Guiding Quote

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Einstein

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

OODA Loop and Six Honest Working men.

The famous British writer Rudyard Kipling wrote that in carrying out his work he used “six honest working men”: Who, What, When, Why, Where, and How. By asking these questions he could write an article for a newspaper, a poem, a story. They were the starting point for his exploration of a subject.

Similarly they should be the foundation for all project managers combating bias and the tendency to believe that “What you see is all there is” (WYSIATI). Forcing yourself to ask these six questions when you reach the Decide portion of the Observe, Orient, Decide, Act (OODA) loop will prevent you from rushing to a premature conclusion because your mind’s system 1 (the reptilian part) overrides your lazy system 2 (the rational analytical part). 

Certainly after every new piece of information you should ask yourself “so what?” What does this piece of information mean? What is its impact on the current situation? What should I do with it? And so on with the other “honest working men”. It doesn’t mean you’ll always come to the right conclusion, but you are certainly more likely to avoid a rushed one. 

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