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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.

A collection of Essence Activity Space Cards

The Activity Spaces are an often-overlooked aspect of Essence. These 15 descriptions of types of common activities that all software development teams will do are often overshadowed by the specific activities from Practices. But as this article shows they have value in their own right and can be a powerful tool to help teams improve.

Welcome to the amalgamation of a short series of articles on crafting effective, well-formed objectives as part of the SAFe® Program Increment (PI) / Big Room Planning activity. We have seen a lot of confusion surrounding the use of PI objectives; confusion that often results in: Resistance to their use and; The production of poorly formed team objectives that appear to be completely redundant as they just list the Features being addressed. The first step to creating well-formed, useful objectives is for everyone to understand why they are so important. Covered in this document: Why do we need PI Objectives when we have Features? Writing good PI Objectives PI Objectives and the PI Planning Process PI Objectives Beyond PI Planning: Reaffirming and Monitoring Your Commitments  

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 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.

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