Books to read

Thanks to Red Team Journal I have another book to add to my list.

Structured Analytic Techniques for Better Strategies sounds like the reference book I’ve been meaning to get for a while, just to solidify the “woolly thinking” behind the analyses that feel right, prove to be right, but don’t necessarily have solid proof in the eyes of Doubting Thomases.

[The] book takes the relatively new concept of structured analytic techniques, defines its place in a taxonomy of analytic methods, and moves it a giant leap forward. It describes 50 techniques that are divided into eight categories. There are techniques for:Decomposition and Visualization
Idea Generation
Scenarios and Indicators

Hypothesis Generation and Testing
Cause and Effect
Challenge Analysis
Conflict Management
Decision SupportEach structured technique involves a step-by-step process that externalizes an individual analyst s thinking in a manner that makes it readily apparent to others, thereby enabling it to be shared, built on, and easily critiqued by others. This structured and transparent process combined with the intuitive input of subject matter experts is expected to reduce the risk of analytic error.

Our current high tech, global environment increasingly requires collaboration between analysts with different areas of expertise and analysts representing different organizational perspectives. Structured analytic techniques are the ideal process for guiding the interaction of analysts within a small team or group. Each step in a technique prompts relevant discussion within the team, and such discussion generates and evaluates substantially more divergent information and more new ideas than a team that does not use a structured process.

Sounds like a good companion to Strategies for Creative Problem Solving and a must-read for anyone serious about risk management.