The Daily Standup
Episode 285

Exploring Boyd's OODA Loop - Observe

AgileDad published on

The Elements of OODA

The OODA loop is comprised of 4 majors elements:
Observe — Orient — Decide — Act

In a team environment I explain these four elements as

Observe — Understand the environment
Orient — Align on what is important
Decide — Agree on a good course of action
Act — Do it

In complex changing environments enabling these 4 elements to occur quickly and effectively can allow teams to leverage their broad range of skills and experiences to increase the likelihood of successful delivery.

Although there are different ways to do each of these steps, irrespective of the way you choose, I would encourage you to use something to anchor a team’s focus and visualise what is discussed. This will help enable complex interactions to emerge which would otherwise not occur.

Observing the environment

My preferred approach for observing the environment is Jeff Patton’s Story Mapping approach. This technique has become the defacto standard for visualising product backlogs, and helps teams focus on how a customer interacts with the system.

Story Mapping is awesome as it encourages, amongst other things

  • Storytelling as a technique to flush out any gaps in the environment
  • A two dimensional backlog enabling better visualisation of priorities and dependencies

It also happens to be an awesome way to observe the environment and what a team will need to deliver to create value.

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