Exploring Advanced Scrum Concepts Like Nexus And LeSS For Scaling

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Born out of time and place, Scrum has become a key pillar in a modern agile era that values cooperation, transparency, and incremental development. As companies seek to gain more agility, frameworks such as Nexus and LeSS have emerged with highly evolved methods for scaling Scrum concepts. The choice between Nexus and LeSS: This article gets into the murky world of Scrum Concepts.

This article will break down their ingredients, examine the relationships between them, and guide experts along each framework’s multiple paths. Overcoming the obstacles facing scaled agile frameworks in current commercial activities is a significant step toward agile excellence.

What are Scrum Concepts?

Scrum, a dynamic framework for agile project management, originated in the software development realm and has evolved into a versatile approach applicable across various professional domains. Emerging from the need for flexibility and adaptability, Scrum fosters collaboration, transparency, and iterative progress. 

Initially designed for small teams, its roots can be traced back to the early ’90s, with its principles formalized by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. The essence of Scrum lies in its empirical process control, featuring short development cycles, or “sprints,” enabling teams to respond promptly to changing requirements.

Professionals embracing Scrum benefit from increased productivity and responsiveness. The framework’s focus on reducing dependencies between teams, structuring product backlogs effectively, and addressing technical debt aligns with organizational scalability. 

The evolution of Scrum into “Scale Professional Scrum” emphasizes its adaptability to larger endeavors, offering a framework that guides expert thinking in the pursuit of efficient and effective project delivery. 

What is Nexus?

Nexus, an agile scaling framework developed by Ken Schwaber, extends the principles of Scrum to facilitate collaboration among multiple Scrum Teams. Much like Scrum, Nexus emphasizes empiricism, self-management, organizational value, and flow, creating a dynamic team-of-teams structure. Comparable to the Agile Release Train (ART), Nexus integrates approximately three to nine Scrum Teams, each working on a single product, fostering seamless collaboration and minimizing cross-team dependencies.

Nexus preserves the core Scrum principles, advocating for a singular Product Backlog and an integrated Nexus Sprint Backlog. The Nexus Integration Team (NIT) plays a crucial role in ensuring an Integrated Increment, aligning with the Scrum Master’s role in guiding effective Scrum applications across the Nexus.

The benefits of Nexus lie in its ability to streamline large-scale product development, reduce complexities arising from dependencies, and maintain a focus on continuous improvement. By adhering to Scrum principles and introducing a team-of-teams structure, Nexus empowers professionals to navigate the challenges of scaling agile practices effectively in real-world, complex project scenarios.

Breaking Down the NEXUS Framework


The Nexus Integration Team is responsible for producing a fully Integrated Increment (the integrated work accomplished by a Nexus) at least once each Sprint. It provides the focus that allows numerous Scrum Teams to work together to generate value and usable Increments as mandated by Scrum.

While Scrum Teams address integration concerns inside the Nexus, the Nexus Integration Team serves as the Nexus’s integration focal point. Addressing technical and non-technical cross-functional team restrictions that may hamper a Nexus’ ability to provide a continuously Integrated Increment is part of integration. To reach a resolution, it should rely on bottom-up intelligence from within the Nexus.

The Nexus Integration Team consists of

  • The Product Owner: A Nexus operates on a single Product Backlog, and a Product Backlog, as defined by Scrum, has a single Product Owner who has the last word on its contents. The Product Owner is responsible for optimizing the value of the product as well as the work completed and integrated by the Nexus Scrum Teams. The Product Owner is also responsible for the successful management of the Product Backlog. This varies greatly amongst corporations, Nexuses, Scrum Teams, and people.
  • A Scrum Master: The Nexus Integration Team’s Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring that the Nexus framework is understood and implemented as outlined in the Nexus Guide. This Scrum Master may also be a Scrum Master on one or more of the Nexus Scrum Teams. 
  • One or more Nexus Integration Team Members: The Nexus Integration Team is frequently made up of Scrum Team members who assist Scrum Teams in adopting tools and practices that improve the Scrum Teams’ ability to deliver a valuable and useful Integrated Increment that frequently meets the Definition of Done.

Appropriate members are those who have the requisite abilities and knowledge to assist the Nexus in resolving any difficulties that arise. The Nexus Integration Team’s composition may alter over time to meet the Nexus’s current demands. Coaching, consulting, and raising awareness of interdependence and cross-team difficulties are examples of common Nexus Integration Team activities.


Events unfold to manage synchronized activities in large-scale, complicated projects in the broad universe of Nexus, a scaling framework enhancing Scrum’s core. These events, which are extensions of Scrum events, address the complexities of cooperation among Scrum Teams inside Nexus. The Nexus Sprint is the heartbeat of the Team, reflecting Scrum principles in a united way. Teams fluidly interact here, resulting in a unified, integrated infrastructure, demonstrating the potential of cooperation in tackling complicated projects.

Breakdown of Nexus Events

  • The Sprint: The Nexus Sprint, a mirror of Scrum’s heartbeat, represents cooperation, promoting efficiency, and delivering a great product iteration. Scrum Teams collaborate to produce a unique, meaningful product in this collaborative dance.

  • Cross-Team Refinement: A dynamic method for unraveling dependencies, decomposing the Product Backlog, and identifying interdependencies. Each Scrum Team refines individually, laying the groundwork for a well-planned Nexus Sprint.

  • Nexus Sprint Planning: This event coordinates efforts across Scrum Teams and births a Nexus Sprint Goal that aligns with the Product Goal, as well as a visible Nexus Sprint Backlog that guides teams toward a common purpose.

  • Nexus Daily Scrum: A point of convergence for integration, progress monitoring, and collaborative identification of cross-team dependencies. This generates daily plans and smooth modifications, encapsulating a linked strategy that drives efficiency.

  • Nexus Sprint Review: This event replaces individual Scrum Team Sprint Reviews at the end of the Sprint, showing the Integrated Increment to stakeholders. Stakeholder feedback guides Nexus modifications, encouraging agility in response to changing project requirements.

  • Nexus Sprint Retrospective: A place for reflection in which the Nexus looks at persons, teams, interactions, procedures, tools, and the Definition of Done. It focuses on Nexus-wide improvements, enriched by Scrum Teams’ retrospectives, sculpting an agile route ahead.

Artifacts and Commitments

In the intricacies of Nexus, artifacts stand as beacons of transparency, a cornerstone upheld by the Nexus Integration Team. These elements, designed to echo Scrum principles, wield commitments that illuminate the Nexus landscape for stakeholders. The Product Backlog, meticulously curated by the Product Owner, embodies collective aspirations, steering teams towards a shared Product Goal, a guiding light fostering cohesion amid evolving landscapes.

The Nexus Sprint Backlog, a dynamic composite reflecting the Nexus Sprint Goal, choreographs the flow of work, updating in real-time during the Sprint. This choreography culminates in the Nexus Sprint Review, a stage where stakeholders witness the Integrated Increment—a tangible sum of collaborative efforts. Here, the commitment to the Definition of Done reigns supreme, defining the state of integrated work, ensuring value, and acting as a touchstone for Nexus Integration Teams.

Decisions within the Nexus echo the resonance of artifact transparency. Incomplete information, a perilous undertow, risks flawed decisions, a cautionary tale amplified in the expansive Nexus terrain. In nurturing artifact clarity, Nexus not only thrives but also empowers teams to sculpt a future where decisions resonate with precision and purpose, a testament to the enduring impact of transparent collaboration.

What is LeSS?

Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) is a framework designed to extend the principles of Scrum across multiple teams collaborating on a single product. Rooted in the foundational concepts of Scrum, LeSS is elegantly articulated in the book “Large-Scale Scrum: More with LeSS” by Craig Larman and Bas Vodde. Unlike complex frameworks, LeSS is celebrated for its simplicity, often labeled as “barely sufficient,” emphasizing efficiency without unnecessary intricacies.

As a Scrum concept, LeSS builds upon the fundamentals laid out in the Scrum Guide by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, starting with a single Scrum team and expanding to multiple teams working cohesively on a unified product. The framework’s primary focus is not on inventing a new structure but on applying Scrum principles seamlessly in a large-scale enterprise context.

LeSS offers tangible benefits, including cost-effective implementation by integrating existing Scrum practices, a singular product owner acting as a vital liaison between business and technical teams, and a streamlined approach that avoids excessive roles and overhead. It facilitates direct team-customer connections, ensuring a holistic product perspective and regular interaction with business stakeholders. LeSS fosters continuous improvement through Agile practices, making it a pragmatic choice for organizations seeking to scale agile practices and deliver impactful products collaboratively.

Breaking Down the LeSS Framework

The smaller LeSS framework is designed for a single (and only one) Product Owner who owns the product and maintains a single Product Backlog that is worked on by teams in a single Sprint, optimizing for the entire product. The features of the LeSS framework are similar to those of one-team Scrum:

  • Roles: One Product Owner, two to eight Teams, and one to three Scrum Masters. These Teams, crucially, are feature teams—true cross-functional and cross-component full-stack teams that collaborate in a common coding environment, each doing everything to generate completed things.

  • Artifacts: include one potentially shippable product increment, one Product Backlog, and a Sprint Backlog for each Team.

  • Events: One common Sprint for the whole product, including all teams, culminating in a possibly shippable product increment. Details will be provided in subsequent tales and individual chapters.

  • Rules and Guidelines: Rules for a scarcely adequate scaling framework for empirical process control and product emphasis. Guides may be useful.

Nexus VS LeSS

Navigating the realm of scaled agile frameworks demands a keen understanding of options like Nexus and LeSS. Rooted in Scrum principles, both frameworks bring unique perspectives to the table. Let’s dissect the Nexus vs. LeSS dynamics, unraveling their intricacies for professionals seeking the ideal path to agile excellence.


Nexus and LeSS, while sharing Scrum roots, diverge in their adaptation focus. LeSS centers on adaptiveness, viewing it as key to navigating uncertainties and market shifts. This agility allows teams to pivot swiftly and uncover valuable paths. In contrast, Nexus optimizes for delivering better value faster, emphasizing efficiency. 

Both models excel, offering nuanced approaches to adaptability—LeSS leans toward flexibility in the face of unpredictable markets, while Nexus sharpens the delivery edge for quicker, value-packed releases. Understanding these distinctions empowers professionals to tailor their agile journey based on the unique demands of their projects and organizational landscapes.

Every Day Use

Navigating the Nexus and LeSS day-to-day landscape exposes subtle distinctions. Both frameworks provide strong alternatives to Scrum of Scrums by emphasizing scaled events and mandating Product Backlog Refinement (PBR). While Nexus initially accepts component teams before transitioning to feature teams, LeSS necessitates more upfront organizational changes. 

LeSS prioritizes technical proficiency and pushes for specialized technical coaches. Nexus, on the other hand, augments Scrum with 50+ practices from Scaled Professional Scrum, combining efficiency and agility. 

Professionals are treated to a rich tapestry, with LeSS stressing adaptation and comprehensive transformation and Nexus honing the art of value-driven, timely delivery.

Managing Project

Nexus and LeSS have opposing approaches to project management. LeSS deviates aggressively from the project mindset in pursuit of flexibility and comprehensive product-oriented development. It discourages initiatives and encourages the creation of a continuous, possibly shippable product. 

Nexus, on the other hand, while moving toward feature teams, nevertheless tolerates projects in the long run. The opposing mindsets reflect the move from short-term thinking to long-term wealth generation. 

Nexus navigates multi-sprint undertakings with a measured acknowledgment of projects, whereas LeSS encourages a “take a bite” approach, enabling progressive risk reduction. These frameworks provide several pathways for project navigation, transforming projects into dynamic, value-driven ventures.


Scrum principles like Nexus and Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) have never been more relevant in today’s corporate world. Both frameworks, which are based on Scrum concepts, provide various paths for growing agile methods.

Nexus succeeds in providing higher value quickly while emphasizing efficiency, whereas LeSS promotes adaptability by providing a flexible strategy for navigating uncertainties and market fluctuations. The key is to understand your company’s specific requirements. Nexus simplifies large-scale product development by eliminating difficulties caused by interdependence. 

Meanwhile, LeSS, known for its simplicity, promotes flexibility and thorough product creation. Understanding your company landscape is inextricably linked to the decision between Nexus and LeSS. Assessing demands, project complexities, and long-term goals allows professionals to make an informed selection, releasing the full potential of agile frameworks adapted to their individual needs.