learning with professionals - Higgins Counterterrorism Research ...


learning with professionals - Higgins Counterterrorism Research ...


Process improvement efforts have had limited success within the intelligence service.

Many people attribute this failure to cultural resistance — the belief that government

bureaucracies insulate themselves from the consequences of poor management. Certainly,

the Intelligence Community is susceptible to this charge: it restricts information flow with

stringent security compartmentation, lacks pressure from stockholders and competition,

and fails to provide meaningful incentives for conscientious resource management. In

addition, intelligence products are not commodities that can be objectively weighed and

measured for quality or value. Many managers of intelligence activities consider the judgment

of quality is simply beyond their control, having learned to accept that there will be

as many measures of quality as there are customers.

The goal of this paper has been to demonstrate that it is possible to define an unambiguous,

logical model for intelligence provision, and that such a model, or doctrine, would

sharpen our focus on what our customers value. Our customers’ values must be our values;

doctrine built on these values provides the basis of principled leadership and service.

The systematic value-based focus, with the help of a simple process-to-principle framework,

should help us identify and overcome specific preventable weaknesses in intelligence


The illustrative performance standards identified in this paper encompass the vast

breadth of activities needed to conduct an intelligence support service. The benefits of a

doctrinal framework for performance standards would be magnified greatly if intelligence

providers tailor the standards in the framework to the responsibilities and goals of their

own offices. In this manner, doctrine becomes a managerial tool relevant for day-to-day

use and a systematic path for process improvement initiatives.


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