18 August 2009

OODA Is Not A Donut

One of John Boyd's most popular contributions to modern thought is the OODA loop. It is used in everything from business and marketing to combat operations. I'm not going to go into a whole thing about how cool it is and how insightful. All I want to say for now is that this donut diagram is NOT an OODA loop:
In fact, Boyd was emphatic that the OODA was not a linear, first you Observe then you Orient kind of thing. The OODA donut above is not an OODA loop. The diagram below is what it really looks like:

So please, don't use the donut diagram. It's a simplistic representation that misses the whole point of the thing.