Book Pick: OODA Loop

Observation (Data), Orientation (Information), Decision (Knowledge), Action (Data again)
Excerpt from Enterprise Architecture Fundamentals:


The Observation-Orientation-Decision-Action (OODA) loop is a well-known decision-making (DM) paradigm developed in the 60s by Colonel John Boyd (cf. bibliography), based on his experience as fighter pilot and military strategist. Its renewed relevance for today’s operational DM comes from the correspondence between the seamless integration of IT systems with business processes, and fighter jets’ command and control processes.

Enterprises immersed in digital environments have to continuously align their business plans with facts on the ground. Their success comes from readiness, proactive undertakings, and the ability to subsume and subvert adversaries’ time scales, both defensively (to force competitors out of favorable positions) as well as offensively (to get a competitive edge) — hence Boyd’s reference to dogfights between fighter aircrafts.

The benefits of the OODA loop appear clearly when set in the context of enterprise architecture (figure 10-4):

Figure 10-4. OODA Loop & Supporting Environment
  1. Observation: changes in business and digital environments are monitored (and their reliability assessed) at the digital (data mining) or business (business intelligence) level.
  2. Orientation: models and Knowledge graphs (cf. chapter 9) are used to assess changes with regard to enterprise objectives, organization, and systems.
  3. Decision: policies are defined or updated, and decisions made regarding organization, systems, or platforms.
  4. Action: decisions are implemented in terms of processes, functions, or applications.

The supporting environment of DM processes can then be defined in terms of territories and maps (cf. part I).


(From Chapter 10)

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