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What is Essence?

A Free Webinar Presented by Dr. Ivar Jacobson

So, what is Essence? Put simply, Essence is an international standard that defines two things: a standard language for talking about what we do, and how we do it and a common kernel of key things that we encounter whenever we do it.

Training info

Course overview

The Essence language is simple, visual and intuitive. It is designed to help us clearly express the common challenges that we share, and the practices that help us to be successful.

Core language elements include:

  • Practice - an approach to achieving a specific objective (such as “Scrum” or “User Stories”)
  • Activity - something we do to advance towards our objective (such as “Sprint Planning”)
  • Alpha - the key things we progress and track progress of (such as “Product Backlog Item”)
  • Work Product - the things we produce and update (such as a “Sprint Plan” or “Kanban Board”)
  • Competency - the capabilities and skills we need to be successful.

The Essence Kernel defines the core concepts that are universal - i.e. to be found wherever and whenever we do software engineering. The authors of the standard had a simple rule - for any concept, if we can think of an example of an endeavor where it is not central or relevant, then it was not included in the kernel. Examples of Kernel Alphas include:

  • The Opportunity - the reason why we need a solution of some kind (covering for example things variously referred to as the “business goals”, “problem”, “need”, “value” etc.)
  • The Requirements - what we need a solution to do in order to address the Opportunity (meet the needs, solve the problems, realise the value, …)
  • The Team - the group of people that work together to produce a solution that meets the requirements

The magic of Essence is that if we simply take the time to share our practices using a common language, and relate then to our shared challenges, then practitioners can easily understand them, compare and contrast them, select the ones that are of most value, see how they fit and work together, and adapt them to meet their needs, all while maintaining absolute clarity and transparency of their way of working at all times.

Date: 2019-01-24 12:00
1 Hour