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"A Better Scrum with Essence" with Jeff Sutherland and Ivar Jacobson

Daily Scrum practice is plagued with disfunction in over 50% of “agile” teams. This causes projects to be late, over budget, with unhappy customers. The key to agile coaching is to make the dysfunction clear without being directive so a team can decide for itself how to self-organize towards a shippable increment every sprint that delivers real value.

One of the most effective tools in recent years has been the use of Scrum Essential Cards to coach teams to improve their practices in their organization and explain to everyone who needs to know how the practices work in a specific organization. These cards describe Scrum by using Essence. Essence is the international standard for defining methods and practices. Ivar Jacobson’s company has worked with the Co-Creator of Scrum to define a set of cards that provides a complete definition of Scrum consistent with the Scrum Guide. For instance, the cards have been used to have teams “Build Their Own Scrum” to clarify what parts of their implementation need work and define process improvements that need to be made in each sprint. Work with these cards with hundreds of teams shows that the average Scrum team implements 1/3 of the 21 components of Scrum well, 1/3 of the components poorly, and 1/3 of pieces of Scrum not at all. Daily practice with only a third of components working well is like driving a car with wheels missing.

Exercises with these cards are dramatically revealing about how practices should work, how people on the same team may have different ideas about what practices are, and what a team needs to do next to improve their process. One participant in this exercise using the Scrum cards said he learned more about Scrum in one hour with the Essence cards than he did in the previous six years of being on a Scrum team.

In particular Essence can result in a better retrospective, improved selection of process improvements for each sprint, a more clarifying Daily Scrum, and a more valuable shippable increment of product at every Sprint Review.

Speakers Jeff Sutherland Founder and Chairman; Scrum, Inc.

Ivar Jacobson Founder and Chairman Ivar Jacobson International Dr. Ivar Jacobson is the creator of Use Cases and the Unified Process, a widely adopted method. He is also one of the three original developers of the Unified Modelling Language. This work was around 20 years ago and has been widely adopted in the software industry.

But all this is history. Ivar founded his current company, Ivar Jacobson International, which since 2004 has been focused on using methods and tools in a smart, superlight, and agile way. This work resulted in the creation of a worldwide network, SEMAT, which has the mission to revolutionize software development based on a kernel of software engineering. The kernel has been realized as a formal OMG standard called Essence.

Moderator: Pekka Abrahamsson Professor University of Jyväskylä, Finland Dr. Pekka Abrahamsson is a tenured professor of information systems and software engineering at University of Jyväskylä in Finland. He is also the director of the startup lab at JYU. Prior to his current position he has served as a full professor in NTNU in Norway, Free University of Bolzano in Italy and University of Helsinki in Finland. His research interests are in Essence in Software engineering, Software Startups and Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. He received the Nokia Foundation award in 2007 for his achievements as a software researcher and he was awarded a Top-100 Most Influential Scholar in Software Engineering in 2016 award by Arnetminer. Dr. Abrahamsson received his PhD in Software Engineering in 2002 and he started his career as a software developer and a quality manager.