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Better Scrum Through Essence

According to Dr. Jeff Sutherland, co-creator of Scrum, “58% of Scrum implementations fail”. 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. Watch our short video explaining you the benefits of the course.

Course review 

                                              What people say about the course

Training info

Course overview

This highly interactive two-day (three-day when remote) course enables attendees to become a Certified Games Master, the perfect complement to any and all Scrum Master certifications.

Scrum is the most popular work management practice in the world, used by countless teams world-wide and featured at the heart of nearly all popular agile scaling frameworks.

Essence is the OMG standard that frees teams from the tyranny of formal methods, enabling true agility and relentless, practice-based improvement.

Together they provide the perfect platform for teams to truly own their way-of-working, while continuously improving, scaling where necessary, and adapting to the challenges and needs of their industry, organization and culture.

Essence uses games to enable teams to:

  • Rapidly assimilate new practices.
  • Improve the effectiveness of their way of working.
  • Improve teamworking.
  • Understand where they are now and where they should aim for next.
  • Ensure that their way-of-working is balanced and fit for purpose.
  • Scale their practices.
  • Inspect and adapt to continually improve their way-of-working.

All of which helps you to become a better coach and your team to become a better team.

Building on the success of the Scrum Essentials practice - developed by Ivar Jacobson International and - this course equips you with the Essence practice cards and games you need to excel as a Scrum Master.

The course is invaluable for any and all Scrum Masters, whether you are supporting a team or a team of teams, scaling using a specific scaling framework, starting out on your first Sprint, or are an experienced Scrum team striving to become even greater. The games and techniques learned are 100% transferable across all Scrum-based frameworks, with specific games kits available for [email protected] and SAFe.

This course enables you to become a Certified Games Master, the perfect complement to any and all Scrum Master certifications.

This course is highly interactive with a focus on exploring and learning by playing games. All of the games and exercises used in the course can be used to help your teams, bring your workshops to life and, if you’re a Scurm trainer, inject more interaction into your trainig courses.


After this course, you should be able to:

1. Use the Scrum Foundations and Scrum Essentials practice and their supporting games to:

  • Support training and learning events.
  • Facilitate focussed retrospectives.
  • Assess Scrum applications.
  • Increase engagement with the Scrum Pillars and Values.
  • And generally improve a teams application of Scrum.

2. Use the Essence Kernel cards and games to:

  • Perform a software engineering health check.
  • Assess whether a team’s way of working is fit for purpose.
  • Generate conversations around team competencies and make up.
  • Add any necessary compliance in a practice independent way.

3. Use the Scrum Accelerator Practice alongside the Scrum Essentials and Scrum Foundation Practices to create a focussed action plan for accelerating a teams performance including how to:

  • Assess the effectiveness of the key elements of Scrum.
  • Assess a teams attitude and application for the Scrum Pillars and Values.
  • Understand and select the relevant Scrum Accelerator Patterns to enhance team performance.
  • Build an action plan.
  • Use the Scrum Accelerator Workshop Kit.

4. Use the [email protected] Scrum of Scrums and Executive Scrum practices and their supporting games to:

  • Understand what is essential when scaling scrum.
  • Assess the effectiveness of your selected scaling framework.
  • Build your own reference model and minimal viable bureaucracy.
  • Explore the extent of your Agile Bubble.
Other course info

The following individuals will benefit from this course:

  • Scrum Masters
  • Agile Coaches
  • Scrum of Scrums Masters / Release Train Engineers
  • Practice Authors and methodologists
What you receive 

The class registration includes:

  • Attendee workbook (provided electronically when training is remote).
  • Course certificate of completion upon request.
  • Access to the Games Master Certification exam.
  • Essence card decks for the 5 Scrum Essential Practices and the Essence Kernel.
  • Access to Mural Templates for on-line gaming.
  • Scrum Accelerator Workshop Kit.

Suggested prerequisites:

  • Scrum Master, or other deep experience of Scrum.
  • A basic knowledge of the Essence Kernel is an advantage but not necessary. Some brief pre-reading will be provided for anyone new to Essence.

Customer reviews 

Joakim Sunden testimonial Joakim Sundén LinkedIn post

Stefan Malich Stefan Malich LinkedIn post

Paula novokmet photo

Orlando Costa photo Orlando Costa LinkedIn testimonial

Gerd.Wessling photo Gerd Wessling LinkedIn post

David Bulkin photo David Bulkin LinkedIn post

Thomas Jacobson Thomas Jacobson LinkedIn post

Andreas Castol photo Andreas Castol Sörlin 1st LinkedIn post

Andreas Castol Sörlin 2nd LinkedIn post

Niklas Heimbokel photo Niklas Heimbokel LinkedIn post

Nabil Zawadi photo Nabil Zawadi LinkedIn post

Pruth Udompruge Pruth Udompruge LinkedIn post

Further down we have also made extracts from the testimonials on given after our alpha version of course given April 15th – 16th, 2021.

Toru Takeuchi, IBM Japan Ltd, Japan ”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.”

Mahesh Jade, Change agent, India “Attending it just flourished my agile journey by many beautiful learning gifts”

Silvia Von Stackelberg, Product owner, United Internet Corporate Services Gmbh, Germany “I liked the combination of theory & practice, in particular the interactive exercises. I learnt a lot!”

Marwane El Kharbili, PH. D., WOMAT, France “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”

“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.”

Pier Van Zonneveld, VCSB, Sweden “Better Scrum through Essence for me was very much an eyeopener!”

Paula Rosu, Category Manager, Tetra Pak Sweden “Everyone joined in, and we all agreed that it was the best investment in time we could have made!”

Vik Tailor, UK “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.”

Date: 2022-02-08 -- 2022-02-10
Time: 09:00 - 16:00
3 Days
Remote Course (GMT)
Early-bird price: 
£895 - 2 weeks before

All prices exclude VAT.