Three case studies on ESSENCE

December 15, 2014 in News

During the last weeks, several case studies on using ESSENCE got published:

1. One of the worlds largest reinsurers, Munich Re, has applied the Essence kernel with great results:
2. Worldwide agile at scale adoption with 1200 people achieved within nine months based on the Essence standard. This case study involved developing a large number of practices around the Essence kernel, practices for scaling agile.
3. Development Team at Global Internet Services Company Learns and Applies Essence. Team very engaged and interactive:

Google Switzerland Explored Essence

December 4, 2014 in News

One of the first and most prominent outputs from the SEMAT community is Essence – a standard that defines the smallest set of concepts that are common to all software projects, aiming to help teams assess the health of their software endeavor and to improve their way of working. Ivar Jabcobson introduced this work at a tech talk at Google Switzerland in July 2014.

In order to explore Essence in a practical setting, a 2-day workshop was hosted at Google Switzerland on Oct 22 by Martin Landers, an engineering manager for YouTube. He and his team of five engineers took a look at Essence and its “serious games”. Martin Landers felt that “Playing progress poker, reviewing health indicators and defining checkpoints triggered some good conversations in the team and helped crystallize some risks that I thought the team wasn’t aware of or vice-versa.”

SEMAT – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

December 2, 2014 in News

A new paper by Ivar Jacobson, Barry Myburgh, Pontus Johnson, Paul McMahon and June Park has been published: SEMAT-Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

GTSE 2015 4th SEMAT Workshop on a General Theory of Software Engineering @ ICSE 2015

November 28, 2014 in News

Please note: our proposal to have the next GTSE Workshop as an ICSE workshop hast been accepted. Please visit the CFP here. Submit a paper!

Google Tech Talk on ESSENCE

July 31, 2014 in News

A presentation on ESSENCE given by Ivar Jacobson and Ian Spence at Google in Zurich is now available as Google Tech Talk at The talk has three parts: 1) Welcome to the State Club (by Ivar Jacobson), 2) Welcome to the world of Practices (by Ian Spence), 3) Q&A.

The presentation slides are also availabe from IJI at presentation at Google.pdf

ESSENCE book now available in Spanish

July 31, 2014 in News

Thanks to the great work of the Latin American Chapter of SEMAT, the ESSENCE book is now available in Spanish. The Argentinian publisher Nueva Libreria is announcing the release of the book to book stores, distributors, and institutions.

Next August, the book will be distributed to the attendants to the Latin American Software Engineering Symposium LASES 2014. Ivar Jacobson will make the announce in his virtual conference during the event, and Paul McMahon will be signing books as a part of the activities of the event.

OMG Board of Directors Announces adoption of Essence Standard as official OMG standard

June 20, 2014 in News

On June 16, 2014 the Object Management Group (OMG) announced that its Board of Directors adopted “Essence Kernel and Language for Software Engineering Methods” as an official OMG standard.

“We’re very excited that Essence has been adopted as an official OMG standard,” said Dr. Richard Soley, Chairman and CEO of OMG. “By providing a common set of core concepts and language, Essence allows practitioners to flexibly construct and adapt software engineering methods. A very large ‘thank you’ to our members in the Essence 1.0 Finalization Task Force for getting it through the OMG technology adoption process.”

Initial Essence Training Certification Process Announced

June 16, 2014 in News

In April the Initial Essence Training Certification Process was completed and approved by every member of the executive committee of SEMAT consisting of June Park, Paul McMahon, Mira Kajko-Mattsson, Ian Spence, Arne Berre, Shihong Huang, and Michael Goedicke. The work on this process was led by Paul McMahon who is vice president of SEMAT Inc. The process was adopted in late April, and IJI has, as expected, applied and has been approved as an authorized training and certification institute.

Refer to the Initial Training Certification Process for more information on how to apply to become an authorized Essence Training and Certification institute.

Interview on InfoQ: Using SEMAT in Agile Adoption

June 4, 2014 in News

InfoQ has interviewed Ian Spence and Ivar Jabobson based on the CACM paper “Agile and SEMAT-Perfect Partners”:

The Inauguration of SEMAT Indian Chapter

May 10, 2014 in News

The official Inauguration of SEMAT India Chapter will be held on June 4th,  2014 at Kolkata,India.

The first activity of SEMAT India Chapter will start with the following Tutorial.

Interested persons from Industry and academics are requested to contact

Pinakpani Pal ( and Debasish Jana ( for details.

This tutorial is on the new OMG standard “Essence — the software engineering kernel and language

Targeted Audience

Managers, leaders, team members, and agile change agents who wants a responsible for empowering software teams of different kinds to become better, faster, cheaper and happier

Tutorial Topic: “Essence – A Foundation for Software Development Games”

Venue: Indian Statistical Institute, 203 B. T. Road, Kolkata, India

Date: June 04, 2014

Start time: 10:30AM

To be delivered by

Ivar Jacobson, Chairman of the Advisory Board, SEMAT

Dr. Ivar Jacobson is a father of components and component architecture, use cases, the Unified Modeling Language and the Rational Unified Process. He has contributed to modern business modeling and aspect-oriented software development. Lately, Ivar has been working on how to deal with methods and tools in an agile and lean way.  He is one of the leaders of SEMAT with the objective to refound software engineering as a rigorous discipline. In 2004, Ivar received the Gustaf Dalen medal from Chalmers Institute of Technology, Gothenburg Sweden.  He is an international honorary advisor at Peking
University, Beijing, and he has an honorary doctorate degree from San Martin de Porres University, Peru. He is an author of several books, including the recent “The Essence of Software Engineering”.  Ivar is also the founder of Ivar Jacobson International, operating in seven countries around the world.

Tutorial Description

To become successful in software development, software teams must have the knowledge to systematically evaluate the progress and health of their projects, and detect and resolve risks early. How do teams acquire and apply such knowledge? How do teams adapt this knowledge to different development contexts? This tutorial demonstrates how Essence, the software engineering kernel and language, addresses these challenges.

Essence is the result of the global SEMAT initiative, (see, that has taken place for a few years and now recently been adopted as a standard by the OMG ( Essence provides an innovative and novel user experience based on cards and game boards that are used to assess the progress and health of software development. Through gamification with cards and boards developers can enact various development games, such as planning sprints/iterations, agreeing on lifecycle models, evaluating health and progress of a project. Participants will gain hands-on experience with the cards and games in this highly interactive and engaging tutorial.

This tutorial also introduces some real world case studies in which Essence cards and games are applied. We also demonstrate how to use Essence as a foundation for reporting and evaluating software engineering research.

Tutorial Outline

1. Introduction and Background of the Essence Kernel

2. Illustration of Using the Kernel

a. Understanding the Context

b. Determine the Current State

c. Planning with Essence

d. Agreeing the lifecycle

3. The Essence Kernel and Language

4. Case Studies

a. Agile development

b. Agile organizations and practices

c. Essence Tooling

5. Ongoing and Future Work with Essence and SEMAT