Combat Ready Service
We all know history tends to repeat itself, but what do we really do to take advantage and have lessons learnt from it?
From the ancient days of Sun Tzu to the days of Steve Jobs, military warfare tactics have always served as an inspiration for business leaders when looking for ways to grow their business in a highly competitive environment.
I recently enjoyed reading an article, published late last year by Kevin Benedict, which draws an interesting analogy between two such war theories and the practices used to manage a service organization. The first one is the OODA loop, a battle tactic sought out by military strategist USAF Colonel John Boyd. The OODA loop, which stands for a repetitive cycle of Observe-Orient-Decide-Act, pertains to a decision making cycle that, once properly executed, gives the advantage to the side that does so more quickly and effectively and by doing so disrupts the OODA loop of its opponent. The second one is a relatively new military doctrine called network-centric warfare which seeks to leverage information advantage and turn it into a competitive advantage in the battle field.
Kevin goes on to describe how the combination of the above warfare tactics could provide a great advantage to an organization that is looking to effectively manage its mobile field workforce. He then reviews the necessary technologies to support this combination and sums it up with the following statements “It is not enough to have real-time visibility into massive volumes of data, one must be able to orient, or understand what the data means and how it will impact your ability to fulfill your assignment. … None of these technologies or systems are particularly unique or new, rather it is the idea of integrating them all together with OODA and Network-centric operational concepts for a common purpose that provides unique value”
The idea presented by Kevin is truly intriguing as I believe it nicely highlights what we at ClickSoftware have been doing for many years. The tools and best practices we develop closely support the network-centric operation and OODA loop tactics. I would even claim that we have refined and improved the OODA loop by introducing another ‘O’ which stands for Optimize. Using our tools service businesses can observe a complete view of their operation, orientate on the whereabouts of their problems, opportunities and field force, optimize their decisions without compromising on the speed of the decision making and act to ensure quality and timely service to their customers.