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A Delicate Balance

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

Eric Landree
Richard Silberglitt
Brian G. Chow
Lance Sherry
Michael S. Tseng
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 64
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  • Book Info
    A Delicate Balance
    Book Description:

    This description of the application of the RAND Corporation's PortMan 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.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4944-5
    Subjects: Technology, Business, General Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xx)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction: The Basics of Portfolio Management
    (pp. 1-4)

    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. As we focus herein almost exclusively on portfolio management, a brief description of the field will help provide a backdrop for our discussions. While there are many sources published in the literature and presented at conferences that delve deeply into this field (e.g., see Cooper, Edgett, and Kleinschmidt, 1998; Maizlish, Handler, and Nelson, 2005; Silberglitt and Sherry 2002; and presentations at...

  10. CHAPTER TWO The RAND PortMan Method
    (pp. 5-12)

    Any portfolio management method should provide the capability to monitor project performance and to enable data-driven decisions to ensure that the highest potential value is achieved. The RAND PortMan method accomplishes this by estimating the components of value and risk for each project based on an agreed upon set of metrics that are linked to the functions or capabilities supported by this project and the entire portfolio. The components of value and risk are then used to analyze the risk versus reward of individual projects, as well as the balance across the entire portfolio. The results of this analysis may...

  11. CHAPTER THREE PortMan Evaluation of the NSA ISS Portfolio
    (pp. 13-26)

    Our evaluation of the NSA ISS division’s portfolio involved a multistep process that occurred over a period of several months. The initial step involved analyzing the projects within ISS’s current portfolio as well as the office operations to develop appropriate R&D and O&M metrics. After the metrics were completed, the Delphi exercise was organized to coincide with the ISS SLG’s regularly scheduled meetings. The exercise required approximately four weeks to complete from start to finish. At the conclusion of the Delphi exercise, RAND conducted an analysis of the influence of project cost on portfolio selection. A high level of commitment...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Conclusions
    (pp. 27-28)

    We draw a number of conclusions from the results described in previous chapters:

    The RAND PortMan is a useful management method for both R&D and O&M portfolios. Our approach provided sufficient value and insight to NSA ISS management that they chose to replace the 100 Coins method with the PortMan portfolio analysis and management method. In addition, the ability to compare the PortMan results with the intuitive programmatic decisions made by the NSA ISS senior leadership helped to validate the accuracy of the R&D and O&M metrics, as well as the results from the SLG Delphi exercise.

    Individual project cost...


    • APPENDIX A Project Descriptions
      (pp. 29-30)
    • APPENDIX B Research and Development Questions
      (pp. 31-34)
    • APPENDIX C Operations and Maintenance Questions
      (pp. 35-40)
    • APPENDIX D Delphi Exercise Results by Project and Question
      (pp. 41-42)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 43-44)