The Decider

So I work in a business where the way you think has life or death consequences.

What I mean by that is it requires the ability to identify bias, and limiting heuristics in my own thinking and in the thinking of others. This becomes important when you are attempting to find the absolute facts of an issue. Because we are human, each of us with our own set of circumstances and environments, we have different views on the same topic. There is a saying in my field that no two analysts will have the same assessment.

That’s true and, I think, a good thing. Being able to present multiple points of view and having a logical system to rate and determine the value of each hypothesis is important.  Richards  Heuer, came up with a process in  his book The Psychology of Intelligence Analysis.

Heuer’s process was called analysis of competing hypotheses or ACH. It uses a Bayesian method to discuss the merits of each idea and if its supported by the evidence or not. This allows for an analyst to “show their work” turning a somewhat subjective process into a objective one.

Another system that I’ve found that works closely with this idea is the Lean Sigma Six school of thought. While this frame work originates from the auto manufacturing world. (Specifically post WWII Japan) It provides multiple tactics techniques and procedures (TTPs) for quantifying anything. And if you can make something quantifiable then you have a better chance of making it objective.

Really what it comes down to is being able to show your work. Being able to prove that you and your team did the due diligence and the how, and why you came to your conclusion.



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