The OODA loop (Observe Orient Decide Act) is a concept originally coming out of the Air Force for pilots conducting air to air combat. It’s now applied to many different systems thinking and design contexts. This week I was preparing to explain Product Operations to my new CEO and it occured to me that the role of Product Ops is to help power and accelerate the OODA loop for product management teams.


  • Accelerate the number and speed at which we can collect feedback on customer behavior.
  • Customer feedback, interviews, notes from sales and support.  Improve the analytics data that PMs have to make decisions with.
  • Create tools that radiate information on priorities. 


  • Facilitate the OKR planning and tracking. 
  • Create tools and systems that help PMs prioritize.


  • Run the Quarterly / Semi-Annual planning process. 
  • Build decision support tools 
  • Help publish real time roadmaps that communicate decisions.


  • Enable communication between PM and engineering 
  • Help keep status up todate
  • Help decrease cycle time  for build, test, deploy, and release
  • Drive the results of action back into the feedback loop

In air combat success is getting inside your opponents OODA low and making decisions faster. That means not just deciding what should be done but being able to out maneuver and shoot down the other aircraft. In product management we want to be able to make better decisions on how to improve our product faster than our competitors then actually be able build and release those products.  If we can do that we can out maneuver or competitors.