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Evidence-Based Management Guide, 2024 - What’s New?

May 7, 2024

by: Patricia Kong and Kurt Bittner

Since the last version of the Evidence-Based Management (EBM) Guide was published in 2020 and while writing our book about EBM, we had many conversations about how we could help people to better understand and apply EBM to their work and even to their personal lives. We used these insights to write the book, and also realized that we needed to update the EBM Guide based on what we’ve learned. 

The basic concepts in EBM, including the three levels of goals and the Key Value Areas (KVAs), are unchanged. The changes are instead focused on the way we explain things. These changes include:

EBM Guide

Description of EBM has been changed 
The previous subtitle of EBM in the EBM Guide was “Measuring Value to Enable Improvement and Agility,” which is now “Improving value delivery under conditions of uncertainty.” This is a more accurate description of the purpose and desired outcome we’ve seen from the different uses of EBM.

Concepts of Mission and Vision were added as a way of framing goals
Strategic goals don’t exist in a vacuum. These goals exist to contribute to achieving the organization’s mission and vision. EBM does not describe how an organization creates their mission or vision, but focuses on how they provide context for Strategic Goals.

There can be more than one Strategic Goal
In large organizations, especially, different parts of the organization may have different Strategic Goals. All of these goals relate to a common mission, but they may contribute to achieving this mission in different ways.

Inputs and Impacts are now listed as types of measures
Some organizations focus their Strategic Goals on impacts, like profit or earnings per share, for example. As we explain in the EBM Guide, we don’t think these make good goals. For instance, inputs, like cost, are similar in that they are important tracking measures. However simply limiting inputs doesn’t help an organization to achieve its long-term goals.

The Key Value Areas descriptions have been clarified 
The Key Value Areas are like lenses that help people look at different aspects of their situation to find ways to improve. We updated and added descriptions to make this more clear.

Relationship between the Key Value Areas and the types of measures (Input, Activity, Output, Outcome, and Impact) has been added
Organizations should understand if the measures they track inform them about customer outcomes and their ability to deliver on those outcomes, or not. If not, they should consider the value in tracking them.

Text in figures are better explained “the Experiment Loop”
Experimentation, inspecting feedback, and adapting accordingly is the most important part of EBM. We improved the description of “The Experiment Loop to make this clearer.

Addition of an example measure, employee engagement, to the A2I Key Value Area in the appendix
Engaged employees tend to be more effective at delivering value. We added the measure to help readers think about how employee motivation might influence a team’s effectiveness at delivering value. As with the other example measures, we’re not saying readers should measure employee engagement, but we are encouraging readers to think about whether the measure would help in their situation.

Empiricism is the foundation of EBM. Hopefully that is better reflected in this version. 

Updates would not be possible without feedback. Thank you to all who contributed and to those who continue to do so.

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