational design (eliminating groups, roles, sites, policies, etc.) have to do learning and change. LeSS is not about superficial techniques that don't impact the structure.
What learning? To start, the following pre-readings before our first call.
I'm Craig Larman, the creator (along with my friend and colleague Bas Vodde) of LeSS (Large-Scale Scrum), the author of three books on scaling lean thinking & agile development, and have focused for decades helping organizations succeed with scaling (or more precisely, descaling) with LeSS.
Before I start any discussion with a senior management team that is interested in introducing LeSS and becoming a Learning Organization, these are the pre-readings I ask to study before we start. Why?
Briefly, I'll probably be recommending these steps if you want to go deeper:
1. A 2.5-day or 3-day "Informed Consent" workshop with senior management and me, where I will help the group learn more by using Systems Thinking, with a focus on why, and answer all your questions about the implications and next steps in a LeSS adoption.
2. A period of reflection and more learning by the senior management and hands-on developers, rather than a rush to decision.
3. If "go", preparation for defining the first product group to change to LeSS.
2. The following chapters from our first LeSS book Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools with LeSS:
Chapter 2: Systems Thinking (or the equivalent Systems Thinking chapter at less.works) Chapter 7: Feature Teams (or the equivalent Feature Teams chapter at infoq.com)
3. The following chapters from our third LeSS book Large-Scale Scrum: More with LeSS:
Chapter 2: LeSS, or the equivalent chapter online Chapter 3: Adoption Chapter 4: Organize by Customer Value Chapter 7: Product