Monday, August 6, 2018

6 Things To Think About While Discussing Requirements With A Decisionmaker

An intel professional successfully gets everything he needs from a
DM in a requirements briefing.  Guess which one is the unicorn...
How can I use the limited amount of time my decisionmakers have to discuss their intelligence requirements to get the maximum return on that investment?  Earlier this summer, I began a series on this precise theme.

I have already written about how to prepare for an intelligence requirements meeting and about how to deal with a virtual intelligence requirements environment.  Today, I am writing part one of a six part series discussing what intel professionals need to think about when they are actually in the meeting, talking to a decisionmaker about his or her requirements.

1.  Does the DM really want intelligence?

It goes without saying that an organization's mission is going to drive its intel requirements.  Whether the goal is to launch a new product line or take the next hill, decisionmakers need intel to help them think through the problem.

Unfortunately, DMs often conflate operational concerns ("What are we going to do?" kinds of questions) with intel concerns ("What is the other guy going to do?" kinds of questions).  This is particularly true in a business environment where intelligence as a distinct function of business is a relatively new concept.

Good intelligence requirements are typically about something which is important to an organization's success or failure but which is also outside that organization's control.  Good intelligence requirements are, in short, about the "other guy" - the enemy, the competitor, the criminal - or, at least, about the external environment.

Intelligence professionals need to be able to extract intelligence requirements from this broader conversation, play them back to the DM to confirm that both parties understand what needs to be done before they go to work.

Tomorrow:  #2 What kind of intelligence is the DM looking for?

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