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Essence is a standard for the creation, use and improvement of software engineering practices and methods, which is maintained and published by the OMG international open standards consortium.

The spirit of Essence is to concentrate on the essential information and to optimize both the technical and human aspects of engineering by providing super-lightweight practices, often distilled into a small handful of cards, that focus on outcomes and minimize production of documentation.

Visit our new landing page and find out Why Essence

The Essence language

The Essence language enables practices to be expressed in a simple and standard form that ensures that they can be easily shared, understood, and applied both independently and in combination with other Essence practices.

The Essence kernel

The Essence kernel provides the common ground for defining these Essence practices. It includes the essential elements that are always central to every software engineering endeavor. The Kernel also helps practitioners compare practices and make informed decisions about which practices to adopt, and how to apply and adapt them.

Play Games

Essence provides a fresh, new user experience by allowing the team members to play many serious games using poker-sized cards.

Playing progress poker, reviewing health indicators and defining checkpoints triggered some good conversations in the team and helped crystallize some risks that he thought the team wasn’t aware of and vice-versa. In order to explore Essence in a practical setting, a 2-day workshop was hosted at Google.

Martin Landers Engineering Manager, YouTube

We currently live in an disruptive age where the standard industry processes and thinking are constantly being challenged. This disruption is changing the ways Fujitsu customers are looking to engage and the manner that Fujitsu has to respond to deliver end-to-end solutions. It is therefore becoming more vital than ever that a common and firm foundation can be used to act as the anchor point to deliver successfully. Essence is this anchor point.

Ste Nadin Chief Architect, Business and Application Services, Fujitsu


Better Scrum with Essence – Jeff Sutherland praises Essence

Jeff: ”Essence is key to success”.

Better Scrum with Essence

Dr. Ivar Jacobson responds to the questions ‘Why Essence’ and ‘What is Essence’ but focus on ‘How does Essence make Scrum better’.

Scrum Essentials Cards – a paper published in ACM Queue

The cards and a number of serious games to play with the cards should convince you – without changing the intentions of Scrum, Essence makes it significantly better.

Learn more about Essence

Essence has a profound impact on many different personas concerned with software development. If you like to learn more about Essence we put together a selection of the most interesting and up to date material.

Meetup with Dr Jeff Sutherland, and Ian Spence.

A fireside chat with Jeff Sutherland and Ivar Jacobson, facilitated by Nabil Zawadi.


A balanced approach to process quality and product quality.

Dr. Jacobson to Deliver Public Lecture at Chalmers University