Ivar Jacobson International (IJI) and Professional Development Network LLC. announce an Essence partnership

Ivar Jacobson International (IJI) and Professional Development Network LLC. are delighted to announce a partnership to describe The Flow System using the Essence Language.

The newly Essentialized practices will be added to the ever-growing Essence based practice eco-system, giving organizations and teams even more flexibility as they select a way of working that is right-sized for them. The Essence and practice based approach is revolutionizing the way that the industry thinks about and presents development ‘methods’. Essence provides the architectural ‘glue’ that is helping organizations to treat development more and more as an efficient engineering discipline rather than a cottage industry or craft. Read more about the values and use cases of Essence in Ivar’s recent article “Essence, the Standard Common Ground, in a Nutshell”.

The Flow System is a system of learning and understanding of how to operate in complex environments. It comprises three helixes: complexity thinking, distributed leadership, and team science. The Flow System is built on the foundation of the Toyota Production System and the Toyota Way. The triple helix of flow entangles the three helixes of complexity thinking, distributed leadership, and team science to achieve a state of flow in your organization for delivering value to the customer. The triple helix of flow is also known as the DNA of Organizations.

The Flow System enables business growth through eliminating non-value-added activities, fostering an environment for innovation, enabling the rapid delivery of value, and shortening the time to market. It also provides a reimagined system for organizations to understand complex problems, embrace distributed leadership, and build high-performing teams. This makes it an ideal candidate for Essentialization.

“I’m really excited to see how IJI’s tooling and Essentialization of the Flow System will help provide a different lens that teams can use to understand and apply its practices”, said Nigel Thurlow, CEO of The Flow Consortium. “Where the TFS Playbook provides education combined with practical advice and worksheets for the methods, techniques, and tools in The Flow System, the Essence approach activates them through gameplaying and adds an intuitive way to engage with them. I think that Ivar Jacobson’s Essence truly complements the approach Prof. John Turner and I take with the Flow System, and we’re excited to work together with IJI on this collaboration!”.

“When Nigel and I first met, we immediately connected and quickly realized that we had much in common. I became interested in his work on The Flow System and he saw value in Essence”, said Ivar Jacobson, founder of Ivar Jacobson International. “We both advocate splitting approaches down into their essential parts and helping teams select the right parts for their specific endeavor and also understand that teams and problems are unique, so deserve a unique approach to address them well. So we began working together to essentialize The Flow System – creating sets of practices that will provide additional ways for teams to understand and apply its practices. The Flow System is a great complement to many organizations’ ways of working.”.

About Ivar Jacobson:

Dr. Ivar Jacobson received his Ph.D. in computer science from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, was rewarded the Gustaf Dalén medal from Chalmers University in 2003 and got an honorary doctorate at San Martin de Porres University, Peru, in 2009.

His contributions in software engineering span over 50 years starting from components and component architecture in 1968 to the essentials of modern software engineering (Essence) in 2019. In between he created Use Cases and what became the Unified Process in 1986 and he was the co-creator of UML in 1997.

Ivar is the principal author of eight books and co-author of another three.

For more information on Ivar, visit

About Nigel Thurlow:

Nigel Thurlow initially served as the first-ever Chief of Agile at Toyota, where he created the World Agility Forum award-winning “Scrum the Toyota Way” and co-created The Flow System™. He specializes in developing effective organizational designs and operating models for organizations to embrace both Lean and Agile concepts.

As of 2022, Nigel had trained over 8,500 people worldwide in Scrum, Agile, Lean, Flow, Complexity, and organizational design.

Nigel is currently the Chief Executive Officer at The Flow Consortium, a collection of highly regarded companies in the Lean and Agile world, as well as the scientific and academic communities at large.

Named a Forbes top 10 author for co-authoring the book “The Flow System™” in 2019, Nigel’s other notable publications include “Introducing the Flow System (2019)” and “TPS and the Age of Destruction (2019).” He is also the co-author of The Flow Guide and The Flow System Principles and Key Attributes Guidebook. Recently, Thurlow co-authored “The Substrate Independence Theory,” a peer-reviewed scientific article exploring sensemaking techniques as a means to provide cognitively based scaffolds that guide and structure learning. His latest research is around Assemblages Theory and the interactions and novel emergence when combining diverse tools, techniques, methods, and approaches in contextual situations.

For more information on Nigel, visit

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