Odoo & the Common Operating Picture

A Common Operating Picture (COP) is military lingo for a dynamic, real-time representation of relevant information and data unified into a single system. This comprehensive view of a specific operational environment, often visually displayed in a prominent format for all to see, functions as a shared situational awareness platform, allowing military commanders, staff, and decision-makers to understand the current situation, anticipate future developments, and make informed choices.  In popular culture COPs have become ubiquitous with contemporary special operations, represented in countless action movies from Jason Bourne to Zero Dark Thirty (think the big screens at the back of a room showing in real-time what is happening on the ground…)

COPs are valuable for several reasons. They enhance situational awareness, provide a shared understanding of the environment and allow the team to move towards their goals with a unified purpose.  COP’s can minimise misunderstandings and pierce the “fog of war” that comes from trying to understand a dynamic situation.  Ultimately, COPs are a great decision-making support tool.  By consolidating data from diverse sources, they assist leaders in making timely and informed decisions based on accurate data. 

The team at VitrTech have decades of military experience, often spent staring at the soft glow of the COP. We have done this because the COP has been the most effective tool to allow a leader to understand a dynamic situation and share that understanding with the team. Business, just like soldiering, is a data-driven pursuit. It is also ultimately a human endeavour that requires cooperation between teams. Those that can access the best data in real-time, and share that with their team, can iterate faster than their competition. Those with the information edge will ultimately have the best chance of success.

While COPs have been an effective tool in a military context, we recognised at VitrTech that the underlying principles associated with a COP are universal. Applying these principles to the business environment, a COP can serve as a vehicle to enhance overall transparency in business while enabling effective cooperation between functional areas. At VitrTech, we view Odoo ERP as one of the best examples of a COP that a business can access. We also bring the concept of a COP to the implementation process itself.

Odoo as a COP

If you’re anything like most small businesses in Australia, operations are typically run on a patchwork of out-dated software, half-complete excel spreadsheets and a shared drive that resembles a rabbit warren. This kind of set up leaves your employees and customers frustrated, but more significantly, hinders your ability to effectively out-manoeuvre your competitors, eroding your profitability and position in the market.

Once correctly implemented by a reputable Odoo partner, Odoo is one of the best software tools we’ve found for establishing that shared consciousness that a COP can bring. Effectively harnessing Odoo dashboards alongside relevant industry applications such as Project Management, Manufacturing and Help Desk for example, can provide you unparalleled situational awareness and control. Furthermore, Odoo’s SQL based integrated spreadsheets are updated in real-time and can be imported directly into your dashboards, doing away with those legacy spreadsheets.

A well established Odoo implementation can and should become a unifying force within your organisation. Self-updating spreadsheets and informative dashboards become the visual representation of what is occurring inside your organisation. Well established applications, catered to your specific industry requirements provide you the control mechanisms for engaging with your market and allowing the team to act in unison. And most importantly, Odoo customisation means you can control what information is important to you, and what information isn’t. We are true believers in Odoo and how it can be harnessed to provide you with relevant insight. It’s the business equivalent of the high-tech situational awareness tools we enjoyed in the military, for only a tiny fraction of the cost.

COP for Odoo Implementation.

The benefits of a COP as a tool to support an Odoo ERP system implementation are obvious.  Any ERP implementation is a daunting task. The software impacts every team in your organisation plus you typically need outside help to get it done (software team, change management experts etc). But the benefits of a successful implementation are clear. At VitrTech, we employ the concept of a COP to help our clients navigate the challenges bought about with this type of digital transformation. An implementation COP, when set-up correctly provides a single point of truth for all project stakeholders.  A customisable format, based on your needs will display easily digestible visual data of the project’s progress through relevant dashboards and reports, which can be tailored to suit the client’s preferences and pain-points.  A well-conceived COP will allow all stakeholders to stay attuned to the project environment through a near-real time ability to track progress in terms of milestones, task status, resource allocation, and budget utilisation.  The ease of access to real-time project data in turn allows the client to feel more confident in the project’s direction, which them to focus on their core business responsibilities. It can also help immensely with the change management required across your company. 


So, the very next time you go to pull data from that out-dated spreadsheet, which was buried somewhere in the group drive, I think its important to recognise that it can be better. Those that are willing to undertake the journey of an ERP implementation will absolutely reap the benefits, so long as the activity is carefully orchestrated and designed around your specific business requirements. This is why we believe Odoo represents an excellent value for money approach that can replicate the COP we’ve discussed in this document. Odoo boasts over 10,000 applications developed with over 80,000 applications downloaded every month. This, alongside specific customisations available to you from the outset allow you the control you’ve been seeking, alongside the insights you knew were there but had to painstakingly draw from your existing software solutions. If your interested in exploring what an ERP can do for your business, feel free to reach out to our team for a requirements gathering activity. We can understand your budget and let you know what types of solutions will offer you the most impactful outcomes.

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