…This notion that there are specific knowable causes that are linked to corresponding effects dominates military thinking and manifests in our drive to gather as much information as possible before acting. This concept was captured by Air Force Col. John Boyd’s decision loop: observe, orient, decide and act. In this OODA Loop, an endless cycle in which each action restarts the observe phase, it is implied that collecting information would allow you to decide independent of acting. Also implied is the notion that you can determine measures of effectiveness against which to observe each action’s movement toward achievement of your goal so you can reorient. The result of this type of thinking is to spend a lot of time narrowing the focus of what we choose to observe in order to better orient and decide. This drives one to try and reduce the noise associated with understanding the problem. We do this by establishing priority information requests or other methods of focused questions aimed at better understanding the core problem so we can control it.
The OODA Loop is not a linear process, orientation is the key and the OODA Loop does not by default “narrow your focus”. WTF?
Maybe the military or, more likely, some brigade commander, instituted a process like this in Iraq for their information-intel analysis, maybe not, but if they did it was not what Colonel John Boyd argued they ought to do. Nor is it an understanding of what the OODA Loop is or how it works.
Here’s an OODA Loop for Dummies level brief from Dr. Chet Richards intended for businessmen but there are more sophisticated explanations out there by Chet and others. Google is your friend. 🙂
This post might help as well: