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Essence and the Method Wars

A method war has been raging for 50 years. We want peace and the freedom to choose the practices we need.

All methods share much more than their creators think, the differences are artificially magnified. Instead of collaborating, the method gurus fight one another. Instead of belonging to the software engineering community as a whole, you belong to a much smaller method community.

Do you also agree it is foolish that:

  • You can’t easily mix and match practices from different methods and create your own method?
  • Practices are in method prisons meaning they can’t easily be extracted from one method and used in another one without rewriting?
  • Every method has its own vocabulary and its own homegrown description. Even if I have lots of software development experience, learning a new method is like starting all over.

Ok, so you probably also agree that:

  • Allowing teams to select the practices they need (within some constraints), and
  • Giving teams the most up to date guidance as they work

…are critical success factors for your organization and your teams.

Then today Essence is for you because:

  • It stops the bickering within teams as they establish their ways of working. Essentialized practices clearly communicate what it is that they achieve, so it is easy for teams to get great advice, to see any gaps and plug and play other practices to fill
  • It engages teams with a fresh new user experience. All essentialized practices are rendered in a simple standard way irrespective of their method heritage. Poker-sized cards and serious game-play provide a fresh new way of working empowering the team members.
  • ​It brings harmony to the partnership between teams and the wider organization. Essence allows teams to choose the practices that are right for them whilst providing the lean governance essential to meet their organizations’ legal and regulatory standards.
  • It stops the pain of wholesale method churn, introducing more granular ‘practices’ as the unit of way of working ‘currency’. This allows the organization to be more agile and make use of state-of-the art industry ideas without wasting previous knowledge investments.
  • It reduces the risk of missing the whole picture. Essence has a model of all the key challenges that teams typically face. It can be referenced on cadence by the team or organization to avoid classic mistakes and remove the worry that something fundamental has been missed.

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