Wyser, a virtual escape room and the OODA loop 

Recently one of our Wyser Development Teams completed a “Virtual Escape Room”. This was a little fun add-on from gather.town who provides our virtual office space. Overall it was mostly good fun and we all escaped from the “virtual island”, but what was most interesting in retrospect, was to see how our Development Team reacted.

The first thing we faced was that the problems themselves were not clear. We walked into a virtual room and thought “now what?”. There was no Project Brief or Problem Statement, no Terms of Reference and nor any Sponsor or Stakeholder community to seek any guidance from. Without this clarity and with no one to ask, we wasted time randomly exploring, doing irrelevant things, or doing the right things in the wrong order. We also fragmented with everyone doing their own thing with no clear plan or leader.

Different personality types were evident, some people went off on solo missions, others in the heart of the action, some were silent observers, some noisy, some quiet. We also saw flashes of intra-team competitiveness emerge, “You may have finished the puzzle, but I solved it!”

  • What happened to our usual well-oiled and cohesive Wyser delivery machine?
  • Why did this experience differ so much from our usual modus operandi?
  • Why did we not apply our proven work methods and structures to this problem?
  • Was it because we knew it was a game?
  • Was it that we knew it didn’t really matter?

All good questions for our next retrospective.

So, what is our usual approach to project management and problem-solving?

  • Firstly, understand the ask
  • Next, gain consensus on the approach
  • Plan together as a team
  • Assign roles
  • Act with purpose
  • Review progress regularly as a team

What is the OODA Loop?

For those that like models, there is one that was developed by the US military for fighter pilots called the “OODA Loop”, that can also be applied here. OODA being: Observe, Orientate, Decide, Act (Repeat)

Gather as much information as possible.
What do I/we see, smell, hear, feel, etc.?


Contextualise this information.
Does this information fit within expectations - if not, why not?


Agree a course of action.
What do I/we think we need to do?


Take decisive action.
The process is then repeated until the desired outcome is reached.

If you feel that our approach is the right one for your organisation and you're seeking support with AI or Automation, Digital Transformation or Customer Journey Optimisation, then please get in touch with us.