Feedback vs. Feed-forward
While similar planning and control techniques may be employed in feedback as well as feed-forward approaches, there are profound differences between the two
Feedback is basically an exercise in remediation; correcting, learning and improving performance in an existing business. Feed-forward focuses on fashioning a future—a future that is unrelated to the past.
Feedback essentially involves performance appraisal and learning. Feed-forward focuses on managing uncertainty and an unknowable future.
Feedback continuously improves managerial decision making by advancing the understanding of cause-effect relationships. Feed-forward involves a leap of faith, committing to a belief in a cause-effect relationship in order to make strategic decisions and allocate resources.
Feedback-oriented systems engage in episodic reviews of performance at specified intervals of time (i.e. quartery). Feedforward-oriented systems trigger analysis whenever assumptions that have been made appear to be mistaken or new issues are spotted.
Feedback employs databases that collect historical data. Feed-forward works with information derived from possible future scenarios.