A new blog has just been posted about an interesting discussion recently taking place in an Essence User Guide meeting.


A new article has just been published that might be of interest to those following the work of SEMAT.


As always, comments are encouraged.

In August, 2014 (this year) I faced this challenge when speaking at the Latin American Software Engineering Symposium (LASES) in Barranquilla, Columbia. The night before the talk Dr. Carlos Zapata and I came up with an idea that not only worked, but also generated more questions than I ever imagined.

The title of my talk was: Essence: A Practitioner and Team Performance Perspective.

Take a look at this video to see how we pulled this off.  Below the link to the video find a sampling of the questions I received and how you can locate them quickly in the video.


Following is a sampling of the questions I received during the talk:

  1. Why are there only 7 alphas in the Essence kernel?
  2. How long will the SEMAT community work on Essence?
  3. Why don’t we see practices represented on the kernel?
  4. What is the vision for how companies will represent their practices using Essence?
  5. Will there be more disciplines added to Essence?
  6. How is the kernel changed, and what changes are coming?
  7. What criteria was used in selecting Essence checklists?
  8. What is your vision for the future of Essence?
  9. How would you sell Essence to companies?
  10. Where are we headed with practices on top of the Essence kernel?
  11. What is the definition of practice from the point of view of the Essence kernel?
  12. How will practices be captured in the Essence framework?

If you don’t have time to watch the entire video, jump to the end of the video where you will find, along with the 12 questions above, 30 more key questions/concrete examples listed and a reference to where you can find them quickly in the video (minutes and seconds into the video).

There has recently been a lot of discussion related to quantifying the value of using SEMAT’s Essence Framework.  I just posted a blog on this subject at: 


I’d love to hear what you think…

I have just posted a blog about a different way to think about the SEMAT vision and the Essence Framework. 


 I would love to hear what you think.  


I have just posted my second blog of a planned series on topics in my new book.  This blog is titled: “Practice Slices and Patterns: A Better Way to Deploy Process Improvements”.   

Practice slices and patterns is a way to engage your practitioners in their own practice improvement which is a major goal of SEMAT and the Essence Framework.


You can also view a Youtube  video about practice slices and patterns at:


I am very interested in hearing feedback and stimulating discussion on the idea of practice slices and patterns.   

For those who may be interested, the new book I referred to in my blog on July 3 that includes discussions on the Essence framework is now available.  You can learn more about the book at www.amazon.com (paperback book or kindle store) or at www.leanpub.com/15fundamentals.

The book’s title is: 15 Fundamentals for Higher Performance in Software Development

You can also get some background information on how the Essence part of the book evolved at www.paulemcmahon.wordpress.com  in my blog dated July 17 and titled: Turning a Weakness into a Major Strength In My New Book “15 Fundamentals…”  


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