Convert Boyd’s OODA loop to HR practice to streamline procedures

Convert Boyd’s OODA loop to human resource practice to streamline procedures

 

Boyd’s Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act (OODA) loop theorized by Air Force Colonel John Boyd in the 1970s seems to have done well for the military, although the Occam’s Razor theory (the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one) that supports the practice of OODA has come under fire recently in the middle east.  A more complex OODA loop by Boyd has come to light using reflex, subconscious reactions, multiple feedback, and two-way observations.

How does this reflect on human resource practice?  HR is a customer centric support and service platform, where their most valuable customer is the employee. HR is there to serve the administrative needs for the company staff and to ensure the valuable human assets are happy, comfortable, sustainable, skilled, and productive.  The support must be timely, non-burdensome, and accomplished by a deadline.

Using the slightly more complicated OODA loop to orient knowledge and sustain employees within the company, a business can empower human assets to a higher ROI.  The OODA loop operates on an assumption of continuous feedback, cross-referencing, empathy, correlation, and projection, as well as rejection, of data that is constant.

An HR department (or manager) who uses the expanded OODA loop will perform what is similar to Lean Six Sigma.  During unfolding circumstances, using outside information (knowledge), and interaction within the team members (environment) they would make Observations.  They would look for feedback from previous orientations, decisions, actions and interactions within the environment.  These observations would be fed forward into the Orientation process where multiple influences would be present, including: cultural traditions (business policies, practices), genetic heritage (types of employees, generational, age, or heritage differences), new information, and previous experiences, to generate analysis and synthesis.  This oriented feed would then push forward to Decisions impacted by guidance and control (executive decisions, mentoring, contract requirements).  The results should be an Action based on observations, orientation, and decisions in the feedback loop.  The key word here is ‘loop’ – meaning it should be ongoing.

An example of this OODA loop in use would be a series of procedures dictated by a policy, indicating several linear events required to process an action.  A kudos process is currently cumbersome, requiring multiple ‘eyes’ to look at and approve a hard copy piece of paper before it finally gets to the payroll department for processing.  Observing shows the document must go through a supervising manager, the HR manager, a financial manager, the CEO, a PR rep, and then the payroll processor in a linear fashion before the employee sees their bonus.  The Orientation shows, culturally, financial processing has always been through this linear series of events and genetic heritage notes the CEO always wants the final word. The previous experience is the linear process is cumbersome and hangs up on a human in the loop.

Using the analysis and synthesis of this orientation data, applying guidance and control, the process could be streamlined by multiple parallel processing versus linear processing.  One email can be sent from the supervising manager to all the company representatives in the linear loop simultaneously. If any have any issues they can respond within eight business hours (with stand-ins for anyone out of the office included in the cc).  The CEO has a passive final approval, the HR manager has paperwork for the personnel file, the Public Relations rep has their data, the contract manager has notification, and the payroll processor knows to process the check, with plenty of time for retraction if anyone has objections (rejection option).  This accomplished OODA process shows how to achieve more with less effort, streamline a process, and can be used as ‘lessons learned’ for other business processes.

 

 

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Convert Boyd’s OODA loop to HR practice to streamline procedures

Convert Boyd’s OODA loop to human resource practice to streamline procedures

 

Boyd’s Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act (OODA) loop theorized by Air Force Colonel John Boyd in the 1970s seems to have done well for the military, although the Occam’s Razor theory (the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one) that supports the practice of OODA has come under fire recently in the middle east.  A more complex OODA loop by Boyd has come to light using reflex, subconscious reactions, multiple feedback, and two-way observations.

How does this reflect on human resource practice?  HR is a customer centric support and service platform, where their most valuable customer is the employee. HR is there to serve the administrative needs for the company staff and to ensure the valuable human assets are happy, comfortable, sustainable, skilled, and productive.  The support must be timely, non-burdensome, and accomplished by a deadline.

Using the slightly more complicated OODA loop to orient knowledge and sustain employees within the company, a business can empower human assets to a higher ROI.  The OODA loop operates on an assumption of continuous feedback, cross-referencing, empathy, correlation, and projection, as well as rejection, of data that is constant.

An HR department (or manager) who uses the expanded OODA loop will perform what is similar to Lean Six Sigma.  During unfolding circumstances, using outside information (knowledge), and interaction within the team members (environment) they would make Observations.  They would look for feedback from previous orientations, decisions, actions and interactions within the environment.  These observations would be fed forward into the Orientation process where multiple influences would be present, including: cultural traditions (business policies, practices), genetic heritage (types of employees, generational, age, or heritage differences), new information, and previous experiences, to generate analysis and synthesis.  This oriented feed would then push forward to Decisions impacted by guidance and control (executive decisions, mentoring, contract requirements).  The results should be an Action based on observations, orientation, and decisions in the feedback loop.  The key word here is ‘loop’ – meaning it should be ongoing.

An example of this OODA loop in use would be a series of procedures dictated by a policy, indicating several linear events required to process an action.  A kudos process is currently cumbersome, requiring multiple ‘eyes’ to look at and approve a hard copy piece of paper before it finally gets to the payroll department for processing.  Observing shows the document must go through a supervising manager, the HR manager, a financial manager, the CEO, a PR rep, and then the payroll processor in a linear fashion before the employee sees their bonus.  The Orientation shows, culturally, financial processing has always been through this linear series of events and genetic heritage notes the CEO always wants the final word. The previous experience is the linear process is cumbersome and hangs up on a human in the loop.

Using the analysis and synthesis of this orientation data, applying guidance and control, the process could be streamlined by multiple parallel processing versus linear processing.  One email can be sent from the supervising manager to all the company representatives in the linear loop simultaneously. If any have any issues they can respond within eight business hours (with stand-ins for anyone out of the office included in the cc).  The CEO has a passive final approval, the HR manager has paperwork for the personnel file, the Public Relations rep has their data, the contract manager has notification, and the payroll processor knows to process the check, with plenty of time for retraction if anyone has objections (rejection option).  This accomplished OODA process shows how to achieve more with less effort, streamline a process, and can be used as ‘lessons learned’ for other business processes.

 

 

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