NYC: Certified LeSS Practitioner Course Review

In September 2015,  Craig Larman ran a 3-day certification and training course in NYC: Certified Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) Practitioner.  It took place at one of the very conveniently located training centers at the heart of NYC.

The class of almost 30 people was composed of individuals coming from various backgrounds and with various levels of agile expertise.  The audience included people that wanted to use scrum at scale at their companies, as well as more seasoned organizational coaches and trainers that have been implementing principles of LeSS for their clients.

The course was based on the assumption that everyone already had good insight and hands-on experience with Scrum and other agile frameworks.  Every participant coming through the door was expected to have an understanding of critical principles of Scrum, such as transparency, empirical process control, iterative development, and self-managing cross-functional teams of multi-skilled workers.

From the onset, Craig made it clear that the goal of LeSS was not to support or further promote organizational complexity through Scrum scaling. In fact,  the goal was exactly the opposite: to descale, to simply, to deconstruct organizational structure to make it more lean and waste-free.

The main slogan that was repeated many times during the course: “More with LeSS”.

The course was well designed as a combination of theory, practical exercises, brainstorming sessions, process design and modeling, case studies, roles plays, physical exercises and video energizers.  The group of 30 was split into the teams of six, with each team closely collaborating and swarming on practical tasks throughout the course.

Throughout the course, at length, Craig talked about minimizing the amount of roles, artefacts, processes in LeSS.  LeSS was contrasted to other methods and frameworks that fell into the trap of providing a detailed defined process with many prescribed methods.

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LeSS was not presented as a magic wand or a universal tool or methodology that would miraculously solve all scaling problems.  Instead, LeSS was presented as an organizational descaling mechanism that helps exposing organizational challenges and dysfunctions, while putting organizations and their leaders back in charge of fixing them.

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Here are some key take away points that the course participants armed themselves with while walking out of the door on the last day of the course:

  • Clear understanding on how to adopt LeSS
  • Ability to explain LeSS principles and make connections, explain roles
  • Ability to answer the question of “why LeSS?” to other people
  • Ability to explain LeSS & LeSS Huge frameworks
  • Ability to see & remove local and substitute them with more effective system optimizations
  • Ability to coach LeSS events
  • Ability to define product, by customer value
  • Finally, and most importantly, ability to explain LeSS organizational design & change implications


Interested in learning more about Large Scale Scrum and in becoming a Certified LeSS Practitioner?
Join us on one of our LeSS courses.

The next Certified LeSS courses we are running can be found here.




Gene is an Agile practice leader and systems thinker. Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC), Certified Large Scale Scrum Practitioner. Coach, trainer, mentor, challenger of archaic beliefs and norms.