Essence is a Game Changer

The best way to improve your ways of working

In a recent LinkedIn article by Dr Ivar Jacobson, (replicated here to raise visibility), Ivar explores the various use cases of the Essence standard as they can be used powerfully by software development teams and organizations to develop better, faster, cheaper and Happier!

What the industry is saying…

Image showing some quotes from industry key players about Essence


Dependent upon who you are, you get to experience different things if you dive into Essence. The whole situation reminds one of the well-known elephant parable:

It is a story of a group of blind men who have never come across an elephant before and who learn and imagine what the elephant is like by touching it. Each blind man feels a different part of the elephant’s body, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk.

(For more on this story read here.)

Similarly, Essence offers many different and unique use cases depending on the perspective you approach it from. One of several perspectives is that of a team who are developing a software product. We can describe some of the things teams do with the infinity loop shown below. Discover, Explore, Select and Adapt are use cases that apply during the Learning Cycle. Plan, Do, Check and Adapt (again) apply during the Delivery Cycle.

Image of the infinity loop with explanatory text.

In a standard use case diagram this would be presented like this:

An image showing a set of use cases that could describe the various aspects of the infinity loop of practice adoption.

The Team has many more use cases, such as ‘Check endeavour health’, ‘Track team development’, ‘Contribute to practice eco-system’, ‘Demonstrate compliance’, ‘Understand progress and get directional guidance’.

Thus, we can see that even the single perspective of a team provides a large number of different opportunities where Essence provides value.

There are also other perspectives we can take from many more users inside an industrial or government organisation, such as to the Practitioner (the individual), the Method Champion, the Coach, the Development Lead, the Enterprise, the Executive, the Program Management Office and many more.

However, that is not the end to it. There are other Epics for the Academics and the Methodologists. In the long run we can easily come up to say a hundred use cases that Essence will serve its large user community. Use cases which up until now never have been taken care of, but which significantly will help us create better and sustainable methods and frameworks.

Most surprising is that all these use cases of Essence can be composed to any of the existing frameworks without changing the intentions of these frameworks. They will just be better as Scott Ambler, Joseph Pelrine and Jeff Sutherland and many more have suggested.

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