History of Evidence-Based Management

Evidence-Based Management (EBM) is a framework organisations can use to help them measure, manage, and increase the value they derive from their product delivery. EBM focuses on improving outcomes, reducing risks, and optimising investments.

Evidence-Based Management was created by Ken Schwaber, co-creator of Scrum, and was released by Scrum.org in 2015.  Its creation was inspired by evidence-based practices to improve medical treatment and outcomes in the Healthcare industry.

During the 20th century, the medical profession started to require evidence that medication or a procedure would bring a benefit. This was intended to ensure that people weren’t being sold cures that did not work for the gain of the salesperson. If it couldn’t be proved, it shouldn’t be used. This helped to improve the Healthcare profession across the planet significantly. Evidence-Based Management applies the same concepts to management.

Product development is traditionally seen as an expense by organisations. Only individual releases and projects are measured, typically by requirements, budget and date. However, these measures are not frequent enough to incorporate change and discovery along the way, and they do not check whether desired outcomes are achieved. They often lead to significant waste.

Over recent years, the move towards Agile working methods has often included a shift away from a project focus and towards a product focus, where we seek to measure and validate outcomes rather than outputs.

Evidence-Based Management (EBM) is an empirical approach that helps organisations continuously improve customer outcomes, organisational capabilities, and business results under conditions of uncertainty. It allows organisations to move toward their Goals in a complex environment using empiricism.