This course usually runs as a 3-day online course (2-days when delivered face-to-face onsite), but the content can be tailored to a 2-day online offering upon request.
According to Scrum Inc., 58% of Scrum implementations fail. Why? Dr. Jeff Sutherland – a co-creator of Scrum - says: ”Further investigation reveals that of the 21 components of Scrum, the average team implements 1/3 of them well, 1/3 of them poorly and 1/3 of them not at all”. With that level and quality of implementation, it is not surprising that we are not always seeing the full potential that Scrum offers. Scaling up by adding and adopting additional practices is far better than starting with a large prescriptive ‘framework’ and deciding what to leave out. You often end up adopting more than you need, with techniques you don’t want but they come with the larger frameworks… with Essence, you adopt one practice at a time with each focussed on solving one problem well.” Moreover, Jeff says “Essence can quickly identify the cause of failure”, and that “Essence is the key to success”. At Ivar Jacobson International, we have been working hard on designing a training course which addresses the failures of Scrum implementations.
I participated mainly to learn more about Essence.
The course is an excellent introduction to Essence and the Scrum topics went well beyond the basics, e.g., covering Scrum accelerator practices and [email protected]
It is based on a playful and easily digestible way of approaching Essence, filled with exercises to allow participants to learn-by-doing/ experience.
I was really impressed by the work put in to create so many useful games/exercises where working with simple cards can produce such engagement and value. I’m even more impressed by the work done to create really useful digital versions as well. The digital resources you receive as a participant are really useful. Several of the exercises were so good it both made me want to introduce them to scrum teams right away and got me inspired to copy and tweak them for my own workshops.
The course also gave me insights to how a larger organization can use Essence cards and the exercises provided to balance the need for shared work beliefs & practices (alignment) with the need for individual teams to own their way of working and to be able to adapt it to their specific context (empowerment / autonomy).
I can really recommend the course for anyone interested in these topicsJoakim Sundén, co-creator of the Spotify Model, Sweden
The Better Scrum through Essence course is great! I had never heard about the Essence Kernel before. This framework will definitely help me and my team check our Scrum and tune our working processes.
Particularly, I liked the games we played, since they provide a very simple and interesting way to work with teams.Alexey Usachou, Profitero
Be agnostic and free yourself from the Framework. With gamification, this will take you from inspect and adapt your current framework to assemble your independent reference model for your scaling.Pruth Udompruge, Agile Coach & Agile Practitioner
The course is extremely engaging, a treasure of simulations, analyses, games and assessments. It contains a wealth of innovative formats to guide you into the depths of a practical understanding and mastery of SCRUM, as well as and its implications on teams, systems and organizations. I enjoyed these engaging 2 full days so much that I requested to be included in the further community efforts to develop this fascinating approach to SCRUM. Do yourself a favor, take the essence training. Getting beyond SCRUM pathologies like zombie or cargo cult and others, is going to be so much easier once you have engaged with this fascinating thing that is Essence of SCRUM.Marwane El Kharbili, Ph. D., WOMAT, France
Though at the time we started attending Better Scrum through Essence class, I was not familiar with Essence, the class, with international participation and collaboration, was fabulous. It gave me a great overview on the topic. I especially liked the many use-cases / real examples that were presented and discussed. Additionally, I love to share Better Scrum through Essence knowledge and help building a community around that.’Tomaž Aljaž, SPAR Slovenia
Better Scrum through Essence was a very useful course for me. As an agile coach I found it difficult to explain the similarities and differences between traditional project management and Scrum. Now I can explain Scrum to project managers in terms of Essence card games.Toru Takeuchi, IBM Japan ltd., Japan
The Essence-based Scrum cards were great tools, used to introduce us into several scenarios employing the cards. I liked the combination of theory & practice, in particular the interactive exercises.
I learnt a lot (!). My main takeaways are:
– using a set of essence cards provides an excellent, systematic analysis of a given Scrum situation
– the results of such an analysis are intensified by visual representations (e.g., position of the cards).Silvia von Stackelberg, Product Owner, Karlsruhe Germany
How do I really thank you for having me on this amazing experience.
This two-day training has just been a gift of the time. Attending it just flourished my agile journey by many beautiful learning gifts
I completely loved the cards, they have become my companion now. Additionally, the discussion on patterns that make scrum teams successful was phenomenal. The formation of Alphas, Activity Spaces and Competencies, Games and Activities looks very exciting and promising.
I can now channel my efforts to create a common ground, running experiments along with others to leverage the ground with greater visibility of where the team(s) are headedMahesh Jade, Change Agent, Mumbai, India.
While at the beginning it can be confusing as one has to learn a ‘new language’, that sentiment is soon overcomed as we get to play the the various games such as ‘How well do you do Scrum’, ‘Contract Bridge’ and ‘Pattern Adoption Plan’. Then, one starts to get a better grasp of its benefits such as knowing where we are in our current way of working, building a shared understanding of the process we are using and designing steps to improve.
There’s an impressive library of games available that can be easily put to practice. Essence and the games taught in this course can help organizations in their quest to reaping all the promised benefits of Agile frameworks for Software Development.Orlando Costa, Scrum Master at Nokia, Portugal
Better Scrum through Essence for me was very much an eyeopener! Really loved the gamification aspect of tackling some of the problems one can face when transforming / working in an agile organization.
To me the agile way of working is not rocket-science, but transforming a traditional organization into the agile way of working sometimes seems like rocket-science. Essence and its cards help to provide clarity and structure, helping everyone to understand status-quo, focus points and next steps!
Really grateful for being able to attend the course. I think it was hosted very well and I look forward to any future courses.Pier van Zonneveld, VCSB, Sweden
Essence can truly help enable Agility beyond the framework currently being used. What I found striking, even after the first exercise, is how effective the games are in ensuring that everyone in the room goes through the same journey of realization. And this is extremely powerful.
Agile Coaches often clearly see organizations on verge of making poor decisions but find it challenging to articulate what’s necessary to their clients. What Essence can contribute here is to de-focus the coach and convert him into a true facilitator, so the group in question can reach the conclusion on their own. We should never underestimate the power of allowing people to reach that Aha! moment on their own.
Another challenge is when you feel that something is rotten, but you can’t exactly pinpoint what. I think Essence would be perfect for flushing it out. The approach is easily applicable on scale.
It was truly eye opening and mind growing. I am going to apply what I learnt in my organization immediately. I strongly recommend the course.Paula Novokmet, TTTech Auto, Serbia
The Better Scrum with Essence cards and pointers are food for thought, and something I can carry into our improvement dialogues in the company. I liked that both SAFe and other frameworks were referenced and compared, providing some inspiration for new avenues of learning. I would recommend the course to my RTEs and SMs without hesitation.John Skov, Nordea
I had attended several information sessions about Essence cards and liked the idea, but was struggling to understand how to leverage the tool especially in a remote environment. The Better Scrum Through Essence course provided me with the insight to see the value of this tool. I look forward to leveraging the Essence Mural boards shared in the training, to help our teams to continuously improve our delivery.Christie, SPC, US
I left the class greatly encouraged and highly motivated to play the games/exercises with my teamsThomas Jacobson, Agile Transformation Coach, Volvo Group, Sweden
Better Scrum through Essence was a great course for both validating knowledge and learning tools to support others on their learning and / or transition journey. I’m already looking at using some of the games to help reinforce people’s knowledge during training sessions and provide tools to scrum teams that they can use in their retrospectives.Jane Gough, UK
Maybe it’s because of the philosophy of Essence, but combining the content you learn with the method you teach was a very unique way of attending / hosting a trainingNiklas Heimbokel, IT Director, Hapag-Lloyd, Germany
Better Scrum through Essence was a great class. It had loads of great information brought together in well written and extensive set of cards, and with the games to help everyone along the way to engage with the cards.
The Essence based Scrum cards are immensely valuable in helping Scrum Masters or Agile Coaches to bring Scrum into practical application with the teams or companies. A very useful workshop to teach scrum coaches.Vik Tailor, UK
All agile practitioners can benefit from applying Essence and from taking the session’
You can use what you learn to ‘better understand frameworks, compare frameworks, gauge how effective your process is, improve your process, create your own process, etc’
The course provides ‘differentiated learning strategies that engage those with little experience as well as experienced individualsDavid Bulkin, Certified Scrum Trainer, Agile Coach, Grow Lean, USA
It’s a great learning tool for teachers to help explain the concepts and also for teams to facilitate inspecting & adapting their ways of working. Essence also provides ways to review the health of projects or endeavours, which I found particularly interesting.Nabil Zawadi, Agile coach and delivery consultant, UK
I had the opportunity to participate in the course this week and can confirm that it is in fact a game changer (like Essence itself). After attending this course, you will see the software engineering method industry with different eyes. Essence puts Scrum (and any other practice/ method) into perspective. Existing software development frameworks and methods are suddenly dwarfed. They are just one piece of the puzzle. Thus, there is a necessity for an ecosystem of software engineering practices which includes the practices from nearly all frameworks and can be used to select and adopt the practices needed for a specific software development endeavor. Eventually you will see that single and isolated methods/ frameworks guarded by individual persons/ organizations do not make sense.Stefan Malich, Architectural Change Management, Germany
The trainers did a great job, and I am very happy to have taken this course. It was very engaging. Everyone joined in and we all agreed that it was the best investment in time we could have made!Paula Rosu, Sweden
Improving my understanding of Scrum and [email protected] through games was not what I expected but it really works’
‘… a great tool for Agile coaches to educate and work with organisations, Scrum Masters to work and improve their teams … I have good answers available and I am addressing the same problems as those I work with.Andreas Castol Sörlin, Team Manager Scrum Masters, SwedBank, Sweden
I found the Better Scrum through Essence course very interesting. The trainers were excellent in their delivery and facilitation of the class. I especially enjoyed the games in the Scrum Essentials and Scrum Accelerator modules and will be introducing some of these to the leaders and teams I coach.Uloaku (Ula) Ojiaku, Agile Innovation Leaders podcast, UK
I truly enjoyed the ‘Better Scrum through Essence’ course: it has been complete and really meaningful.
I can’t wait to attend the exam to be awarded with the prestigious ‘Essence Scrum Gamemasters’ badge.Michael Forni, professional Agile Coach, London, UK