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Evidence-Based Management™ (EBM)

Improving value delivery under conditions of uncertainty

What is Evidence-Based Management?

Evidence-Based Management (EBM) is a framework that helps people, teams and organizations make better-informed decisions to help them achieve their goals by using intentional experimentation and feedback. EBM can help them manage, measure, and increase the value they derive from their product delivery. 

EBM focuses on improving outcomes, measuring value, reducing risks and optimizing investments. It is developed and sustained by Ken Schwaber and Find more EBM resources.

Why Evidence-Based Management?

In an uncertain world, the path to achieving goals is also uncertain. EBM provides a way for teams and organizations to make progress toward their goals even when their exact path is unknown and unknowable.

Organizations exist to achieve something that they think they, uniquely, can do. They often express this purpose in different ways, at different levels, to create purpose and alignment about what they do:

EBM Experiment Loop

A Vision Statement - an expression of the change that the organization wants to make in the world

A Mission Statement - an expression of why the organization is uniquely capable of achieving the Vision Statement

Goals - on several different levels and timescales, that help the organization achieve its Mission and Vision

However, many organizations struggle to form goals that are focused on making concrete progress toward achieving their Mission and Vision. Without these goals, Mission and Vision are simply lofty aspirations. Moreover, without effective Mission and Vision statements goals lack a compelling purpose, especially for those working under conditions of uncertainty.

EBM helps organizations to form more effective longer-term, intermediate-term, and short-term goals. Furthermore, it helps organizations progress toward those goals using data gained by running experiments to improve their performance and better their results. 



The Evidence-Based Management Guide

EBM Guide

Evidence-Based Management was created by Ken Schwaber, co-creator of Scrum, and was released by, along with a body of knowledge, the Evidence-Based Management Guide, in 2015 and updated in 2018, 2020 as well as 2024. 

Applying EBM in Practice

Applying EBM is relatively straight-forward, although working in short feedback cycles can challenge some organizations. To work with EBM:

Align Strategic Goals with the Organization’s Mission and Vision
When aligning these goals, expressing them in terms of customer outcomes and satisfaction gaps helps organizations to ensure that their goals are focused on creating value and not on internal output and activity measures. With any goal, expressing the goal in terms of how its achievement can be measured helps the organization to obtain the feedback it needs to guide its decisions.

Form Intermediate Goals to guide the organization along the way
Strategic Goals are often too ambitious to achieve in less than multi-year periods, so the organization will need more near-term Intermediate Goal targets to guide decisions. Intermediate Goals often focus on customer satisfaction gaps, but they may also focus on improving the organization’s ability to deliver value by improving organizational effectiveness.

Work toward short-term goals in a series of short, practical steps while measuring value
Short-term, or Immediate Tactical Goals provide realistic targets for the organization’s efforts to improve customer experiences or the organization’s ability to help customers. The organization works toward these short-term goals by forming hypotheses about how they can improve, running experiments designed to effect the improvements, then measuring the results against their goals. Ultimately, the feedback they obtain helps them to get better over time and reach their longer-term goals or decide if those goals should change.

Use the Key Value Areas as Guidance
They Key Value Areas are measurable areas where an organization focus on what they need to improve while providing a balanced view of an organization's pursuit of market value.

Measuring Value with the Four Key Value Areas to Guide Improvement

The Key Value Areas are lenses that help people look at different aspects of their situation to find ways to improve. Organizations and teams choose defined measures, Key Value Indicators in each of the Key Value areas to understand if they are improving as a result of their experiments.  Each area and example Key Value Indicator measures are further defined in the EBM Guide.



  • Current Value (CV) - Measures that quantify the value that the product delivers today 
  • Unrealized Value (UV) - Measures that quantify the potential future value that could be realized if the organization met the needs of all potential customers or users 
  • Ability to Innovate (A2I) - Measures that quantify the effectiveness of an organization in delivering new capabilities 
  • Time to Market (T2M) - Measures that quantify how quickly the organization can deliver and learn from feedback they gather from experiments 

Examining the 4 Key Value Areas in EBM will help shine a light on an organization’s capabilities and product delivery practices. This drives the ability to make informed and evidence-based decisions for organizational learning and continuous improvement. Creating a culture of continuous improvement puts organizations on the path to competitive advantage.

Understand your capabilities to determine next steps for improvement

Embracing agile ways of working, such as iterative development, continuous integration, and test-driven development are only the first steps of an organization’s ability to deliver high quality software to its customers. Optimizing value delivery requires integrating the work of multiple Scrum Teams and ensuring that the entire organization can absorb the frequent product innovations coming from those teams.

The key to understanding results and measures is in the ability to inspect and adapt based off that information. Examining the 4 Key Value Areas in EBM will help shine a light on an organization’s capabilities and product delivery practices. It drives the ability to make informed and evidence-based decisions for organizational learning and continuous improvement. Creating a culture of continuous improvement puts organizations on the path to competitive advantage.

Professional Agile Leadership - Evidence-Based Management Training

In this course, participants learn what EBM is and how to apply it through hands-on, activity-based learning. Through a series of exercises participants learn techniques that support a more agile mindset:

  • Use empiricism to set and achieve strategic goals, managing the unknown and complexity through experimentation and by adapting goals along the way
  • Create a cultural environment using clear goals, appropriate measures and trust to enable self-management and autonomy
  • Shift the conversation away from measuring progress purely through team performance metrics, toward a focus on customer-centricity and improving customer outcomes
  • Drive operational improvements by using four Key Value Areas (Unrealized Value, Current Value, Time to Market, and the Ability to Innovate) as lenses for evidence-based decision-making

Learn more about EBM Training