Toward Better Design-related Decision Making: A Proposal of an Advanced OODA Loop

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Vettorello, Mattia; Eisenbart, Boris; Ranscombe, Charlie
Series: ICED
Institution: Swinburne University of Technology
Section: Innovation engineering
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


To be successful in innovation, organisations need to be dynamically adaptable to novel situations to avoid getting ?left behind?. Yet, they face vast uncertainties stemming from unforeseeable technological shifts or future user and market behaviour, making strategic decision-making on innovation an extremely difficult task. Decision-makers thus increasingly try to control or shape the future, rather than foresee it. This includes thinking ahead and generating potential pathways that will make an innovation viable. This captures the essence of designerly ways of thinking in reasoning toward ?what might be?. Extant literature has been reviewed that discusses alternative strategies how this future-oriented thinking can be applied to become better at selecting novel ideas for development. We observe parallels between divergent thinking, abductive reasoning, analogising and lateral thinking suggested by different authors in this process. The paper continues to propose how these key mechanisms can be embedded within an existing framework for decision-making under uncertainty, the ?OODA Loop?, which has seen increasing uptake in such decision-making scenarios.

Keywords: Strategic Decision Making, Future Oriented Thinking, Decision making, Uncertainty, Innovation


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