Problem Reframing: Intelligence Professionals’ Role in Design, Ian Gilbert, 9781288306633


As design emerges throughout the United States Army’s planning and operational doctrine, the intelligence community must leverage this structure of inquiry to identify and refocus the scope of what is collected, analyzed, produced and disseminated. Design is defined as, “a methodology for applying critical and creative thinking to understand, visualize, and describe complex, ill-structured problems and develop approaches to solve them.” In other words, design is the holistic process of looking at the environment, framing the problem and deriving possible solutions. The use of design by the intelligence community broadens the scope of collected and analyzed information providing more relevant intelligence to commanders in the current operational environment. With this in mind, the knowledge and application of design should play an integral role in synthesizing intelligence, driving current and future operations. The purpose of this study is to propose that by employing design methodologies the intelligence community can provide improved and fused intelligence to operational level commanders resulting in more focused and relevant operations. This monograph shows design’s utility lies in the intelligence function of fusion. When intelligence professionals use available data and information together, they fuse sources into a more reliable product. Therefore, the use of design provides intelligence officers a better understanding of the environment and can provide better recommendations on courses of actions to the commanders. Drawing from design theory (the environmental frame, problem frame and solution space), this monograph examines cases within the context of Afghanistan from 2001-2009. Using four criteria from design theory, more specifically tenets of problem reframing, this monograph evaluates the months of September 2005 and July 2007. The criteria used are experimentation, learning, discourse and application of generating tools to suggest intelligence professi

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