Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) Adoption Takeaways: Y Soft Meets Česká Spořitelna

Ever heard about LeSS, Large-Scale Scrum? Y Soft’s Agile Coaches and Product Owners recently met with their counterparts from Česká Spořitelna for a knowledge-sharing session. The topic to discuss was their experience with LeSS adoption. LeSS uses the principles of Scrum in a large-scale context where multiple teams collaborate to produce one shippable solution.

Read on to delve into our key takeaways and why sharing your experience with other companies makes so much sense. 

If you are interested in Y Soft’s LeSS journey in bigger detail, see the speech by our CEO Václav Muchna at a LeSS conference or read our blog post.


Different Companies with Similar Ambitions

Y Soft and Česká Spořitelna seemingly can’t be more different from each other. Privately held Y Soft is a tech company with approximately 400 employees that grew in 20 years from a student startup into a small but global corporation. Česká Spořitelna, the largest Czech bank institution, will soon be celebrating 200 years from its foundation. Its complex structure with more than 10,000 employees makes its operations incomparable to Y Soft’s. What do we have in common? Our commitment to building an empowering and effective working environment. We both believe that LeSS will help us in doing so when it comes to our technical teams.

The main focus of the event was on the real-time experience of everyday routines in the self-managed team-of-teams environment such as sprint planning, review, and backlog refinement. The rest of the time we devoted to discussing selected topics in smaller groups in an unconference format. 


Luckily there was enough time to discuss other related topics in a restaurant afterward which also brought unexpected and relevant outcomes to the table. Some more obvious lessons learned were shared between both companies, e.g., the importance of team empowerment, product ownership, and intense cross-team collaboration. We also share the same understanding of the Product Owner role, which should be tightly connected to helping increase the business focus on the outcome (the real value of work done for the business) rather than output (the finished part of work without business value clearly confirmed) and make the most of the large-scale scrum approach.


Let’s Celebrate our Large-Scale Scrum Successes

One of the most important takeaways for Y Soft was that we made nice progress. Seeing our colleagues from Česká Spořitelna recognizing and celebrating important milestones and using the excitement to fuel the change further was inspiring. Suddenly it felt significant to stop for a while and celebrate more. We might have been preoccupied with pushing further while the right thing to do to keep the transformation going is to stop for a minute and appreciate what has been accomplished. 
Petr Kašpařík (Area Product Owner, Y Soft): "I suddenly saw that the company I work for is actually one of the leaders and pioneers of LeSS. It was amazing to realize that I also contributed to this. Finding out that we did good progress and now we inspire likes of Česká Spořitelna keeps me motivated for all challenges that might come.”

We are also much more confident that our way of working is sustainable if we grow even more in the future. Seeing the same principles being put into practice in a complex corporate structure was an impressive demonstration of their universal use and scalability.
Zdeněk Soukup (Area Product Owner, Y Soft): “It was amazing to see what progress we made in the past years. When things change gradually, it’s hard to see the overall impact. Seeing that the same principles work for Česká Spořitelna, a gradually bigger organization, made me believe we’re ready to grow too." 


Becoming Self-organized is Not a Rocket Science

Česká Spořitelna, on the other hand, experienced a real-time demonstration of work being pulled by teams/engineers without the push factor from above. They also learned about the benefits of a flat(ter) organization structure. Based on the participants’ feedback, seeing the agile principles working in practice was encouraging. 

The participants’ feedback varied from “it’s really possible” to “no need to panic” which correlates with agile nicely - It’s ok to be on the journey and make mistakes. You may not figure everything out on the first go. When it comes to more practical takeaways – we shared our scalable templates for refinements and experience with working in Miro which works much better than discussions over Jira.


Cross-Company Sharing Makes Sense for Us

In Y Soft, we believe that companies should help each other to create better working conditions for their employees. Let competition happen in the product field and support each other in initiatives that lead to healthier and more sustainable companies.

The feedback from the participants was very positive, with many expressing gratitude for the opportunity to learn from each other and share their experiences. The success of the event has encouraged us to continue organizing similar knowledge-sharing sessions in the future and to further explore the benefits of collaboration and knowledge-sharing in the Agile community. We’re definitely going to repay the visit to Česká Spořitelna and bring a lot of in-depth questions about their way of working!