The OODA Loop is an information strategy concept from the military area. It defines a decision loop that will go through every once due to a new event.


The theory thus attempts towards an event to represent abstract a behavior, a response of an individual or an entire organization (eg, department, organization, country) in a (foreign) environment. This was developed by the military strategist John Boyd (1927-1997) and is used for tactical analysis and psychological paralysis of an opponent used.

Since this theory assumes a decision-making process, some elements of the theory to the economic sphere can be applied, such as during business meetings or learning processes.

OODA means in detail:

  • Observe - Watch
  • Orient - orient
  • Decide - decide
  • Act - act

Model definition

John Boyd postulated that the opponent or the system events observed around them ( observe ) and try to draw information or conclusions. Based on this perceived situation -oriented ( orient ) and then a decision ( decide ) is precipitated. Then it must be made ​​by the opponent or system to perform an action to come (act ). By this action events can be triggered, after which it comes back to an observation ( observe ) again.


One can gain an advantage under certain circumstances, by the OODA Loop faster by running as the enemy. By one's own actions (at the end of the loop) changing the situation, while the enemy is still trying to process the old situation. The opponent is forced to begin the loop from the front without having acted in time.

In relation to the conduct of war ( militarily or economically ), it is therefore, the loop delay of the counterpart with deception and ambiguity of an event to extend and integrate with targeted measures further decision loops in a decision loop. On the basis of false information or events so the thinking and the strength of the enemy is placed on a wrong path and ultimately takes the wrong decision. This way the enemy will not be able to act or even incapacitated fast or secure.


Parts of the OODA concept can be found in the publication: " The art of war " by Sun Tzu again. Through deception, speed and fluidity of action, the targeted attacking the opponent's strategy, as well as by taking advantage of the surprise and shock moment the enemy is defeated.

See also: Military leadership process