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Essence

A free MeetUp looking at how Essence brings extra value to The Flow System and other frameworks

Ivar Jacobson (IJI) and Joakim Sundén are delighted to announce a partnership to describe the Spotify Model to help people better understand what it is, and using Essence as an enabler, evolve the industries understanding of how it can be of value. The collaboration to “Essentialize” (render using the Essence Kernel and Language) this thinking will help people better understand, communicate, and adopt the Spotify Model Essentials. The result of the collaboration will be added to the ever-growing Essentialized practice eco-system, however the basic Spotify element cards can be downloaded...

In 2021, Wood Mackenzie started a journey to scale and improve their development capability with support from IJI. Whilst the journey started with SAFe, following resistance, it evolved into a practice based approach founded upon the Essence industry standard. The case study below follows that journey from the viewpoint of Wood Mackenzie and shows how sometimes all-encompassing concrete method frameworks struggle to meet the needs of diverse organizations who have many ways of working in-play. This is especially true when teams crave autonomy of approach to properly embrace agile...

The Uncomfortable Truth of Software Engineering - Ivar's talk at Chalmers University When Dr. Ivar Jacobson was awarded the Gustaf Dalén Medal by Chalmers University in 2003, at the age of 63, you could be forgiven for thinking it would be a fitting tribute to a distinguished career in software engineering; that the next steps would be lazy afternoons playing golf and watching the grandchildren get older. But that isn’t how Ivar saw things - rather than receiving this award and resting on his laurels, he kept looking around at what was happening in software, and what he saw troubled...

Image of game board built using Team Space

Serious gaming to encourage and nurture an agile mindset, beyond just software and product delivery teams, using jargon-light agility cards.

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.

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