Citation: Robert David Steele, Graphic: Requirements Management & Program Development, Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 27 March 2013.
The key here is to not only develop all possible requirements across every possible mission area within your Cabinet department or independent agency or subordinate military service, but to also provide very specific timelines and levels of effort and to then KEEP TRACK. The US Intelligence Community could care less whether they satisfy your requirements or not — they use requirements to justify budget allocations and no one holds them accountable for failing to meet your needs. That is on YOU. Work closely with OMB and Congressional staff. Pork is pork regardless of whether it is in the secret budget or YOUR budget with ONE HUGE DIFFERENCE: the Executive elements least served by secret intelligence are also the legislative jurisdictions least leveraging secret programs for political action campaigns — the Members on the agricultural, energy, and health committees and sub-committees, for example. Hence, your requirements offer them an opportunity to increase their pork options while increasing your intelligence capabilities.
The time has come to restore intelligence with integrity to the US Government. Constructive change is not going to come from the secret world. Create your analytic models, ramp up your requirements, and do this now, over the summer, so as to begin your program builds for the out-years and your requrested re-allocations from OMB. Always identify the secret budget as the source of the off-setting reduction, but generally do that informally. OMB has some extraordinarily talented individuals who know how broken the secret world is, but OMB does not manage, they only triage. Help them help you.
The existing requirements system is infantile and unprofessional. Set the stage by creating your own Requirements Spreadsheet approved all the way up to the Secretary. Below is a list of suggested column headings. The secret world is most vulnerable on short-term assignments, assignments that require inter-disciplinary collaboration, and assignments that demand collection, processing, and analysis in languages other than English (e.g. Chinese or Polish patent records searches). This spread sheet should always be shopped INTERNALLY first so that the limitations of the internal library and out-sourced functions can be critically defined at the same time. Below is very rough, just to give you an idea. The bottom line is that the secret world is incapable of meeting secret or open source analytic needs in a real-world real-time environment. The time has come for their creative destruction and the realignment of at least half of the secret budget toward an Open Source Agency (OSA) and internal intelligence capabilities that actually work and do not just serve as front and apologist for the IC. Do not repeat the mistakes of the secret world — see the six fundamental failures identified in 1990 and still extant, below.
Date of Requirement:
Point of Contract:
Preferred Length (the best work is one page and under):
Essential Languages for Collection:
Inter-Agency Collection and Analytic Points of Contact Requested: YES
Over time, and especially if an OSA is a service of common concern, a proper requirements system nurtures Whole of Government dialog, analytics, and decision-support. Too many people want the same information for different reasons, and two many people are doing analysis outside of a whole systems true cost economics context. We are at the very end of the Industrial Era secret stovepipe system.