This is a article on: Process Bridges

Process Bridges with
OODA Loop Equivalence

1 When can a Process Bridge help me?

  • It isn't obvious how to integrate new business or regulatory requirements to an existing process.
  • It seems like a peer team has similar motivations, but you're not sure how best to work together.
  • It is unclear what an audit will find when they benchmark your process against an industry standard (like COBIT, PCI-DSS, or privacy regulations).

2 How can two processes work together?

Though organizational value and success depend on disciplines working together, it can be difficult to directly align two complex discipline-specific processes. Our goal is to identify points where two processes have a shared purpose.

Observed behavior process equivalence is the idea that process steps that do the same sorts of things may be equivalent. We can use this method to identify the points where shared purpose overlaps, the places where Process A = Process B.

Noting that the processes we want to align are complicated, the idea of a Process Bridge is to leverage a simple third process to enable an easier determination of process equivalence. If A = C, and B = C, then Process A = Process B.

An important added bonus to using a Process Bridge, we not only gain understanding of shared purpose, but also deeper insights which can help with optimization.

3 A Simple Process: The OODA Loop

  • The OODA Loop is a simple four-step decision-making process: Observe, Orient, Decide, Act
  • OODA's Observe step is about data collection, things that we see.
  • OODA's Orient step is about deeper understanding of data, things that we think.
  • OODA's Decide step is about determining direction, things that we feel.
  • OODA's Act step is about execution, things that we do.
  • The OODA Loop is a continuous improvement process. We Observe the results of our actions.

The above image shows the simplest form of the OODA Loop, a circle containing four sequential steps which are to Observe, Orient, Decide and Act. That is to collect and review data, derive deeper meaning, make decisions that stand up to scrutiny, and make timely execution of the decision. Though more complex process forms exist, this form is presented to serve as a least common denominator in bridging processes.

4 Build and Use an OODA Loop Process Bridge

Observe (make lists of) the steps of each process (Process A and Process B) you wish to bridge.

Orient each step in Process A and Process B to one of the four steps in the OODA Loop -- Observe, Orient, Decide or Act. If any process steps don't cleanly align to just one OODA Loop step, set those aside.

Decide how complex steps should be broken up, so each process sub-step or facet ultimately aligns to exactly one step in the OODA Loop. Our final result is the Process Bridge: one list for each OODA step, with each list containing the equivalent points from both Process A and Process B -- these are our points of shared purpose.

Act on the need that led you to build a Process Bridge -- integrating the new requirements to an appropriate point in your process, leveraging our shared understanding to collaborate better with peers, or preparing for an audit.

Observe the results of your actions. As new requirements and standards emerge, you may easily amend your Process Bridge to incorporate these changes. With these observations in hand, you may tune and use the Process Bridge to optimize results and address new needs.

Process Bridges using the OODA Loop and Observed Behavior Process Equivalence can identify the shared focus needed to incorporate new requirements, effectively collaborate, and improve business operations.