A Delicate Balance: Portfolio Analysis and Management for Intelligence Information Dissemination Programs

A Delicate Balance: Portfolio Analysis and Management for Intelligence Information Dissemination Programs

A Delicate Balance: Portfolio Analysis and Management for Intelligence Information Dissemination Programs

A Delicate Balance: Portfolio Analysis and Management for Intelligence Information Dissemination Programs

Synopsis

This description of the application of the RAND Corporation1s Port Man portfolio analysis and management method and Delphi consensus-building method for the National Security Agency (NSA) Information Sharing Services (ISS) division highlights how these methods enable the data-driven analysis of project portfolios and the allocation of research and development (R&D) and operations and maintenance (O&M) resources according to value, risk, and cost.

Excerpt

This publication describes the application of the RAND Corporation’s Portfolio Analysis and Management Method (PortMan) to the evaluation of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) information dissemination program portfolio, which is managed by the NSA Information Sharing Services (ISS) division. RAND’s PortMan method enables the data-driven analysis of project portfolios and provides a means to monitor the progress of potentially high-value projects. It also allows portfolio managers to monitor the impact of any mitigation strategies they undertake, ensuring that the portfolio’s highest potential value is achieved. For this project, RAND researchers first employed the Delphi method, a process for eliciting group opinion by a series of questionnaires with selective feedback from earlier responses, to collect expert opinion from the ISS Senior Leadership Group. This allowed for an estimation of value and risk for each project. RAND then used these estimates, together with cost information provided by ISS, to develop project rankings and to estimate the expected value-to-cost ratio for each project. RAND selected portfolios of projects that maximized the total expected value for the available program budget using a linear programming method and compared these results to ISS management’s funding priorities.

This publication should be of interest to program and portfolio managers throughout NSA and the Intelligence Community, as well as project and program managers interested in or involved with information dissemination throughout government and industry. This unclassified report does not include detailed budget information.

This research was sponsored by NSA ISS and conducted within the Intelligence Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

For more information on RAND’s Intelligence Policy Center, contact the Director, John Parachini. He can be reached by email at John_Parachini@rand.org; by phone at 703-413-1100, extension 5579; or by mail at the RAND Corporation, 1200 South Hayes Street, Arlington, Virginia 22202-5050. More information about RAND is available at www.rand.org.

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