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image   Help shape the future of OMG standards

Successful software-development teams need to strike a balance between quickly delivering working software systems, satisfying stakeholders, and addressing risks. Their challenges are further compounded as they strive to improve and introduce new ideas and ways of working.

Essence was the very first step on a journey to revolutionize software engineering. A common ground was needed to build the future upon. The Essence™ standard was created in 2014 by the Software Engineering Methods and Theory (SEMAT) and Object Management Group® to provide a universal language for defining methods and practices common to all software engineering.

Essence intuitively describes the essential elements of any software development and helps teams understand where they are, what's missing or what needs to be addressed. Essence is method-agnostic and unites the myriad of disconnected, conflicting, costly, contradictory and transitory methods and practices that exist in most large organizations.

Essence helps practitioners (e.g., architects, designers, developers, testers, developers, requirements engineers, process engineers, project managers, etc.) compare methods and make better decisions about their practices.

Essence helps organizations:

  • Create a common ground for the discussion, improvement, comparison, and sharing of their software engineering methods and practices
  • Unlock large methods and create modular practices that can be independently selected and applied
    Create 'pluggable' practices from different sources that can be plugged together to form a new adaptable way-of-working
  • Build extensible practice libraries that will evolve and grow organically over time
  • Clearly assess team progress and help teams understand where they are, what they should do next, and where they need to improve
  • Understand the health and progress of any software endeavors regardless of the practice or methodology being used
  • Meet regulatory and compliance requirements as disparate practices and methods are now transparent and work together

Now, organizations are building practice libraries on top of Essence. A new word has come in use to describe that a method or a practice is described using Essence as a standard - "essentialization". Many existing methods have been essentialized or are in the process of being essentialized. For instance the Unified Process have been essentialized. Use cases, user stories, Scrum have been essentialized. The ABC framework (earlier called DSDM) is being essentialized. Ignite, the methodology for Internet of Things is being essentialized. Other larger frameworks have been essentialized, but the result is not public for copyright and trademark reasons. TCS Transformation Delivery Method, an innovative method from Tata Consultancy Services that uniquely leverages the Essence core, is in the process of being completely essentialized. TCS is also playing a leadership role at SEMAT.



  1. "Industrial Scale Agile-from Craft to Engineering"
    - This paper presents why a company adopting Essence will move from primarily relying on software development being a craft to it becoming an engineering discipline. It resonates very well with the Software Factory idea.  

  2. "The Essence of Software Engineering: Applying the SEMAT Kernel"
    - This paper gives an overview of SEMAT and Essence and it presents Essence in more detail. 

  3. "A New Software Engineering" 

  4. "Agile and SEMAT - Perfect Partners"

  5. "Major League SEMA: Why should an executive care?" 

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Hit CounterLast updated on 12/27/2016


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