What is the difference of Large at Scale Scrum and Extreme Programming?

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Do you know the difference between Large at Scale Scrum and Extreme Programming methodology? These terms are very much in vogue in the IT and management area lately, but the excess of concepts can end up making it difficult for you to really understand the subject.

In a technological environment where new concepts emerge every day, it is necessary to try to understand the proposal of each one of them to know which is the best option for your use case.

In this article, you’ll see the difference between the main agile development methodologies: Extreme Programming (XP) and Large at Scale Scrum.

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Agile methodologies and more productive teams

We call agile development any methodology used in the creative process that anticipates the need for flexibility and in which a certain level of pragmatism is applied to the delivery of finished products.

Using agile methodologies, therefore, is to keep code simple, that is tested many times and that allows you to deliver functional portions of the solution.

In other words, in this process, applications are built on small parts that are approved by the customer during the course of the project, instead of making a large delivery at the end.

The concept of agile development can benefit the production of a team of developers, improving the way processes are carried out within the organization.

One of the main advantages sought by adopting an agile method is to make the team more productive and assertive, that is, reduce errors (both technical and customer expectations) and deliver within planned deadlines.

One of the worst problems in software development is to streamline processes to deliver a final product that meets customer expectations.

This is the main advantage of applying agile methodologies: allowing, instead of carrying out a single delivery at the end of the project, the work is performed incrementally, adding new features and functionalities over time, until the expected result is reached.

Engagement of all stakeholders
The customer is involved in all stages of the project and their vision is taken into account. Stakeholders start to trust the developers’ capabilities more and the results become more “tangible”.

High collaboration
As professionals meet periodically to discuss the project, a collaboration between them increases and this helps to avoid delays, errors, and rework.

More transparency
As customers and developers keep track of everything that’s being done, work becomes more transparent. With more transparency, it is easier to act and help colleagues to overcome their difficulties, which boosts productivity.

Faster deliveries
As packages are delivered on pre-defined dates, delays are avoided. When realizing that they will not be able to handle demand, a tester, for example, can trigger their leadership to request help promptly so as not to break the schedule.

Differences between XP and LeSS

1) Extreme Programming (XP)

The name Extreme Programming is intended to demonstrate radicalism. However, it is a software development discipline based on values ​​of simplicity, communication, feedback, courage, and respect.

It works by bringing the entire team together for simple practices, with enough feedback to allow all members to follow project development and have a single view.

In this methodology, everyone uses a simple planning and monitoring form to decide what needs to be done next and to predict when the project will be done. Focused on business values, the team produces the software in a series of small, fully integrated releases, always focusing on the customer.

Programmers write all production code in pairs, and they all work together so that it has a style that the entire team understands—a standardization for easy readability and intervention when needed. From time to time team members meet with the customer to test the finished packages.

2) Large at Scale Scrum 

Scaling Scrum starts with understanding the way a single standard Scrum team works. Based on it, your organization must be able to understand and adopt LeSS, which requires examining the purposes of the elements of a single Scrum team and figuring out how to achieve the same result, within standard Scrum constraints.

Agile development with Scrum requires a deep organizational change to become agile. Therefore, neither Scrum nor LeSS should be considered just practical. Instead, they form an organizational design framework.

Two Scaled Agile Frameworks
LeSS provides two different scaled Scrum frameworks. Most of the scaled elements of LeSS are focused on directing all teams’ attention to the entire product, rather than “my part”. The two frameworks, which are basically a single Scrum team scaled into multiple teams, are:

  1. LeSS: For up to eight teams (of eight people each).
  2. LeSS Huge: For thousands of people working on a single product.

Tools of LeSS
Sprint Planning: in addition to being a Product Owner, people from all teams participate. Self-organizing team members must be allowed to decide the division of Product Backlog items.
Daily Scrum: It is also performed independently by each team, although a Team A member may observe a Team B Daily Scryn increase information sharing.
Coordination: Teams or rotating representatives from each team can hold an Open Space, Town Hall Meeting, or Scrum-of-Scrums regularly to increase information sharing and coordination.
General PBR: The fundamental objective is to decide which teams will implement which items and therefore select the items to be refined in each team’s Product Backlog Refinement meetings.
Product Backlog Refinement: The only requirement in LeSS is that Product Backlog Refinement is performed for each Scrum team individually.
Sprint Review: In addition to a Product Owner, includes people from all teams, relevant customers/users, and other interested parties.
General Retrospective: This is a ceremony that does not exist in a single Scrum team and its goal is to explore the improvement of the overall system, rather than focusing on a single team.

Comparison between Scrum and Extreme Programming

Scrum, as an agile method, ends up having several similarities, contacts, or points in common with XP. For example, they are rooted in the Agile Manifesto.

A scrum is a form of broad management for projects that do not depend on the area of ​​knowledge. XP has its most restricted application, basically focused on the world of software systems development.

However, when we use Scrum as a form of management and for creating software systems, many of the practices contained in XP are highly competent, such as creating automated tests or using code refactoring to make a code snippet functional is altered seeking gains in quality and ensuring that future maintenance is simplified.

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