learning with professionals - Higgins Counterterrorism Research ...


learning with professionals - Higgins Counterterrorism Research ...

Ensuring that Requirements Meet Customer Needs

Even when they follow this method of formulating intelligence requirements together,

decisionmakers and their intelligence units in the public and private sectors may still have

an incomplete grasp of how to define their needs and capabilities — until they have evaluated

the resultant products. Thus, customer feedback, production planning and tasking, as

well as any internal product evaluation, all become part of the process of defining needs

and creating intelligence requirements. However, when intelligence producers and users

are not in nearly direct, daily contact, this process can consume a good deal of time. This

is why the national Intelligence Community is experimenting with compressing both the

accustomed time and spatial dimensions of the intelligence process through remote electronic

collaboration and production methods. 45

Whether in business or government, six fundamental values or attributes underlie the

core principles from which all the essential intelligence functions are derived. The corollary

is that intelligence customers’ needs may be defined and engaged by intelligence professionals

using these same values. Table 6 offers a brief explanation of how both

intelligence customers and producers may use these values to evaluate how well they have

translated needs into requirements that will result in useful products. 46

Interpretation of these values turns a customer’s need into a collection and production

requirement that the intelligence service understands in the context of its own functions.

However, illustrating the complexity of the intelligence process, once this is done, the

next step is not necessarily collection.

Rather, the next stage is analysis. Perhaps the requirement is simply and readily

answered — by an existing product, by ready extrapolation from files or data bases, or

by a simple phone call or short desk note based on an analyst’s or manager’s knowledge.

On the other hand, the requirement might necessitate laborious effort — extrapolation,

collation, analysis, integration, and production — but still the product can be

constructed and sent directly to the requester. Case closed; next problem.... Preliminary

analysis might well show, however, that while much data exists, because the issue at

hand is not a new one, gaps in information must be filled... Obviously, this calls for collection.

This brings up an essential point: consumers do not drive collection per se; analysts

do — or should. 47 Part III explores this next step in the intelligence process.

45 The U.S. military has pioneered the concept of an electronic intelligence operating environment that transcends

organizational boundaries. Congress has recommended that the IC adopt this Joint Intelligence Virtual

Architecture model to take advantage of technological developments, reduce bureaucratic barriers, and thereby

provide policymakers with timely, objective, and useful intelligence. See U.S. Congress Staff Study, House Permanent

Select Committee on Intelligence, IC21: The Intelligence Community in the 21st Century, (April 1996):

Section III, “Intelligence Requirements Process.”

46 The six values are adapted by Brei from an earlier version of U.S. Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs of

Staff, Joint Pub 2-0, Joint Doctrine for Intelligence Support to Operations (Washington, DC: GPO, 5 May

1995), IV-15.

47 Dearth, “National Intelligence,” 18-19.


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