Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS): Trainer Interview - Venkatesh Krishnamurthy

This is the first of a 3 Part Series about Large Scale Scrum. In part one, we will help you understand what LeSS is. In part 2 we'll move on to explore how it provides value to organisations, and part 3 will be about the structure and learning outcomes of the Certified LeSS Practioner course.

In this first part, I interviewed Venkatesh (Venky) Krishnamurthy, Australia’s first and the only LeSS Certified Trainer and asked him what LeSS really is, and where it has come from.

About Venky

Venky has extensive experience working with LeSS in complex, corporate situations, and has worked closely with LeSS co-creator Craig Larman.  

He is a speaker, thought leader and published author specialising in the application of Lean and Agile principles into major corporations and programs of work. He has held leadership positions across Australia, USA, Europe and Asia and has been known to apply agile methods including: Scrum, XP, Kanban and Systems Thinking to deliver outcomes for customers.

Upcoming course

In the past, Tabar has run LeSS training with co-founder of the framework, Bas Vodde.

We are now supporting Venky's training courses, with an upcoming Certified LeSS Practitioner course coming up in June.

You can learn more about the training and register for the course here:

If you're interested to talk more about the benefits of this course or have any questions you want answered please reach out to me on Ringo.Thomas@tabar.com.au.

We love feedback, let me know what you think of this article!


LeSS, an acronym for Large-Scale Scrum  is a framework to help descale the complexities in the organisation while delivering highest value to the customers in large scale product development scenarios. 

Ringo: What exactly is LeSS? How has it come about and what is it designed to address?

Venky: LeSS, an acronym for Large-Scale Scrum, is a framework to help descale the complexities in the organisation while delivering highest value to the customers in large scale product development scenarios. 

It’s not exactly new though, it was developed out of a set of over 600 experiments done by the creators applying it to large scale programs and distributed Product Development, they’ve been running them since 2004. These experiments were created to try and understand what happens with Scrum once you scale it out of only one team.

Out of these experiments, they wrote two books. Practices of Scaling Lean and Agile Development, and Scaling Lean and Agile Development. In these two books they captured all 600 experiments of what does and doesn’t work.

As these books gained popularity there became a market demand for a framework based on the learnings from them. People wanted a step by step process on how to start large scale programs using Scrum.

Today, based on these learnings and experiences that’s what LeSS is and what the framework and structure has been created to address.

There’s more information on the LeSS.works website as well

Ringo: When did you first come across LeSS, and what inspired you to become a trainer?

Venky: Back in 2004/2005, while I was a Scrum Master at Valtech, Craig who was the chief scientist involved me in many of the initial experiments. Being a passionate learner, I tried imbibing the ideas of  Lean Thinking, Systems Thinking, etc and apply Scrum on a day to day software development scenarios and discussing the learnings. 
  
Probably, I might be one of the very few LeSS trainers globally who had the chance to be part of the initial experiments. 

Even after leaving Valtech, I continued the experimental approach and delivering value to the customers. 

When LeSS framework was announced, it was a natural progression for me to apply for the trainer-ship. 

Ringo: Are there any examples you can give me where LeSS has been implemented or utilised, and walk me through the benefits, lessons and results briefly?

Venky: I could point you to the various case studies that people have written across the globe, there at least 50 or 60 that are available online.

Exactly what they did, how they built it from scratch and so and so forth

Below are some examples of notable brands who have used the LeSS framework.

http://less.works/case-studies/alcatel-lucent.html

http://less.works/case-studies/bmw-group.html

http://less.works/case-studies/antarctica-investment-bank.html (Antartica Investment Bank is a pseudo name, but the story is in depth and true)

Of course, there are couple of  companies across Australia who have started embracing LeSS and as the demand is growing, many companies are proactively reaching out requesting for help.