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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!

Image of the Scrum Practice Sprint Review card. Pulled from the Scrum Essentials Practice developed in conjunction with Scrum Inc.

Scrum and its hybrids are the dominant approaches used by Agile teams today. However, despite Scrum being a seemingly simple framework, many teams struggle to apply Scrum well and fail to achieve the faster delivery of higher value products that are promised. Playing the Practice Spotlight game is a simple way to improve any team's understanding and application of Scrum.

The Scaled Agile Framework's recommended approach for prioritisation within the Portfolio is to use Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF), but there are some challenges when trying to run WSJF at the Portfolio level. This series of posts explores those challenges, with this post focusing on what happens when Total Epic Effort is used within WSJF.

Image of some of the cards from the Essence based Method Agnostic Agility Cards used to help people learn about some key agile principles.

The following blog provides a set of free, downloadable agile coaching cards that can be used by Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters and teams working in many different contexts. These cards have been developed while working outside of software and product development with government Defence teams and I’ve used these cards to teach agility and help develop an agile mind set.

Image of part of a concept map used by IJI consultants to explain Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) principles in this instance structuring portfolio events.

In this series of posts we wil explore the Events that either perform, schedule or track the activities that affect the Lifecycle of an Epic. This second post looks at how the events that run the Portfolio could be structured.

Image of part of a concept map used by IJI consultants to explain Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) principles in this instance Portfolio Events - exploring the decisions being made.

In this series of posts we wil explore the Events that either perform, schedule or track the activities that affect the Lifecycle of an Epic. This first post looks at the activites that the Portfolio needs to perform in order for it to make progress.

Image depicting Lean Portfolio Management LPM portfolio kanban board or canvas.  Part of the LPM series, this article specifically covers On The Nature Of Portfolios - Portfolio Kanban - Alternative Scenarios

Epics have a lifecycle, they don’t magically appear fully formed. There is work to be done to progressively elaborate a business case and if the Epic is approved then there is further work to progress the Epic through implementation. This post looks at some of the alternate scenarios that might be seen in the Epic lifecycle, covering Bad Ideas, Small Ideas, Lean-Startup and Exploring Options.

Image depicting Lean Portfolio Management LPM portfolio kanban board or canvas.  Part of the LPM series, this article specifically covers On The Nature Of Portfolios - Portfolio Kanban - Normal Scenarios

Epics have a lifecycle, they don’t magically appear fully formed. There is work to be done to progressively elaborate a business case and if the Epic is approved then there is further work to progress the Epic through implementation. In this post we’ll explore the Portfolio Kanban that visualises the lifecycle of an Epic and look at some of the decisions that influence the Epic’s progress through its lifecycle.  

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