Nine Disadvantages of LeSS, From Someone Who’s Doing It

2 minute read

Why Write This?

You may know that I helped Manoj Vadakkan establish Fans of LeSS, our attempt to un-hijack Scrum and Agile. But just as Ken Schwaber used to explain that adopting Scrum will be difficult, I want you to know that adopting LeSS will be difficult.

A developer named Marcell Lipp wrote about his personal experience with a company adopting LeSS, after working there for two months. His article describes a little bit about LeSS, it’s advantages, etc. This article caught my eye because he described several disadvantages from the perspective of a programmer after a couple months. I encourage you to read the whole thing.

Marcell also wrote followup articles after six more months of experience:

Some of my feelings changed, some of them are still the same.

I don’t want you to think that these negative aspects are inevitable, unsolvable, or even the same one’s you’ll experience. For each one, you should be able to imagine mitigation approaches that reduce organizational agility, and ways that are compatible with agility.

Disadvantages Distilled from Marcell’s article

  1. But in the end no one is really feeling himself responsible for holding the due dates.
  2. [But in the end no one is really feeling responsible for] solving problems.
  3. [But in the end no one is really feeling responsible for] making technical decisions.
  4. Really often we are just talking hours long about alternative solutions and no one is there to finalize the decisions, so we are just talking and talking and not making a clear decision.
  5. I’m also lacking the career opportunities: in classical working structures there are hundreds of roles which can be overtaken and which are making some changes, some step further into the career, here I can not see much of them. [From Marcell’s followup article]: Furthermore in case of classical working mode your manager is usually also helping you to find the right direction for you. In this structure you are totally alone to figure it out. And it is fine on short term, but a lot of developers are losing their motivation on long term.
  6. I’m also lacking the feeling that I can tell: “it is my code”. Maybe it’s childish, but that’s what I feel.
  7. I also have issues with the communications: there are so many communication channels, that it is really difficult for me to collect all the relevant information.
  8. I also have the feeling that the project is really lacking someone who has a good technical overview on the whole project, like a software architect. When we need to use an interface really often no one can tell us which interface is it and a lot of interface are duplicated.
  9. Last but not least I would like to mention that the permanent pair and mob programming is really exhausting. It is really difficult. The team members needs very good social skills and a lot of patience, which is not typical for most of the programmers.

LeSS is hard