Intelligence-led project management introduces methods from the intelligence profession into project management. It focusses on research, analysis and dissemination of unknowns.
The technique helps with high-risk high-stake projects, in the same way that intelligence helps fend of national threats.
Where did the method come from?
The principles of intelligence processes are well documented, by ex CIA officers and others.
My work has been to find a subset that can be applied to project management in a commercial context. I changed the language and approach to match with project management techniques. And I’ve been building experience of the things that need special attention, to make it a success.
How to get started?
Intelligence-led project management began by accident. I’d been working on espionage novels and stories, and as part of this I’d been studying intelligence methods. (There’s a lot written in the public domain.) As part of getting into the head of my fictional heroine, I’d been imagining myself as an intelligence analyst.
My own projects tend to be ambitious. I tried using intelligence methods to tackle “unknowns” that agile project management can’t handle. It worked, mostly. I worked to improve it, for an industrial context. I then built it into a repeatable method and started documenting it on this website.
So my fictional stories and characters have influenced the real world.
Articles and stories on intelligence-led project management
(Also includes category of “unknown-unknowns”)
- “Today will be different” – an example of too many unknownsToo many unknowns in your project? Here’s an example of how to stop them swamping a project. It illustrates the importance of timing big decisions.
- “Fightback” – manage a technology failure – a case studyA technology failure. This is a case study of a quality assurance manager facing his worst nightmare, and how he reacted. It’s an example of intelligence-based project management.
- 4 ways to manage unknown unknowns and their opportunitiesUnknown unknowns are surprises that create risks or problems, but they can also provide major opportunities. Here is how to manage them, applied across projects, operations and defence.
- An agency man – a story of an ex intelligence officer in industryEx intelligence officers face many challenges adjusting to civilian life. This is a 4 page story to illustrate the transition, and the challenge of hiding their background.
- Examples of unknown unknowns – a personal takeA personal take on why it’s important to have examples of unknown unknowns that tell of opportunity as well as threats, and a story of an unknown unknown that happened to me.
- Fight the unknown in risk identification, with an intelligence cycleRisk identification in ambitious projects is difficult because of the unknowns. An intelligence cycle and agile project makes it easier.
- Importance of soft skills and hope in an intelligence-led projectThe importance of soft skills is unusually high in intelligence-led project management. And underlying it all, is hope and determination.
- Stop project failures with intelligence-led project managementStop project failures. With intelligence-led project management exceptional levels of uncertainty can be handled. Details below.
- Stop project risk analysis failure – 6 tips from (secret) intelligence estimationRisk analysis failures in projects have a human impact for those involved, as well as a financial one. 6 tips from secret intelligence analysis.
- Survive high risk projects using intelligence methodsHigh risk projects can be managed. Intelligence-led project management treats failure like a terrorist threat. It extends agile project delivery.
- Sweet and Sour Chaos – escape from an intelligence agency to industrySweet and Sour Chaos is a story of an intelligence analyst trying to find a “purpose” after escaping from an intelligence agency. Konstantina must save her colleagues from a disaster.
- The secret devil’s advocate – a story of managing the unknownThe Secret Devil’s Advocate is a fictional account of managing “unknown unknowns”. The 7-page story illustrates standard methods, listed here.
- Too many presidents – how to protect data privacy rightsA young business analyst must confront her feared boss. The 3-page story covers data privacy rights in a large company, and snooping by intelligence agencies. The story also illustrates how to manage unknown-unknowns.