OODA or OODA Loops stands for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.
It is one of the best know and earliest decision making cycles for agile edge execution. It was developed by the US military for combat operations. Its creator is Colonel John Richard Boyd, an aviation strategist who developed it to give fighter pilots an edge in air combat.
OODA is similar to other strategic decision making cycles but differs in a very important aspect: it misses an explicit planning step. Planning is an implicit activity during Orient (options) and Decide (decision) but not a potentially time-consuming step to achieve agreement and consent of all involved parties. This give OODA loops their agility and decision-making speed.
Instead of basing the quality of a decision on consent it is based on the facts collected by Observe and Orient. So OODA is an externally triggered decision making cycle suitable for VUCA situations that grants the manager (ie. officer) the rights to Decide and Act autonomously. OODA is enabled by strategic foresight.
The high degree of delegation of decision-making granted by OODA loops is constrained by Implicit Guidance & Control Directives. Issued from HQ they define the boundaries, Do’s & Don’t’s of the decisions that can be made and are implicitly backed by HQ.
Related concepts: VUCA, edge-execution
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