IST Statewide Faculty Retreat
10-11 May 2010
SRA CAPSTONE COURSE
Topics for Discussion
Why a Capstone Course for SRA
Possible Course Options
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs)
Why a Capstone Course for SRA?
Fill gap in current course offering
Inspired by Army War College “War-Game Exercise”
- Hank Foley
SRA Capstone should:
Focus on information within the context of SRA.
Be grounded in current social trends, threats and
Stress individual and team analysis processes.
Emphasize practical application.
Be an enriching learning experience!
Possible Course Options
Two-semester Option: Leveling course & Exercise
Leveling Course intended to teach/review the required
Exercise puts them into practice in semester-long
command post exercise
One-semester, split course Option: Leveling up
front and Exercise in second half
Same as above only completed in one semester
One-semester, integrated Option: Teach/review KSA
along the way
KSAs are re-enforced while exercise is being conducted
One-semester, integrated Option: Teach/review KSA along
the way: KSAs are re-enforced while exercise is being
Most difficult of the three options to design, but once
complete, easiest to execute;
KSAs are tailored to specific aspects of the exercise in a
Allows students to utilize KSA while fresh and re-enforces
learning through application;
Builds throughout the exercise; and
Culminates in final report/out-brief drawing on all previous
Probable Design Model
- Counterterrorism Scenario
- Convert realistic information/intelligence reports
into actionable intelligence
• Intelligence analysis process
• Collaborative work, team decision making
• Hypothesis generation
• Uncertainty, prediction, tacit knowledge
• Evidence marshalling: information
extraction & knowledge discovery
• Confidence intervals
• Bottom line up front reports
• Executive Summary Briefings
SNA charts in Analyst Notebook
Key Analytic Techniques
Frame your problem.
Visualize your data.
Challenge your assumptions.
Generate multiple hypotheses.
Search for inconsistent data.
Develop indicators to track over time.
Check the reliability of the key evidence.
Sherman Kent’s Intelligence Analysis Types
Thought Process Driven
Strategic, Tactical and Operational Analysis
Internal: Strategic External: Balance
Balance Opportunities vs.
capabilities vs. Assessing Long Term, Big Requirements
constraints Picture Vision and Goals
Assessing the Day-to-Day
Activities and Functions Needed
to Implement the Strategy
Assessing Step-by-Step Actions, Timetables, and
Inside-Out and Outside-In Thinking
Six Simple Rules:
Write it down!
Give yourself enough time.
Never censor anyone else’s ideas.
Be specific about the purpose of the session.
Involve at least one “outsider” in the process.
Capture key takeaways at the end.
Summarize the key insights in a short note
after the session.
Key Assumptions Check
Definition: An explicit exercise to list the key
assumptions that underlie the analysis.
List the working assumptions that underlie the
Assess whether each is solid, needs caveats, or is
If unsupported, assess how this would affect the
analysis and key decisions.
Refine the assumptions as necessary.
Key Assumptions Check
Analysis of Competing Hypotheses
The identification of a complete set of alternative
The systematic evaluation of data that is consistent
and inconsistent with each hypotheses.
The rejection of hypotheses that contain too much
Indicators & warning
Definition: A pre-established set of observable phenomena that
are periodically reviewed to track events, spot emerging
trends, and warn of unanticipated change.
Good Indicators are:
Observable, therefore collectible.
Valid measurements of the phenomena.
Reliable across collection methods and collectors.
Stable across time.
Unique “pointer” or part of a set of “pointers.”
ACH Software Tool Enter
(I, N, NA, C)
I2 Analyst Notebook
Black Sunday: Attack on a major U.S. sporting event
Dirty Bomb: Improvised Radiological Device
Piracy on the High Seas: Cruise-line Take-over
Nuclear non-proliferation: al Qaeda's search for a Nuclear
Insider Threat: Infiltration of U.S. Intelligence
Lights-out: Cyber Attack on the Grid
Dangerous Partners: The Nexus of Terrorism and Crime
Border Security: Preventing WMD Entry into the U.S.
Catch me if you can: Identity Theft and other dirty tricks
Banker’s Dozen: Attack on Wall Street
Show me the Money…
Richards J. Heuer’s Psychology of Intelligence Analysis (PDF
available free on the web or order it from www.pherson.org)
Analytic Technique Checklists (available on request for KAC,
ACH, Brainstorming, and Indicators)
US Government-developed ACH software (download from
Handbook of Analytic Tools and Techniques
(available from www.pherson.org)
Heuer/Pherson’s Structured Analytic Techniques for
Intelligence Analysis (target publication date is December 2009)