I have been using PDCA as my go-to problem solving and continuous improvement model for 30+ years. Recently, I happened across another great model: OODA. PDCA and OODA are a flexible and powerful combination.
Plan-Do-Check-Act is attributed to Deming and Shewhart and is fundamental in old-school statistical process control. It is simple, easy, and effective. A few trips around the PDCA cycle will lead to measurable improvement.
Plan – Plan to meet an objective
Do – Do the plan…collect data!
Check – Check results…analyze the data!
Act – Act on results
The Observe-Orient-Decide-Act loop was developed by military strategist Colonel John Boyd to help fighter pilots quickly process changing air combat situations.
Observe – What has changed?
Orient – What is the current state?
Decide – How to realign with the new state?
Act – Act to change state
OODA has broader applications in sports and business. OODA faster than the competition to create an edge. Think Peyton Manning at the line of scrimmage. Or Lewis Hamilton setting up a late race pass…in the rain.
Occasionally, PDCA can get stuck at the “Plan” step. There is so much to work on…what to do next?
That’s the connection between PDCA and OODA. Use OODA loops to identify an “Act” that then becomes a prioritized “Plan” in PDCA. In times of rapid change, jump ahead of the competition with PDCA and OODA.
If you found this blog to be interesting, click HERE for a post on SQDCME, another useful acronym.