What Is Evidence-based Management? Evidence-based Management In A Nutshell

Evidence-based management is a decision-making approach that uses critical thinking and the best available evidence. Evidence-based management is an approach that considers multiple sources of scientific evidence and empirical data as means of attaining knowledge and making decisions.

Understanding evidence-based management

This means scientific literature is used to answer questions, guide strategy decisions, and formulate long-term plans. Evidence-based management is an emerging movement that forms part of the larger transition to evidence-based practices. 

The transition began to gather momentum after the introduction of evidence-based medicine in 1992, with the approach quickly spreading to education, law, public policy, architecture, and many other fields. 

Ultimately, the goal of an evidence-based approach is to encourage professionals to give more credence to evidence while making decisions. The approach seeks to replace the ineffective practices that base decision-making on tradition, intuition, and personal experience.

The key components of evidence-based management

In a nutshell, evidence-based management is based on three key components:

  1. The best available evidence – this means evaluating multiple sources of scientific evidence and empirical results to discover new interventions and strategies. In addition to scientific research, evidence may take the form of organizational data, professional expertise, or stakeholder values and concerns.
  2. Systematic decision-making – decisions are made by considering the published literature, critically appraising evidence, and crafting a strategy underpinned by science. Mental biases, prejudices, or lazy thinking must be reduced or eliminated.
  3. Re-evaluating and adapting – all decisions must be critically examined and evaluated using the scientific method. Consistently evaluating the original hypothesis is the only way to determine whether the strategy or decision had its intended effect.

Incorporating evidence-based management

To deliver better outcomes in an organizational context, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the Center for Evidence-Based Management developed six steps:

  1. Asking – the process begins by taking a practical issue or problem and turning it into an answerable question.
  2. Acquiring – in the second step, decision-makers systematically search for and retrieve evidence.
  3. Appraising – the evidence is then critically appraised for trustworthiness, quality, and relevance. Where and how was the evidence gathered? Could it be biased? Is it the best available evidence? Is there enough evidence to reach a conclusion?
  4. Aggregating – in the fourth step, the evidence is combined and weighted according to relevance or importance.
  5. Applying – the most important evidence is then incorporated into decision-making.
  6. Assessing – in the assessment stage, the outcome of the decision must be evaluated regularly. Does the evidence-based decision support the answerable question or hypothesis? 

Key takeaways:

  • Evidence-based management is a decision-making approach that uses critical thinking and the best available evidence. The approach seeks to replace decision-making based on personal experience, intuition, or tradition.
  • Evidence-based management is based on three key components: the best available evidence, systematic decision-making, and re-evaluating and adapting. In addition to scientific research, the best available evidence may also be related to stakeholder values and concerns, internal data, and professional expertise.
  • Evidence-based management delivers better organizational outcomes in six steps: asking, acquiring, appraising, aggregating, applying, and assessing. Collectively, the steps help decision-makers answer questions and test hypotheses. 

Related Business Frameworks To Evidence-Based Management

Andy Grove, helped Intel become among the most valuable companies by 1997. In his years at Intel, he conceived a management and goal-setting system, called OKR, standing for “objectives and key results.” Venture capitalist and early investor in Google, John Doerr, systematized in the book “Measure What Matters.”
First proposed by accounting academic Robert Kaplan, the balanced scorecard is a management system that allows an organization to focus on big-picture strategic goals. The four perspectives of the balanced scorecard include financial, customer, business process, and organizational capacity. From there, according to the balanced scorecard, it’s possible to have a holistic view of the business.
The theory was developed by psychologist Edwin Locke who also has a background in motivation and leadership research. Locke’s goal-setting theory of motivation provides a framework for setting effective and motivating goals. Locke was able to demonstrate that goal setting was linked to performance.
A SMART goal is any goal with a carefully planned, concise, and trackable objective. To be such a goal needs to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. Bringing structure and trackability to goal setting increases the chances goals will be achieved, and it helps align the organization around those goals.
Businesses use backcasting to plan for a desired future by determining the steps required to achieve that future. Backcasting is the opposite of forecasting, where a business sets future goals and works toward them by maintaining the status quo.
Moonshot thinking is an approach to innovation, and it can be applied to business or any other discipline where you target at least 10X goals. That shifts the mindset, and it empowers a team of people to look for unconventional solutions, thus starting from first principles, by leveraging on fast-paced experimentation.

Read Next: High-Performance Management.

Read Also: Eisenhower MatrixBCG MatrixKepner-Tregoe MatrixDecision Matrix,RACI MatrixSWOT AnalysisPersonal SWOT AnalysisTOWS MatrixPESTEL AnalysisPorter’s Five Forces.

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