Activity Spaces provide one powerful description of the Common Ground of Essence. Although useful just by name, there is a detailed description of each Activity Space in the Essence Standard. This article lists them in a slightly easier to find way.

Card showing th4e checklists for Stakeholder 'Recognized' state

Arguably, the most important aspect of any development endeavor is the Stakeholders - the people for whom we are creating the solution. Yet, how often do you see teams focus more on the product than its users, sometimes with dreadful consequences. Luckily, making sure your Stakeholders are being managed well needn't be hard. The Essence kernel includes a specific alpha for Stakeholders, with the states they can be in and checklists to help you.

Essence Alphas Cards

Essence is one of the most exciting innovations in software engineering today - but what exactly is it? Unsurprisingly for something so powerful, with so many different use cases, Essence is often hard to explain. There are lots of articles describing the details, but in this article, we distil Essence down to a single page.

Picture of the Holy Grail

Our industry loves a fad - and in particular, we love to discover the Next Big Thing in development approaches. Each time we are promised a new (or improved) framework or playbook that will solve all our problems, and that we should immediately roll out to all our teams. And each time, we end up disappointed, without the results promised or anticipated, needing to look for a new Next Big Thing to repeat the cycle. It doesn't have to be that way, and the alternative needn't be as scary as it may seem. And it isn't another big framework!

In a recent LinkedIn article by Dr Ivar Jacobson, (replicated here to raise visibility), Ivar explores how the Essence standard can be used powerfully to make even existing methods better so that teams and organizations can more easily learn and consume them.

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!

Image showing a fan of some Essence based Spotify Essentials Practice Cards.  Use to teach people about the spotify software development approach.

If you try find a definitive description of ‘The Spotify Model’ you will most likely end up frustrated. There are some old videos and blog posts, and lots of internet articles claiming that it isn’t a ‘proper’ framework and that even Spotify doesn’t use it. Yet, it is reported as the fourth most popular scaled agile framework according to the 15th State of Agile Report and there are thousands of companies claiming to be using it.  So, what is it? And if you want to adopt it, where do you start?

Essence Agility Training Cards and States Image

What do we mean by Quality? The word Quality is commonly used in software development, but it isn’t always clear what is meant by it. Teams create Definitions of Done, configure thresholds in their CI/CD pipeline, write performance tests and agree service level agreements, but are these sufficient for the level of Quality the customer expects?

Agile Team Practice analysis using Essence for Agility

Developing technical solutions is hard work. To make things easier, a number of agile practices and frameworks have become popular. They provide structure and guidance to help teams develop their solutions more successfully. However, doing these things well is also hard work. Despite in depth training, books, conferences and certificates, people still struggle to apply these practices well. Jeff Sutherland, co-founder of Scrum estimates that 58% of Scrum implementations fail. Playing simple Essence games can drastically improve your changes of avoiding being in that 58%

Methods are only theory - agile methodology discussion by Dr. Ivar Jacobson

This article is intended to people who are interested in successful adoption of methods / ways of working – an area of maybe as much as 50% failures. Guidelines on how teams and organizations are suggested to work have been proposed since we started to develop software. Such guidelines have usually been called methods or lately “ways of working”. Over the years we have had a large number of published methods.

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