Chapter 2: Investing in People
To build and maintain a diverse work force that is second to none in its analytic discipline, regional and technical expertise, collection mastery, intellectual rigor, communications skills and knowledge of consumers’ needs.
- Joint and Community-wide training and education programs in language, analytic trade-craft, management, and collection disciplines: National Intelligence Academy.
- Acquire designated training positions to allow ten percent of analysts to be in training or developmental assignments at any given time.
- Community database cataloging analytic skills and capabilities across the IC is in place and maintained.
- A systematic, empirical methodology in place to determine current and future analytic resource requirements.
- Staffing goals established that include "bench strength" to ensure opportunities for training and development.
- Coordinated, coherent, needs-based analytic career development system in place at each organization.
- Analytic work force routinely participates in professionally enhancing rotational assignments.
- Flexible recruitment policies established.
- Expert analyst corps established across agencies to permit promotion to executive positions.
- Metrics embedded in training to capture improvement and determine return on investment.
- Established goals or defined measures of success in place with regard to work force diversity.
- Robust IC training program for managers and analysts in National Intelligence Academy.
- Tiered staffing system in place for depth and breadth.
- Management uses IC skills database to match peoples’ skills, knowledge, and expertise to meet priorities, identify gaps, determine hiring/recruitment requirements and training curricula.
- Substantial rotational opportunities in place for analysts to serve in government, industry, academia, and overseas.
- Clear management accountability for analytic career development.
- Analytic training and education requirements drive program development.
All NIPB agencies recognize that “analysis is people,” and they support investment in skills and expertise as a top priority. The Community’s record, however, is mixed on preserving that investment against shifting or unforeseen current requirements. The SIP will enable NIPB agencies to monitor their performance on investment over time.
The ADCI/AP will make a strong push on developing an interagency training program in FY2001 and acquiring designated analytic training billets over the next five years. With regard to the broader personnel agenda, the ADCI/AP will coordinate with NIPB members and the Community Management Staff (CMS) to facilitate closer collaboration in developing recruitment, professional development, and assignments strategies. He will promote dialogue on “best business practices” across the agencies and will chair periodic NIPB meetings to track progress on critical management issues, such as work force diversity.
The SIP will allow the NIPB, in cooperation with CMS, to address a long-standing but unfulfilled objective of the Community: the development of an interagency training program. This will be an interactive process, which the SIP should help sustain. The first step in FY2001 will be the NIPB’s production of common requirements for training in management, analytic tradecraft, languages, and collection disciplines.
The NIPB’s aspirations are, however, that common training will gradually move beyond paper requirements, first to a virtual program and ultimately augmented with an IC National Intelligence Academy. The goal, in addition to increasing professional knowledge and skills, would be to foster interaction—and bonding—among officers across the agencies. The program also would provide a venue for retired IC officials to teach, write, and both document and transmit the history of the IC to future generations.
NIPB acquisition of designated developmental positions will increase opportunities for analysts to participate in training and educational experiences at all stages of their careers. Our objective is to provide organizations with a “backfill” capability by 2005, that would allow ten percent of the analytic work force to be engaged in training and education at a given time.
Work Force Issues
Depending on the analytic organization and the occupational discipline, there is a work force “graying” (i.e, aging) and “greening” (i.e., an influx of very young people) problem in the Intelligence Community. Some agencies have done little or no hiring over the past decade because of downsizing, the need to invest in research and development and technical systems, or an inability to acquire recruits with the desired skills. Senior personnel are retiring without being replaced with analysts having comparable knowledge, and some remaining veteran analysts possess skills that are outdated and less important in today’s world.
Other agencies, however, have been able to hire, but have recruited heavily at the entry level. These newer analysts will require at least five to eight years to reach journeyman status, and, in the meantime, some regional and functional disciplines will suffer from a serious shortage of in-house expertise. Moreover, some scientific and technical (S&T) centers are experiencing an influx of junior military personnel with strong educational and technical credentials, but who have little or no analytic experience. Both “gray” and “green” analysts will require appropriate training and education, as well as enriching professional experiences and assignments.
Perhaps an even greater problem facing the Intelligence Community is that it lacks an empirical basis for determining exactly how many analysts it needs to ensure breadth of coverage and depth of expertise. Without the capability to track and catalogue analytic skills and expertise across the Community, it is difficult to determine overall gaps and shortfalls in analytic manpower by occupational specialty or competency.
In addition to a shortage of resources, certain management policies and organizational cultures impede building and sustaining substantive expertise. For example, some agencies offer almost no opportunity for analysts to rotate out of their “home” offices and serve in related substantive assignments in their own or other organizations or with customers located here or abroad. Analysts in other agencies believe they must change jobs or rotate to a new job area every two to three years to ensure they are competitive for promotion and/or career progression by becoming intelligence “generalists.” However, in every agency analysts customarily must transition to management to move up the career ladder, since there are too few non-managerial opportunities to reach the senior and executive ranks. This leaves little upward mobility for those analysts who seek to become true substantive experts.
Not only must the Community continue to hire the most talented, diverse work force, but it also has to ensure that once on board, all employees are provided with equal opportunities for training, education, assignments, and career progression.
To meet these challenges, the individual NIPB agencies have committed significant human and fiscal resources to provide our analysts with more training and professional development opportunities. If we are to reach our goal of building and sustaining a world-class analytic work force with the required depth and breadth of expertise, the Community must do more by working corporately to: maintain robust career development and training while better defining and managing skill requirements; employ innovative recruitment and assignment strategies; and cultivate the talents of a diverse work force.
Career Development and Training
In recent years the analytic community has initiated several new programs to enhance the quality and availability of training. Organizations have made a particular effort to focus on training in tradecraft in a variety of analytic mission areas. There has been less work in the area of career development.
CIA started the Sherman Kent School of Intelligence in 2000. The curriculum of the new school emphasizes training in analytic tradecraft. The heart of the Kent School is a six-month course of instruction for analysts that covers intelligence history, values, and ethics, as well as tradecraft.
Much of DIA’s expertise-building effort has been focused on educating a largely civilian analytic work force in the tradecraft of military intelligence. To that end, DIA developed a military familiarization course, which provides an intense field experience with the US Armed Forces to enhance analysts’ understanding of the warfighters’ requirements for intelligence support. The National Air Intelligence Center (NAIC) has also initiated a training course in analytic tradecraft for new members of its work force. The Joint Military Intelligence College (JMIC) contributes to the continuing education of Community personnel engaged in a variety of intelligence disciplines. The JMIC grants both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in strategic intelligence.
In an effort to begin developing an Intelligence “virtual university,” the Defense Intelligence community has undertaken a project, in partnership with a collection of training and education organizations who have shared interests and similar goals. They are networked together in a web-based environment for the purpose of expanding access to learning, decreasing costs, increasing collaborative information flow, and giving control to the user. It empowers students by making the full spectrum of training and education easily and readily available online.
Although most production community managers have succeeded as analysts, many of them are not as proficient in developing analysts. The leaders who shape the analytic working environment over the next decade must have superior skills for developing analysts, as well as outstanding technical expertise in the preparation of high-quality intelligence for our customers.
Although there are examples of DoD joint training efforts, most organizations continue to perceive training, even in entry-level analytic tradecraft, to be unique to a specific agency and therefore proceed with independent initiatives. Cultural biases and lack of funding are the main impediments to more IC collaboration on training and career development.
Managing the Skill Mix
By the end of the decade, the Intelligence Community aims to have a highly skilled, world-class work force that has adequate funds and staff to perform both traditional and non-traditional missions. In many cases, these missions are operationally focused, requiring analysts to function in a crisis environment, more often than not on lower priority countries. At the same time, the Community must continue to ensure that it has sufficient analysts and expertise to cover its highest priority targets. Much of the effort to determine knowledge and skill requirements has to be based on empirical methodologies for determining substantive, needs-based analytic requirements for today and tomorrow.
To meet these goals, the Community must:
- Develop more systematic and empirical methods of determining current and future analytic resource requirements.
- Determine the appropriate balance between resources for the in-house work force and outside experts.
- Adopt less onerous but more precise processes for gathering data on IC analytic skills, knowledge, and expertise.
The Community should do more in developing empirical methods to plan for future analytic personnel requirements, especially taking into consideration the role of outside expertise. It has, however, made some strides in building databases to track knowledge, skills and experience. The Defense Intelligence community, for example, has initiated development of several personnel management systems and employee databases collaboratively.
The ADCI for Analysis and Production is developing an IC-wide capability for the NIPB, building upon the work already under way in the Community. While no single organization is collecting all of the key data required for an IC-wide capability to measure expertise and monitor depth, their cumulative work provides a sound foundation for the development of an IC analytic skills database and tracking system.
The building of skills databases is a first step in developing needs-based analytic requirements related to future work force size and expertise. The Community should increase efforts to develop corporate, empirical methodologies to determine IC-wide staffing needs; ensure that it has the bench strength to meet current intelligence requirements; build knowledge and expertise; and allow for training and career development. The need to determine the appropriate balance between on-board and outside analytic expertise must also be addressed.
Recruitment, Hiring, and Staffing Strategies
The analytic community has taken several steps to recruit and hire highly qualified employees and provide them with a work place environment that encourages career growth in analysis. For example, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), the National Air Intelligence Center (NAIC), and the National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) have employed “signing bonuses” to recruit and hire geospatial and imagery analysts, scientists, and engineers in hard-to-fill disciplines.
NIMA has taken advantage of new personnel management authorities to implement pay banding—flexible monetary compensation programs. The pay bands will provide flexibility for compensating analysts as they reach desired levels of proficiency. NIMA is the only NIPB organization to adopt pay banding and has initiated it on a relatively small scale.
The National Intelligence Officer for Science and Technology (NIO/S&T) and the IC Advanced Technology Group are leading a Community working group to develop future cross-agency requirements for scientific and technical analysis. Part of this effort focuses on the S&T work force, including analysts. The goals are to ensure IC access to world-class technical talent, sustain an evolving learning environment, foster business process reengineering, and establish criteria for robust investment. Part of this effort will focus on refining personnel management practices.
While all of these initiatives add value, the analytic community must take a more coherent and collaborative approach to personnel management. Recruitment and hiring must take place at all levels—entry, mid-career, senior, and executive. There probably will be a requirement for a more mixed analytic work force, consisting of on-board employees who are both long-term careerists and short-term (two-five years) specialists, as well as consultants and contractors. Most economic forecasts predict that there will continue to be shortages of skilled employees in science and technology fields. This means that Intelligence Community recruitment and hiring practices will have to be innovative and aggressive and that management practices will have to be adjusted so that the Community can meets its expertise requirements.
In addition to changing recruitment, hiring, and management practices, the analytic community will have to adopt more coherent placement strategies for its on-board work force. We must pay closer attention to rotational assignments, which should contribute both to developing analysts as intelligence officers and to building substantive expertise and knowledge. To facilitate this effort, bold partnerships with academia, industry, the government laboratories, and other federal agencies with national security portfolios need to be established. Analysts need more opportunities to serve in beneficial rotational assignments that build and sustain expertise and provide professional experiences from an alternative perspective.
Initiatives that aim to provide analysts the same opportunities as managers to reach the top ranks encourage analysts to remain on accounts longer, thereby strengthening in-depth knowledge and expertise. Recommendations for increased career progression to senior ranks, however, have to be weighed against other investment issues. One, in particular, is the rising share of personnel costs as part of the overall intelligence budget. This factor weighs heavily in production organizations’ calculations, because analysis is a people-focused mission.
Cultivating the Talents of a Diverse Work Force
Over the next decade, demographic trends in the United States suggest women and minorities will constitute a growing majority of new entrants into the American labor market. The DCI has stated that diversity is a powerful tool that can help us meet the intelligence challenges of the coming century. To extract maximum benefit from diversity, the Community must not only increase the diversity of the work force, but also use the many talents of the men and women who are already with us to optimum advantage.
The IC must take bold and serious initiatives to achieve the DCI’s stated goals in this area. We must:
- Treat this “people issue” as a high priority, giving it the same level of commitment that we place on difficult intelligence problems.
- Ensure that every analytic organization maintains demographic data.
- Set goals and define measures of success.
- Establish leadership and managerial accountability for ensuring that all segments of the work force succeed.
- Conduct regular evaluations of the progress of all analysts to try to anticipate, as well as address, disturbing trends affecting demographic subgroups.
- Evaluate remedial strategies to determine effectiveness.
We must ensure that every person hired has the opportunity to compete for the highest positions. This includes making sure that all employees have equal access to training, education, and assignments—especially high-visibility positions that lead to senior appointments. It is not enough just to employ a diverse work force. We must ensure that those with different perspectives have a seat at the table and a meaningful voice in the discussion.
Investment Strategy to Build Analytic Expertise
Building and sustaining analytic expertise will be enhanced by Community-wide adoption of relevant and coherent business practices, coupled with innovative personnel management. The strategies and implementing actions discussed here are a combination of building on the best business practices of current NIPB programs, and new initiatives to develop and sustain analytic expertise. Needed are empirical methodologies to determine required substantive capabilities and skills; funding and staffing adequate to meet mission and expertise requirements; enhanced opportunities for work force training and career development; and optimal expectation of the benefits of work force diversity.
To achieve these capabilities, the analytic community will:
1. Establish a robust IC training and career development program, identifying common training requirements, supporting the “virtual university” concept and developing options for a National Intelligence Academy for IC training and education.
The NIPB will develop requirements for an interagency analytic training program with required curriculum and designated training positions. This will provide for increased joint training opportunities and a back-fill capability that allows all IC analysts to engage in needed developmental experiences. Coherent career development systems that link training, education, and assignments will support analysts at all stages of their careers.
- Develop common training requirements for management, analytic tradecraft, and collection disciplines familiarization by FY 2001.
- Acquire designated training positions in future years to allow ten percent of the analytic work force to fulfill training and education requirements.
- Replace the conglomerate of training courses and career development programs with a coherent career system.
Most analytic organizations understandably stress mission-related activities over career development and training. To ensure the latter areas receive the attention they deserve at a Community level, the NIPB should direct establishment of an IC forum under its auspices to work training and career development issues. In addition to NIPB members, others, such as human resources and training specialists, should be invited to participate.
- Establish an NIPB sub-committee for career development and training and to begin exploring options for a National Intelligence Academy.
- Support the development of a web-based “virtual university.”
- Evaluate/implement the findings of the ADCI/AP analytic training needs assessment.
- Ensure funding for, access to, quality training/education, and assignments to build expertise.
2. Adopt innovative recruitment, hiring, staffing, and retention strategies to build expertise.
Building an analytic work force for the 21st century requires adopting a new business paradigm or model for recruitment, hiring, and staffing. This not only includes establishing market-driven pay categories for hard-to-fill occupations, but also adopting more flexible personnel management policies and regulations. Currently, most Intelligence analysts are recruited and hired at entry level. However, some issue areas can only be addressed by analysts with specialized skills and expertise. When home-grown expertise is insufficient, the IC must be prepared to pay market rates to hire outside analysts at what are normally regarded as senior positions. Although there would not be many such hires and they would not necessarily remain to complete a career in intelligence, they might be the only way to acquire the in-depth knowledge and high degree of expertise that is required to tackle some of the more difficult problems. Ideally, such high entry-level positions would be time-limited appointments, to be extended and renewed as required.
- Establish market-driven pay categories to recruit/compensate analysts in highly competitive skill areas.
- Increase senior- and executive-level hiring.
- Expand use of time-limited appointments.
- Expand tiered work force: a mix of long-term careerists, short-term employees (two to five years), and annuitants/contractors/consultants.
Rotational assignments, if designed and tailored to allow analysts to continue working in a useful knowledge area, can be one of the most important and rewarding components of career development. To build and sustain expertise, rotational assignments must meet the criterion of either enhancing an analyst’s knowledge of a core specialty or providing broadening insights into a complementary discipline. Expansion of the Community’s rotational partnerships with the private sectors, academia and other government agencies is especially important for the S&T analytic work force.
- Establish expertise-building or -broadening rotational assignments (overseas programs, partnerships with academia/private sector).
Career progression as an analyst in the Intelligence Community must include the ability to reach senior ranks without having to transition to management, if a strong cadre of analysts with sustained expertise is to be developed. Over the next decade, NIPB organizations should increase the number of senior positions open to analysts.
- Conduct annual reviews of all senior/executive positions to develop appropriate balance.
Career patterns of many types of employees entering the US work force over the next decade will be characterized by greater mobility than those of their predecessors, and this trend is likely to affect the Intelligence Community as well. We must be prepared for, and, in many cases, embrace a segment of the work force that will transition back and forth between the private sector and government. These employees will take responsibility for their own job satisfaction and may be attracted to the IC by the opportunity to obtain skills and knowledge that they may not be able to acquire if their career spanned only government, industry, or academia.
- Develop flexible personnel security policies to accomplish missions and protect secret amidst less fixed work force patterns.
3. Adopt empirical methodologies to determine requirements for analytic work force size and skill mix.
Much of the effort to determine knowledge requirements and identify areas for investment has to be based on accurate personnel and skills data. In addition, we must be able to discern which of the analytic community’s core missions require continuous in-depth expertise and should be performed by an in-house work force, which can be fulfilled by employing various types of external expertise, and which need a combination of Community and outside resources to meet analytic requirements.
- Perform an IC-wide needs assessment to determine the appropriate size of the analytic community. (Consider growth in personnel costs; allowances for training/surge; generalists vs. specialists; long- and short-term employees and contractors; in-house and external expertise balance.)
- Continue funding to develop agency and IC skills databases.
4. Develop and effectively manage a diverse analytic work force.
If we are to retain our capability to provide our customers with a decisive information advantage, we must, according to the DCI, “learn to recognize diversity as the valuable asset that it is.” The corporate world has already determined that diversity means profits, and we can also realize intellectual dividends if we know how to get the most out of a diverse work force. This means not only intensively recruiting women, minorities, and the disabled, but also ensuring that we have policies, practices, and procedures in place to ensure that all employees achieve their full potential. We cannot afford to waste the talent of even one employee—much less entire groups of analysts.
Our training, career development, and staffing strategies must be optimized to ensure that we use the talents of all members of the work force to their fullest extent. Managers and leaders must be held accountable for the growth, development, and progression of all analysts. We must ensure that analysts with different views and perspectives are full players in the analytic process at all levels.
- ADCI/AP sponsor a review conducted by outside experts to determine causes of under-representation.
- Develop specific strategies to address causes and barriers and establish accountability for fixing them.
- Establish goals and define measures of success.
- ADCI/AP conduct an annual review to monitor progress on: representation, training, education, compensation, assignments, promotions, etc.