Friday, June 13, 2014

OODA not PDCA in an Outside-In World

OODA is a decision cycle developed by USAF Colonel John Boyd, a decision methodology that can also be applied at each level of business tactical, operational, and strategic, in addition to the combat operations for which he developed it.

OODA comprises of 4 decision states;
Observation - Gather Facts
Orientation - Analyse Facts
Decision - Decide on a course of Action
Action - Act!

The most important feature of this decision cycle is the fact that it is designed to operate quickly, the faster one can go around the decision cycle, the more effective the likely outcome. Boyd designed his decision cycle to facilitate defeating an enemy and surviving! His goal was not to achieve a perfect decision.

The traditional business decision cycle PDCA, promoted by the International Standards Organisation and specifically referred to in the ISO 27000 series, and which encourages quality of the outcome. Completion of a PDCA cycles is normally achieved in weeks if not months.

Effective completion of OODA loops decision cycles are achieved in hours, if not minutes.

In the Outside-In world speed is king, and getting inside the decision cycles of your competition is an added real bonus, for in their cycle you can create confusion and doubt.

Is your organisational agility up to this challenge?

What will it take to get an organisation to shift to decision cycles that are completed many times a day?

What processes and communication systems will need to change.

Which types of organisational structures are up to this challenge?

Command & Control or Command & Empower, which will operate best in the Outside-In world, in which contexts?

Does the phase of the battle make a difference? Boyd thought it did, how will this effect your use of the decision cycle in an Outside-In world?

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