Did you ever want to be a spy when you were a kid?

July 29, 2009
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I remember when I was little I wanted to be a spy. So Mum and Dad got a book that taught us about codes, disguises and drop off points. My brothers and I then spent time writing fancy codes and hiding them from one another. Then came James Bond, and I wanted to be a spy for very different reasons. The other day I was looking at the CIA web site (as you can see the passion has not left me) where I came across a document talking about ‘Structured analytic techniques for improving intelligence analysis’. Quite a mouth full I think you will agree.

 

There are a number of techniques discussed that are relevant to us all that work in the arena of problem solving. We are all familiar with brainstorming, and with risk analysis, but how many of us analyse assumptions in depth. How many of us then understand the impact of poor assumptions or poor sets of assumptions? How many of us consider the source of data and analyse the strengths and weaknesses of its quality and our understanding of its content?

Many of us have experienced situations were incorrect data or poor assumptions have impacted our lives, yet we continue to accept truth in data. Data is as good as the analysis and those

I remember when I was little I wanted to be a spy. So Mum and Dad got a book that taught us about codes, disguises and drop off points. My brothers and I then spent time writing fancy codes and hiding them from one another. Then came James Bond, and I wanted to be a spy for very different reasons. The other day I was looking at the CIA web site (as you can see the passion has not left me) where I came across a document talking about ‘Structured analytic techniques for improving intelligence analysis’. Quite a mouth full I think you will agree.

 

There are a number of techniques discussed that are relevant to us all that work in the arena of problem solving. We are all familiar with brainstorming, and with risk analysis, but how many of us analyse assumptions in depth. How many of us then understand the impact of poor assumptions or poor sets of assumptions? How many of us consider the source of data and analyse the strengths and weaknesses of its quality and our understanding of its content?

Many of us have experienced situations were incorrect data or poor assumptions have impacted our lives, yet we continue to accept truth in data. Data is as good as the analysis and those that perform it. It should be questioned and, when challenged, re-evaluated.
There are some good techniques in the white paper for those of you that aspire to be a spy or are continuously looking for a better understanding of the intelligence you create in your respective organisations.

I would be interested to hear from anyone who uses some of these techniques and how it has helped.

 

Daniel Tehan
www.linkedin.com/in/danieltehan

P.S. I no longer want to be a spy, so no job offers please.