Professionalism Leadership and EBM


The role of an agile leader is to create and foster an environment where empiricism thrives to support the delivery of value. Evidence Based Management supports this, by providing a framework to link goals and objective measures to provide insights in to how effectively the organisation is working.

Professionalism in Leadership

In his post on May 6 2021 Dave West described professionalism within Scrum to focus on four aspects: Values, Customer Outcomes, Discipline and helping others be more professional. The differentiation that Dave brings in is the emphasis on Values first, to create a space where transparency through trust and openness is the default. The second item Customer Outcomes is key – the focus on delivering a Done increment to determine whether we are delivering value. The third aspect Discipline is essential so that we not only look at what is created (Inspection)– we make the changes (adaptations) to be more effective in delivery.

Within the agile context, when a leader lives the empirical approach, it inspires everyone to act in the same way.

To build the transparency, we need to make it very clear what the links are between the organisational and product goals, and the measures that will be used. These measures will reinforce the focus on the goals, and encourage the right behaviours in people.

Tell me how you measure me, and I will tell you how I will behave.

Eliyahu M. Goldratt

 Evidence Based Management

The purpose of Evidence Based Management (EBM) framework from Scrum.Org is to help organisations continuously improve how they deliver better customer outcomes in an environment of constant change. The framework uses the links between the three elements to enable the navigation of a complex world.


The EBM framework invites you to explore how your goals are support by your measures to encourage the appropriate supporting behaviours.

EBM goal based approach

The goals are described at three levels:

  • Strategic Goal – An aspirational goal that is big and will take time (years not months) and effort to achieve. The path to this goal is uncertain. This will be managed by smaller goals.
  • Intermediate Goal – A waypoint on the path to the Strategic goal. This is in the range of months not weeks.
  • Tactical Goal – A waypoint to the Intermediate goal. This is in the range of weeks – maybe one or two Sprints.

As a Leader, regular consistent communication of these goals is critical. There should be few enough of these goals to allow your teams to focus. In all organisations the desire to achieve a lot by potentially having too many goals, may leave your teams confused. This often results in less actually being done.

The Evidence based approach means that all of these goals can be updated (adapted) based on feedback and learning. Each learning cycle is based on hypothesis


EBM Key Value Areas

To enable objective review of your situation, measures are key to describing your situation. The EBM Model uses four Key Value Areas (KVA) to focus on how your organisation is delivering value.

For each measure that you chose to use, as an organisation you agree which KVA it supports. The measures you choose need to reflect your organisational context. The emphasis is that if you are going to measure it, you need to do something with the data.

Why the measures matter

The measures need to support the defined goals, and the way that you want the teams to work towards it.

When the measures encourage the teams to work in a way that delivers the goals, then it presents a coherent message across the organisation. When the measures contradict the goals or the message from the leadership it leads to wasted energy and increased confusion as an organisation.

Taking the time and effort to measure something and not using that data is demoralising and disheartening – it increases the feeling of disconnection in the organisation. You begin to wonder what the point of capturing that data is.

Professional Agile Leadership using the EBM framework

The EBM framework provides a light and powerful structure to guide our teams and organisation to continuously improve and deliver better value through customer outcomes.

It supports the work that already has been done as leaders by making the connections between the why, what and how of value very clear by supportive metrics.

To this end, Scrum.Org has built the EBM guide, as well as the new EBM workshop.

Contact me if you would like to discuss this, or any of the other Scrum.Org offerings.

Connect with Advanced Product Delivery.

APD offer private, tailored training courses as well as business agility and coaching. Our public training courses are delivered by practicing Agilists: Product Owners, Scrum Masters and coaches who are expert trainers and facilitators.

Whether you are looking to become a #scrummaster or #agilecoach, we have a range of internationally certified and recognised #agiletraining courses that are perfect for you. Visit Professional Scrum Training courses for more information.

If you are looking for professional, deeply experienced and skilled #agilecoaches and #agileconsultants to help you transition from traditional #projectmanagement to #agile #productdevelopment, we’ve got the ideal team to help you make that transition a success. Visit our Agile Coaching section to find out more about us.

If you have identified Lean Agile Procurement as a great opportunity to enhance #agility within your organization, visit the Lean Agile Procurement Training course or Lean Agile Procurement coaching page.

#agile #scrum #agilecoach #agileconsultant #agiletraining #agilescrumtraining #scrumtraining #scrumcertification #scrummaster #productowner #leanagileprocurement #apd #businessagility #organizationalagility #productdevelopment #projectmanagement #agileprojectmanagement #agileproductdevelopment

You may also like...

Agile Coach

The Power of Silence

In our increasingly busy lives, with a constant flow of information it is easy to overlook the effect of being quiet. Taking time to marshal

Read More »

Latest Blog Posts

Image of a webinar

Questions from Scrum.Org webinar

This blog addresses the questions that could not be answered in the webcast on Procurement in Agile Transformations. There are many challenges that parallel the agile transformations.

Read More »