To provide our consumers
with the best, custom-tailored intelligence whenever and wherever they need it,
to develop more rational business processes that will help us better distribute
the production burden, and to enhance our ability to evaluate our performance
against standards of analytic tradecraft and the needs of our consumers.
- Improvements in web-based technologies, development of communities of
interest, and advances in security lead to better tasking, tracking, and dissemination
- Common methodologies adopted for evaluating product/customer
satisfaction; ADCI/AP producing annual report that evaluates our performance on
key analytic issues.
- Coordination on current production increases through use
of digital production.
- A seamless
production environment means customer requests are easily tracked; on-line
communication with customer is interactive; multiple security domains and
communities of interest working smoothly.
- Community evaluation program well-established;
common methodologies provide useful trend data.
- Joint Program of Community
Analysis results in better distribution of labor.
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Intelligence Community’s number one priority is to provide its customers with
the best possible custom-tailored intelligence whenever and wherever they need
it. Our ability to do so depends, in
large part, on how well we under stand and respond to their needs and on how much
our products help them do their jobs. Therefore, our investment strategy for
maximizing customer support must:
- Enhance direct linkages between analysts and consumers to encourage a
continuous dialogue and sustained feedback, which will permit us to improve
service and adjust priorities as necessary.
- Manage expectations so that our
customers are realistic in their taskings and better appreciate what we can
bring to the table, and, conversely, focus our analytic efforts on priority
issues rather than stretch resources to meet every request.
- Develop common
metrics and methods of assessing customer satisfaction to evaluate our
performance and more effectively argue for analytic resources, when
- Eliminate needless duplication
among Community components and actively encourage collaboration in production
and marketing of each other’s product.
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Our Changing Customer
customers have more information at their finger tips than at any time in
history. They are better informed, more focused
in their tasking, and more exacting in what they expect from intelligence. More often than not, they want tailored
support for their own specific, narrowly-defined agendas. Consumers are more
critical of what we deliver, and paradoxically, more demanding as our response
times improve with technology. Also available
to them, in an abundance their predecessors could not imagine, is an array of
easily accessed alternative sources of information from beyond the Intelligence
Changing customer needs and
expectations, as well as the transformed information environment, make it
imperative that the analytic community restructure its business practices and production
processes, reexamine its relation ship with customers, and look for ways to reduce
duplication and more effectively use information that already exists within the
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Managing and Measuring Customer Demand
Today, most agencies use a combination of people and technology-based methods to help identify
and respond to customer demands. Anecdotal evidence and rudimentary statistics indicate
that most agencies are relatively successful in both areas. Nevertheless, the analytic agencies continue
to wrestle with how to better measure and manage customer demand, and all are
aggressively refining mechanisms already in place.
The national intelligence
agencies and smaller single-customer intelligence units within the analytic community tend to be heavily people
oriented on the front end of the request and-response chain, while relying on
technology at the back end to capture statistics on customer demand and
analytic production. The larger military
intelligence producers, in contrast, are automating their request, tasking, and
response systems—at both the front and back ends—to serve a scattered and
Much of the current focus—especially in the larger national
and military organizations—is directed toward the long-term goal of creating an
integrated electronic production environment.
The large organizations, for example, are making strides, albeit
somewhat uneven, in tracking customer requests and in recording and capturing
production flow, an effort that will become increasingly critical if we are to develop
common “knowledge warehouses” that are easily accessible to our customers and
to each other.
Although the relatively unsophisticated mechanisms used within
our Community to manage and measure customer support have been adequate to
date, they do not meet the needs of the Community as the workload expands. In addition, we are being asked more
frequently to justify our expenditures and activities. We must be able to demonstrate the connection
between demand and production in much the same way as the commercial world
currently does. We must also show that
we are working cooperatively to realize cost efficiencies and develop interoperable
systems. Despite different missions and
customer bases, technology is driving us down similar paths, and we can
capitalize on one another’s efforts and better justify resources if we tackle
these problems together.
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Disseminating our “Product”
The manner in which we disseminate our prod
uct is undergoing a rapid transformation. Indeed, improvements in dissemination
technology have led us to expand what we mean by the term “product.” Although
we could not do so just five years ago, most of us can now conceive of an
intelligence environment in which consumers and producers are electronically
and securely connected at different levels of classification and access, the
flow of information between and among us is continuous, the for mat and type of
media are tailored to customer preferences, and products are continuously updated
and added to knowledge warehouses. In such an environment, customers would be able
to access information at any time from any location, and “products” might be
defined as traditional analytic assessments, multimedia presentations, or
simply bits of data and information.
At present, we are in a transitional
stage, trying to adjust to these new and still evolving technologies while
dealing with customers who are demanding more timely delivery of more relevant
intelligence. Our various agencies are responding
to the challenge in many creative ways:
DoD and CIA:
Reengineering Production for the Future
Both CIA and the Defense Intelligence
Community are aggressively reengineering their production processes. Both plans
emphasize essentially the same goals—faster dissemination of product and better
satisfaction of customer needs—and both capitalize on best practices in the
CIA is creating a secure
web publishing and dissemination infrastructure. The effort is designed to
streamline work flow and create a shared technical infrastructure to make
collaboration easier and to electronically disseminate raw and finished
products to the intelligence consumer. The main objectives of the initiative
Intelligence community envisions the transition of the production process and
information technology to an operations/intelligence “infosphere” environment.
In such an environment, the defense intelligence community would move from
single-purpose and single-data-type systems toward an integrated set of virtual
knowledge bases. Key objectives include:
Improving analysis by streamlining the production process and
enabling the rapid deployment of advanced tools to exploit information more
Implementing electronic production and removing the bottlenecks
that delay dissemination of the product to the customer.
- Managing the
intelligence process to capture and reuse knowledge and information and incorporate
the customer directly into the feedback process.
- Dynamically integrating national
intelligence analysis from multiple sources with the timely reporting of
tactical sensors, platforms, and other battlefield information.
customer, user, and producer interfaces so that organizations at all levels
(national-allied/coalition-theater-tactical) have access to digital data that
each can retrieve, manipulate.
Using advanced models, architectures,
automated metrics/management tools and authoritative production templates
within a collaborative environment to dynamically assign, prioritize, track,
and measure the operations/intelligence infosphere content.
The good news in our various efforts is
that we are all looking toward web-based solutions and using predominantly
commercial operating technology to build and refine our distribution systems. This means that our separate paths are likely
to lead toward the same destination. As a Community, however, we must work more
closely to realize cost efficiencies, take advantage of each others’ successes
and failures, and ensure that agencies ultimately can operate interactively and easily in a secure
information environment. In particular,
we need to synchronize our policies as we move toward creating a common
knowledge space and linking information repositories.
At the same time, it is
highly unlikely that the paper product will disappear or that the utility of
face-to-face contact will dissipate. As
eye popping as many of the new technologies are, our key customers will still
need personal assistance in obtaining the intelligence most important to their
needs. Some technology smart customers
may design and use their own intelligence homepages, but time constraints will
limit how frequently or often most of our senior policymakers, defense
planners, and warfighters navigate the intelligence web.
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As we establish and refine new systems
and tools for serving our customers and delivering our products, it will become
increasingly important to develop methods for evaluating our performance that
produce consistent results that can be replicated and applied across the Community. Statistics on demand and production tell only
part of the story. If customers are demanding
and receiving more, we can assume that we are, at least in part, satisfying a
need. These types of measures, however, do not tell us how well we performed,
whether our trade craft was sound, whether we “called it right,” and whether
our products actually helped our customers.
In addition to mission or agency
reviews that provide organizational feedback, most of our analytic
organizations have some rudimentary mechanisms in place for evaluating their
products and trying to capture information on customer satisfaction. We all face a common dilemma—how to perform
these evaluations without a barrage of survey instruments that are more likely
than not to irritate our busy customers and lead to survey “fatigue.”
We are frequently asked by our congressional oversight
committees how good our intelligence analysis is and how well we are responding
to customers’ needs. It would be useful
(and will likely become necessary) to be able to back up our answers with
better evidence than anecdotal data and the results of subjective self
appraisals. Apart from the need to
respond to Congress, however, we should develop better methods for measuring
performance and customer satisfaction because, without them, we cannot reliably
or confidently determine what we need to fix and how we can improve.
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A certain amount of
duplication in intelligence research, analysis, and production is not only useful
but arguably vital to our mission. Indeed, from time to time the analytic community
has been asked to establish mechanisms to perform competitive analysis of
contentious or politically charged issues of high import. However, given
budgetary realities, it is imperative that our analytic community look for ways
to reduce unnecessary redundancies and build on the knowledge, capabilities,
and products already extant in the larger Intelligence Community. Most of our
organizations have taken steps to rationalize production within their units or
“communities,” and we are making some progress across the Intelligence Community
Cooperation, however, is still spotty, and agencies often find it
difficult to cede turf to other organizations when their primary customers are
continuing to demand information on a particular topic. The lack of connectivity and collaborative
tools (see Technology chapter) also inhibits efforts to share the burden or
solicit help from other analytic units.
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To provide our customers with the kind of intelligence
they want and need without wasting their time and patience, the analytical community
1. Develop better and more
consistent methods for evaluating our products and measuring how well we are
satisfying customer needs. Without a good program for evaluating our
collection and analysis, we cannot speak with any degree of confidence about
how well we are or are not hitting the mark.
Without such a program, we also miss an opportunity to make studied
judgments about our activities and what we can do to improve our collection and
analytic posture. We simply cannot
continue to rely on anecdotal evidence, data that can not be replicated, and
statistics that are questionable and inconsistent across the community. (See
also Interacting with Collectors chapter.)
- Work with collection community to develop single
evaluation process that incorporates both collection and analysis. Initiate a Community-wide
evaluation process on core issues to be presented to the DCI as an annual
report. Conduct a first-year pilot on two
or three issues. Review pilot for
lessons learned, adjust program. Begin
full-scale evaluations by FY 2001.
- Establish blue ribbon panels—ideally a mix
of insiders and outsiders—under the purview of the ADCI/AP to conduct evaluations
of event-driven production. Panel members
would vary depending on the issue involved.
Studies would be initiated at the behest of the ADCI/AP, in consultation
with the NIPB. In addition to assessing
performance, these evaluations would include les sons learned and
- Explore electronic audit trails and other electronic
“survey” measures to encourage customer feedback; more accurately deter mine
customer usage, productivity, and timeliness, relevance, and quality of product;
and obtain other useful statistics. Investigate possible procedural, legal, and
security issues connected with use of audit trail data.
- Learn how web-based
businesses measure customer satisfaction and determine what we might profitably
2. Accelerate digital
production efforts and increase Community collaboration in tracking customer
requests, measuring productivity, sharing information, and developing tools
that make it easier for customers to navigate our knowledge warehouses. Connectivity and collaborative tools are absolutely
essential to make progress in sup porting our customers, speeding dissemination
of our products, tracking customer demand and productivity, and reducing
unnecessary duplication of effort. The
Technology chapter of this investment plan deals with these issues in greater
detail. We can, however, point to some specific steps here to help realize the
customer support objectives highlighted above.
- Migrate digital production technology and tools
to agency offices that produce daily publications and to the National
Intelligence Council (NIC) as a first priority—ensuring, at minimum, that
systems are interoperable. Share best practices and lessons learned in digital
- Strengthen the current
electronic tracking mechanisms employed by various agencies to ensure that they
adequately register customer needs at the front end, track responses at the
back end, and capture information in production warehouses so that it can be recovered
and reused by customers and other analysts.
Share best practices. Look for
solutions that are, at a minimum, compatible.
- Cooperate in development of
tools to help customers search for and retrieve information quickly.
3. Rationalize production of current publications
to reduce unnecessary duplication while preserving opportunities for competitive
analysis where appropriate and needed.
Examine production responsibilities across the Community to ensure appropriate
distribution of labor and to share the burden more effectively. We must find ways to cooperate on our
analytic production and reduce the redundant flow of information reaching our
customers—with out damaging our ability to engage in competitive analysis where
useful. In doing so, we will not only
serve our customers better, but also free up resources that are need ed to
address other pressing problems.
- Establish baseline of
resources (dollars and manpower) devoted to production of daily publications
across the Community and develop alternative approaches to Community
collaboration—taking account of different customer sets, cost factors, existing
and required technology/ connectivity, etc.
- Revitalize Community coordination process for
- Examine methods
for ensuring that competitive analysis on key issues still finds a voice and is
incorporated into daily publications.
- Initiate a Community Program of Analysis to rationalize areas of overlap and
underlap. Focus especially on strategic studies.
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