In today’s episode, Dan and Sam are exploring the topic of evidence-based management, which was first mentioned in Episode 101, “Are Scrum Masters Expendable?” In that conversation, they discussed some of the things that Scrum Masters could be doing beyond the team, and one of them is in helping manage the product suite.
Dan and Sam unpack the concept of evidence-based management and share how this model can be used alongside Scrum to help people and organizations improve the way they deliver products and improve the value of their products.
This episode is rather timely too, with the newest edition of the Evidence-Based Management Guide just being released on Scrum.org. If you’re new to EBM (or didn’t fully understand it before), there is no better time than the present to learn about it.
- What is evidence-based management?
- It’s an empirical approach to help organizations
- EBM provides a framework to get a better feel for what is valuable so you can base the decisions you make on actual data (rather than gut-feeling) and run experiments that improve metrics
- Through intentional experimentation and evidence, EBM enables organizations to systematically improve their performance over time and refine their goals based on better information
- The EBM model:
- It has five key elements:
- A Strategic Goal — something important that the organization would like to achieve; this goal is big and far away with many uncertainties (similar to a product goal) — because of this, the organization needs a series of practical targets, like:
- Intermediate Goals — achievements which indicate that the organization is on the path to its Strategic Goal (the path to the Intermediate Goal is often somewhat uncertain but not completely unknown) (kind of like a release goal)
- Immediate Tactical Goals — critical near-term objective toward which a team or group of teams will work towards Intermediate Goals (similar to a Sprint Goal)
- A Starting State — where the organization is relative to the Strategic Goal when it starts its journey
- A Current State — where the organization is relative to the Strategic Goal at the present time
- It has five key elements:
- EBM focuses on four Key Value Areas (KVAs):
- These areas examine the goals of the organization
- As an organization, you want to measure and evaluate these:
- Current Value (CV) — the current value that the product is delivering today
- The purpose of looking at CV is to understand the value that the organization is delivering to customers and stakeholders at the present time
- Organizations need to be continually re-evaluating and looking at customer/user happiness, employee happiness, and investor and stakeholder happiness
- CV helps the organization understand the value that their customers or users are experiencing today
- Unrealized Value (UV) — additional/potential value the product could realize if it was pursued
- UV could be features that the organization hasn’t considered developed yet, (but could) or markets that the product could serve (but doesn’t currently)
- The organization should be thinking about: “Can we get any additional value out of this product?” and whether or not it’s worth it
- Comparing UV and CV can help an organization decide whether or not they should continue investing in a product
- Time to Market (T2M) — how long it takes the organization to deliver new value
- The reason for looking at T2M is to minimize the amount of time it takes for the organization to deliver value (without it, the ability to sustainably deliver value in the future is unknown)
- Ask: “Are we spending too much time estimating?”
- Questions the organization needs to continually re-evaluate for T2M are: “How fast can the organization learn from new experiments and information?”, “How fast can you adapt based on the information?”, and “How fast can you test new ideas with customers?”
- Ability to Innovate (A2I) — the effectiveness of the organization at delivering value
- The goal of A2I is to maximize the organization’s ability to deliver new features and capabilities that customers will find valuable
- When evaluating A2I, an organization should be asking: “What is preventing us from delivering new value?” and “What prevents customers from benefiting from the innovation?”
- Having a hypothesis and executing an experiment:
- Having a hypothesis is a proposed explanation for some observation that has not yet been proven or disproven
- After forming a hypothesis, run the experiments, and then inspect the results
- Was the hypothesis proven or disproved? Once you have this data, you can evaluate it and make adjustments as needed
- “Explicitly forming hypotheses, measuring results, and inspecting and adapting goals based on those results are implicit parts of an agile approach. Making this work explicit and transparent is what EBM adds to the organizational improvement process.” — EBM Guide
Mentioned in this Episode:
- Evidence-Based Management Guide | Scrum.org
- Agile Coaches’ Corner Ep. 101: “Are Scrum Masters Expendable?”
- Agile Coaches’ Corner Ep. 78: “Exploring OKRs with Felipe Castro”
- Three Horizons Framework
- The Anarchy: The East India Company, Corporate Violence, and the Pillage of an Empire, by William Dalrymple
- The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life, by Twyla Tharp
- Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by J.D. Vance
Transcript [This transcript is auto-generated and may not be completely accurate in its depiction of the English language or rules of grammar.]
Intro: [00:03] Welcome to Agile Coaches’ Corner by AgileThought. The podcast for practitioners and leaders seeking advice to refine the way they work and pave the path to better outcomes. Now here’s your host, coach, and agile expert, Dan Neumann.
Dan Neumann: [00:16] Welcome to this episode of the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast. I’m your host, Dan Neumann with fellow co-host, Sam Falco, I was waiting for a critique of my English. Can you be a fellow co-host is that redundant?
Sam Falco: [00:30] I don’t see why you couldn’t.
Dan Neumann: [00:31] I don’t know. I mean, I guess it’s a little redundant. So today’s English lesson is over. Um, today we are going to be talking about evidence-based management, which was mentioned in episode 101. When we were talking about whether Scrum Masters are expendable or not as an organization gets mature. So let’s say let’s dive right in.
Sam Falco: [00:57] In that episode, I had talked about things the Scrum Master could be doing beyond the team, and one of them is helping manage the product suite. The portfolio. And I mentioned current value and unrealized value, which are two terms that come from the evidence-based management guide, which is an offering from Scrum.org. And so I thought it would be good to dig into not just those two terms, but the whole evidence-based management concept and help people understand this model that can be used alongside Scrum to help people and organizations improve the way they deliver products and improve the value of their products.
Dan Neumann: [01:36] Okay. Yeah. And we’ll put a link to the evidence-based management guidance freely available out on Scrum.org it’s a download that doesn’t require you to give up your email address or any of that. It’s not just stuff that, that happens in the real world. So I’m very kind of Scrum.org to make it available that way.
Sam Falco: [01:53] Yeah. And this is pretty timely when we talked about this, when we were recording that episode, I did not know that a new version of the evidence-based management guide was coming and it was just released I think, a week after we talked about it. So this is pretty timely and they have improved it by providing some examples and a little more detail around some of the concepts. So if you have already experimented with or looked at evidence-based management before, and you thought I just don’t get how it works, there’s a lot more detail and a lot more information in the guide. And if you’re new to it, while we’re going to tell you a little bit about it today.
Dan Neumann: [02:32] All right, well, I did get it and I’m a little bit familiar with it. And one of the things I like just starting right out, it says it’s an it’s an empirical approach to help organizations. And that seemed to me to resonate really strongly with the Scrum framework, which also advocates for empiricism.
Sam Falco: [02:49] Right. I think in a lot of cases, the idea of what is valuable or what is valuable to do is based less on data than on gut-feel. And what EBM gives you is a framework to get a better feel for what really is valuable and base those decisions you make on actual data, running experiments that improve metrics in one of four key value areas, which we’ll talk about in a little bit so that you, you’re not just shooting from the hip and hoping things get better. You’ve got sound data. You have used that data to form a hypothesis, generate a, an experiment, run the experiment, and then analyze the data and rinse, wash, rinse repeat.
Dan Neumann: [03:42] So that’s a little bit of an overview of the, what evidence-based management is trying to achieve. So let’s take people a little bit deeper and start to talk about the model itself.
Sam Falco: [03:55] Sure. The, the model has five key elements. They are a strategic goal, intermediate goals, immediate tactical goals. So three levels of goal, and then starting state and current state. The idea is that we need to gather some evidence about where the organization is relative to our strategic goals. When we start our journey and along the way, continue to measure our current state, where are we relative to the strategic goal now at any given point? And the three goals are, as I said, strategic goals. So that is that’s the big, far away goal. The, um, the aspirational idea of where we want to go. And lots of uncertainties, just like in Scrum, we talk about uncertainties and complexity. There’s a lot of uncertainty here generating complexity. So we set an intermediate goal. Some, some concrete achievement that we believe will take us towards our strategic goal. And there’s some still some uncertainties there, but there’s a few more knowns at that point. We’ve identified a few more things that we actually know what’s going on and then immediate tactical goals. So these are the near-term objectives that are critical towards getting towards getting to that intermediate goal. Those five elements make up the model.
Dan Neumann: [05:30] And so I think so from an organization standpoint where we’re here, wherever we are at at a current state, um, if we’re brand new to evidence-based management, maybe your current state and your starting state are the same, and you’ve got some aspirational, strategic goal, you know, maybe multiple years down the road, obviously it’s not clear how to get there. Um, and so then it’s a matter of establishing intermediate goals and then really tactical steps that you would take along the way to move toward your intermediate goal. Um, and then I guess constantly evolving your current state as you go along, your current state will change. You’ll either get closer to or farther away from your intermediate goal and then based on appearances and you’d need to course-correct to get there.
Sam Falco: [06:17] So think of it as if you will, or an Explorer and you are trying to find, I don’t know Shangri-La.
Dan Neumann: [06:26] Well, I don’t want it to be a pirate, but I don’t think pirates go for Shangri-La.
Sam Falco: [06:30] No, not really. They just go for booty.
Dan Neumann: [06:33] Well, we’ll go with Shangri-la,
Sam Falco: [06:38] You have no real idea where, where this place you’re going to is maybe the slightest idea it’s on, you know, this continent and you’re, that’s your strategic goal, right? Your intermediate goal is maybe to get from Genoa where you are to Turkey, I guess.
Dan Neumann: [07:01] So that’s good. Geographically challenged sounds like Turkey’s on the way to Shangri-La from Genoa. Sure. Why not?
Sam Falco: [07:09] We think it might be. And that’s the thing we think at this point, Shangri-la is somewhere in, in Asia, let’s say I’ve been reading a book on the conquest of India by the British East India company. So my mind is all on like ports of call.
Dan Neumann: [07:24] So that’s our intermediate goal is an immediate tactical goal. To me, sounds like I need to trick some, um, some affluent, uh, royalty out of their money to fund my expedition to Shangri-la perhaps, or just hiring a crew. We maybe we’ve already got that money though.
Sam Falco: [07:48] We’ve already gotten the funding. Um, and we’re going to bring, we need to hire some, some ships and crew. So our starting state is, well in your version, we have no money, but we want to go there. We’ve started. Um, and you know, of course at the start, your starting state is equivalent to your current state, but let’s say let’s use you. I like your example better actually. So let’s say we have, we have convinced them at each east to fund our expedition and I have a history degree too. So I got to use that as much as I possibly can. They have funded our journey and we have gone down and hired some ships. We have, uh, ships, we have crew. So that’s our current state. Well now our intermediate goal maybe become provisioning or something along those lines.
Dan Neumann: [08:40] Whatever ships people do.
Sam Falco: [08:41] It again, that would be our immediate yeah. Tactical goal would be provisioning the ships and, uh, plotting a course. And our intermediate goal is still, let’s get to a port in Asia minor where we will then decide what is our next intermediate goal. And what this allows us to do is continually compare where we are with where we’ve been and where we are with, where we think we want to go. And so let us say, in this hypothetical example, we get to Turkey and we find out that no Shangri-La, uh, contrary to myth is not located in Asia, but is located in the euros. Okay, well now we can disband the ship and we can form a new intermediate goal, which is to get to Germany, I guess.
Dan Neumann: [09:27] And before our, uh, adventure turns into a game of risk. And, and, uh, we, uh, I think what you’re pointing out and the metaphor that we’re using is evidence-based management is designed for conditions of uncertainty. Exactly. This isn’t just six Sigma. We know exactly what we are doing, and we’re trying to squeeze out every last bit of variance from the process. This is a highly uncertain environment. We’re striving for that goal. It’s a long ways off, and there is not a roadmap together.
Sam Falco: [09:57] Exactly. Exactly. The first time I read this, I thought, Oh, I get it. The strategic goal is like the objective in OKRs. And then I read further and discovered that strategic goals are supposed to be measurable, which is not my understanding of the objectives in OKRs. I’ll be the first to admit, I am not as savvy about OKRs as I probably ought to be. But my understanding is that the objective is aspirational, which is why I made the comparison, but is not necessarily directly measurable. In here, we are saying the strategic goal is measurable. At some point we will reach Shangri-la. We are still going in that direction. We’ll know whether or not we have achieved our strategic goal by the direct measurement of is that now true?
Dan Neumann: [10:44] There’s an, there’s a podcast episode with Phillipe Castro on OKR. It’s for people that are curious about that, since we’re talking about other frameworks, you kind of opened that door. I had looked at the intermediate tactical goal and surmise that that could be related to sprint goals. So potentially depends. It doesn’t have to be, there’s nothing about this framework that says thou shalt make it a Sprint goal. But that’s kind of what came to mind for me with the intermediate goals.
Sam Falco: [11:11] So the immediate tactical goal is kind of analogous to the sprint goal or could be if you’re using Scrum and you want to use EBM along with it, that could be how you form your intermediate tactical goals. And then above that, your, that was your immediate tactical goals. Then there’s the intermediate goal. And I keep getting those confused cause they sound
Dan Neumann: [11:33] They’re quite similar. Yeah. Immediate, immediate tactical goal, a lot like a sprint Goal. Intermediate goals, then
Sam Falco: [11:42] Kind of like a release goal. And then of course in the latest update of the Scrum guide, which just came out what last week, uh, we introduced the concept of the product goal that provides focus for the Scrum team toward a larger, valuable objective. So perhaps our strategic goal is analogous roughly to our product goal.
Dan Neumann: [12:10] I like, I like the concept of a product goal because one of the things I hear organizations struggle with is when we’re trying to talk about the difference between a project and a product, they get twisted up, um, when it comes to funding. So strategic is a much longer term goal.
Sam Falco: [12:27] Right. Right. Okay. Yeah.
Dan Neumann: [12:32] There were some measures of value. Some key value areas is what the evidence-based management guide calls those. Right.
Sam Falco: [12:41] Right. There are four key value areas that we want to take a look at that we want to be aware of. And then two of them are the things that I mentioned in the Scrum Master podcast episode 101, the, uh, the idea that we have unrealized value or current value. And I don’t remember whether I define them at all in that episode, I may have just mentioned them, but we can define them here. Let’s let’s define here. Um, so unrealized value is additional value or product could realize if we, if we pursued it current value, meaning the product is currently delivering this value to the organization it’s pretty straightforward as far as that goes, the other two key value areas, our ability to innovate, which is the effectiveness of the organization at delivering value and time to market, how long does it take us to deliver new value? So those four key value areas give us some things that we want to measure and, uh, and evaluate. And we’ll talk about some of the metrics that go along with those. The, the EBM guide has a list in the back that are, is a good start on metrics you could use, but it’s by no means comprehensive. I’m sure people could think of other ones, but we’ll talk about a few of those as we go through the four key value areas. Let’s talk about current value first. I think that’s the one that most people kind of grok without too much thinking about it, right. We, how valuable is this product right now? Right. Um, so the purpose of looking at current value is to understand what are we doing right now? And it doesn’t look at all what, what we might do in the future. So we need to be looking at user happiness, customer happiness satisfaction. We need to be looking at how happy our stakeholders are. And employee satisfaction plays a role here as well because unhappy employees are going to not deliver valuable software or valuable valuable products.
Dan Neumann: [14:54] If they stay and replaced super expensive.
Sam Falco: [14:58] Exactly. Exactly. So that can also affect your, your current value. The example that the guide gives is, um, a lot of times organizations will try to measure profit and that’s great that measures investor happiness, but, um, you can be highly profitable, but be ticking off your customers and your current value is going to go away very quickly. And so it’s not just a point in time, none of these key value areas, none of the metrics should be taken as point in time, but trends, you know, is happiness increasing or decreasing. And what do we want to do about that is then what we can begin evaluating once we’ve gathered some data on that.
Dan Neumann: [15:42] And what I like is it’s not trying to find one number to measure. It’s trying to have several different perspectives on what the current value would be.
Dan Neumann: [16:06] The examples that was revenue per employee and how you’re stacking up relative, maybe to the industry that you’re you’re in.
Sam Falco: [16:13] Right. Right. Okay. And that can help you balance salaries and make sure that your people are happy with what they’re being paid. Um, you know, Daniel pink, of course in his book, drive talks about money not being the motivator everyone thinks it is. It is certainly a factor pay people well enough to take that issue off the table and then autonomy, mastery, and purpose. And I think this concept of employee satisfaction contributing to current value is, is in alignment with that concept.
Dan Neumann: [16:46] So you’ve got the current value and then you have the unrealized value. That’s the other value you could get from this product in the future.
Sam Falco: [16:54] Right. And this could be features that we haven’t developed yet, but could, um, markets that our product could serve, but doesn’t currently serve. And we should be thinking about, can we get any additional value out of this product, whether that’s approaching new markets, developing new features or, or whatever that may be. Um, and is it worth, it is worth how much it’s going to cost us to get there or what we’re going to risk in order to get to that untapped opportunities and then comparing current value and unrealized value can also help you decide, should we continue investing in this product? Because if we have a high current value and the low unrealized value, that means there’s not a lot of worth to investing more in this product. It’s a cash cow. It’s going to keep making us money and why spend more money to try and improve the very minimal unrealized value when we could invest in something else that might be better in the long run. So bringing in another model is the three horizons, right? I think that H one on the first horizon is the, this is a classic example of that high, current value, low unrealized value. Don’t just keep this one going, but be looking at your, your horizon two horizon, three projects for what you’re going to be investing in.
Dan Neumann: [18:17] For operational efficiencies. And then you might look for another channel that you could use the sense I think of Uber, Uber drove, drove, drives people around, and then I don’t know some genius what, Hey, we can drive food around absolutely exact same platform and that exact same, but largely it’s the same platform, same labor source. And now you need to bring in restaurants and menus and there’s challenges there, but it wasn’t a new type of value. So yeah,
Sam Falco: [18:48] That is, that is an excellent example of that.
Dan Neumann: [18:51] Yeah. And so then you can decide, do you, do you keep investing? Do you not invest? So I’m sorry, the current value and unrealized value.
Sam Falco: [18:59] Right. And then we also have to consider, yeah, you have to consider time to market and ability to innovate. So time to market. Um, we want to minimize the amount of time that it takes us to get stuff to market. And I’ve heard about this. I’ve heard this talked about rather by organizations and it’s fuzzy. It’s this like we need time. So everybody needs to work harder. Great. You, you’re going to now tank your current value by damaging your employee morale. You’re going to spend money, maybe, uh, developing new features that really aren’t really all that important in the marketplace when instead what you need to be doing is speeding up your ability to get there. Your, your, your speed of, um, learning from the new information you get.
Dan Neumann: [19:48] Yeah. I think with time to market, it it’s valuable as long as your releasing something that people want, and it’s going to create more value for you. And that’s where you get into the cons of it. Are we learning? Are we experimented with the product, putting things out there to see how people react to it? And if it’s a good reaction, you amplify it. And if it’s a bad reaction, you, you dampen it from some of the model type of thinking about uncertainty, we’re bringing all the models, all the models. We can have a list of models in the show notes, agilethought.com/podcast for the show notes.
Sam Falco: [20:24] Veritable sports illustrated, swimsuit issue of product models. Probably the worst analogy. Yeah. So time, uh, time to market. Also, this is where efficiency can come in. So we here as coaches a lot, when we go into an regional, we want to make things efficient. Okay, great. Um, let’s be effective first and then worry about efficiency. And so time to market then speaks to that efficiency. Once we’re effectively delivering products that our customers want and are valuable, let’s do it faster. And that can take the form of learning faster, but also getting rid of activities that don’t actually add value to the product. So maybe look at, are we spending too much time estimating, especially if we’ve mandated, you must use story points and planning poker, and, and then beating up teams for, for not being accurate or anything.
Dan Neumann: [21:28] if the team’s moving fast enough, the estimating becomes less valuable too. Cause you you’re, you’re bringing in ideas, you’re turning them into product. It’s happening at a cadence. It’s frequent enough that it’s just a matter of roughly, where is it in the queue? And it’ll show up, you know, a generally predictable cadence,
Sam Falco: [21:47] Right. But I, and I’m thinking of things like really difficult to actually move code to production because of a change management process that is, uh, antiquated or, uh, designed with an older working model in mind. But can we do about that? You can look at things like that.
Dan Neumann: [22:06] And that’s where the, some of those gates are in place because they’ve been there forever. And there was not the ability to do automated unit tests. We didn’t have DevOps practices and expertise. And so now that we do hopefully an organizations, we can move faster. And if we don’t, then it’s time to learn and time to start bringing those practices in.
Sam Falco: [22:29] Maybe this will point to, Hey, we need, we need to have DevOps practices in play. We’ve gotten as far as we can with, without them, let’s, let’s bring those in, but anything that’s going to get in the way of delivery that, you know, customers just don’t care about. That’s not a value add to them. Why are we doing it? And that’s classic Lean right there. And then finally we have ability to innovate, which is how effective are we at delivering new features, new capabilities that customers will find valuable. And we want to be looking at things like what is, what is preventing us from delivering new value. And more to me, a little more important is what’s preventing customers from benefiting from the innovation. You can have something innovative if customers don’t know about it, don’t know how to use it. Um, it’s, it’s not doing you any good.
Dan Neumann: [23:25] No, and I, I like some of the example metrics, when you talk about ability to innovate, because I think for me, it’s, it’s a little tricky to wrap one’s brain around. Um, so there are a couple that stood out to me on the product index, which is the, the percentage of time spent working on the product and value. Um, I don’t know how many times, you know, you go into an, and it’s like, well, a developer’s day was only X percent, you know, um, focused, well, Oh my gosh, that what could we do to actually create more ability to focus, not work more hours, but remove the, the waste of time and then the other one, uh, technical debt too. So if it’s hard to change things, if it’s expensive or fragile or dangerous fix that, it becomes that creates your opportunity to innovate. If you can’t put changes in because you’re afraid of them, you can’t innovate.
Sam Falco: [24:22] Yeah. The on product index one jumped out at me the first time I read the guide, like two years ago, uh, I saw it. I was working with one of our clients and, and that was exactly the problem that a team I was working with had was they were constantly being pulled on to other, other things. And I showed that to the product owner and we both got like giddy, like, here’s something we can, we can show instead of just talking about, Hey, this is, this is happening. And everybody would say, yeah, yeah, yeah, this is happening. But that’s just the way we do business. Instead, look, here’s the on product index for this sprint. And we didn’t deliver very much, here’s the on product index for the previous sprint, where we delivered more notice that we were focused on the product. Oh, it really rang a bell for people. I also liked installed version index. I worked on a product where we had just too many versions of the product we had. Uh, it was in support of another product. It was an add on. And so we were supporting multiple versions of the parent product. And then we had multiple versions within and we had hot fixes and patches and, and it was, it was a nightmare. So of course we were slow because when we delivered a new feature, we had to deliver it for, you know, a dozen different branches of the product. And it would’ve really done us good to look at that and say, well, what can we trim?
Dan Neumann: [25:51] Yeah, definitely. So we’ve talked about evidence-based management in general. Um, we talked about the goals. We talked about current value, unrealized value, time to market, inability to innovate. And then the last piece I think we have to talk a little bit about is the concept of having a hypothesis and, and executing an experiment.
Sam Falco: [26:16] Yeah. And I can’t remember if our colleague Quincy talked about this on an episode because he has a really good hypothesis generation experiment generation, uh, tool that he’s used with clients that, that really gets to the heart of this. So think back to high school science, if you took any science class in high school, you’ll remember the scientific method and we start with, what do we want to know? What do we have a question about, form a hypothesis? If, if this, then that, and then we run our experiments, inspect the results and see was our hypothesis disproved great. Uh, or do we need, can we do further experimentation? I do remember that from high school that you were always supposed to try and disprove your hypothesis stated in a form that is falsifiable.
Dan Neumann: [27:15] Because you can’t prove that it’s true, but if it’s disproved, you’re done. So, right. So in this case, a fail, an experiment that gets an undesirable results is actually a good thing because you’ve now learned.
Sam Falco: [27:29] Either way. You’ve learned, I think it, for this model, it’s your, your, your hypothesis might not be a quite as rigorous as that, you know, it might be, Hey, we believe that if we do pair programming, then our throughput will improve and we can measure that. Yes or no. Did it work or not. And then once we’ve got that data, evaluate it and make our adjustments as, as necessary is, uh, are our goal is still the right goals, even do we need to adjust them?
Dan Neumann: [28:02] You’ve got, you’ve got, uh, hypotheses and experiments. You could conduct around the processes that you use to create the software, as well as on the product, the feature and the capabilities that you’re making for your customers about whether they’re going to like it or react positively or negatively to them. And it’s a rich environment for experimentation.
Sam Falco: [28:25] Absolutely. Okay. So I got really excited, as I said, the first time I read this, I just thought, aha. Here is when I say to someone, how do you know if what you’re doing is valuable and they get that kind of frustrated look on their face and they don’t really know how to answer it, but now they’re angry because I have asked them an unanswerable question. I can say, what, what metrics are you using to know that you’ve provided value? And if there is no nothing behind that, but you know, my gut feeling, or we just sort of roll the dice a little, why don’t we, why don’t we put some data around that? Let’s run some experiments. Here are some metrics we can look at. We can look at trends and we can iterate towards improving our outcomes. And that’s really what it’s all about. We can, we easily can measure activity, all right. Or we can easily measure output, right? But measuring outcomes is much more difficult. And what the evidence-based management guy gives you is a tool for measuring are your outcomes where you want them to be.
Dan Neumann: [29:33] So we’ll put a link to the guide in the show notes, as well as some of these other artifacts we’ve mentioned and hopefully can apply evidence-based management. And we’d love to hear back from them if it is, is working or if they’ve done it in the past and it worked, or if there are any questions. Have you read anything lately, Sam?
Sam Falco: [29:54] Well, as I mentioned earlier, I’m currently reading a book on how the British East India company took over India. It’s called The Anarchy by William Dalrymple. He’s a fabulous historian of India and the subtitle I love the total, the full title is the anarchy, the East India company, corporate violence and the pillage of an empire. And it really, uh, it really is that, um, I’m, I’m only about 20% of the way through this. It’s a really thick book, but it is fascinating. And of course he turns, it turns a phrase quite well. And the other thing I’m reading is a book called the creative habit by Twyla Tharp, the choreographer. And I had read this years ago, but I’m rereading it now because it came up in conversation recently. But the idea, the idea is that she expresses in there really mesh well with what we do, because although she’s talking about artistic creativity, she’s also talking about essentially emergence and how these things emerge over time and how you have to keep at it to get that emergence to happen. So it’s really valuable for me in my creative practice as a writer and also in my coaching practice as an agile coach. How about you?
Dan Neumann: [31:07] I just finished listening to a book called hillbilly Elegy, which is a, about a guy, uh, growing up in Appalachian and then in central Ohio here in the United States. And, um, he’s really exploring the, uh, the challenges of poor white Americans and some of the behaviors and beliefs, and that really tends to hold them back. Um, and some of the things that when he was growing up, he eventually did end up going to, um, I believe it was Yale and getting his law degree from there, but just the things he didn’t know about the world outside of Appalachia and, and his, uh, his very challenged family life growing up. So quite an interesting book.
Sam Falco: [31:52] I believe that is a, going to be a film by Ron Howard as well.
Dan Neumann: [31:57] Really? Yeah. Hmm. I should have waited for the movie.
Sam Falco: [32:01] It’ll be on Netflix.
Dan Neumann: [32:03] It went by, uh, fairly well. So I was just more of a reflective book than direct application to, to real life, but still good. Well, Sam, thank you for taking some time and sharing on evidence-based management.
Sam Falco: [32:17] Always a pleasure, right.
Dan Neumann: [32:18] And we’ll look to do it again.
Outro: [32:22] This has been the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast brought to you by AgileThought. The views, opinions and information expressed in this podcast are solely those of the hosts and the guests, and do not necessarily represent those of AgileThought. Get the show notes and other helpful tips for this episode and other episodes at agilethought.com/podcast.