Decision-Making: Taking Action with Reason
The end result of any decision is action. Action based on reason, intuition, planning, or circumstance it is still action. The best course of action often is determined by the implementation of a decision making process. This process or model can be rational based or intuitive base. It is possible to combine the intuitive and rational decision models. The OODA (Observation, Orientation, Decision, Action) Loop acknowledges the existence of intuition within the context of reason. Col. John Boyd, USAF (Ret) is credited with the formalization of this thought process. The concept breaks the decision making process into four elements: Observation, Orientation, Decision, and Action. Observation is the information gathering stage. This includes situation assessment, outcome determination, research, and determining the variables impacting the situation. Orientation encompasses experiences, cultural influences, genetics, and forthcoming information. Decision is the application of the Observation and Orientation stages to form a viable plan of execution. Action is the execution of the decided plan. A key element to this model is that all stages are part of an ongoing process that can be utilized to make quick, effective decisions. (MindSim Corporation [MindSim Corp.], 2000)
The OODA Loop is currently in use for my company's conversion project. We are consolidating divisions, systems, and resources in addition to converting one division's servicing and reporting platform to a new platform. The deadline for the first stage of this process is July 31, 2005. This stage will have taken place within a 6-month time frame from the Observation stage to the final completion of action. At this junction my department, Information Services (IS), has begun conducting a separate model to determine what action needs to be taken to enable the successful completion of this project. To date, the Observation and Orientation stages...
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