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Training

From The Open Source Analysis of Competing Hypotheses Project

The purpose of ACH is to make your arguments more logically sound. It helps you think instead of thinking for you; it is not a shortcut. It will not force open a closed mind. To make sure that you are ...

If your organization is interested in on-site training, we recommend you contact Pherson Associates. A DC-based consultancy that collaborated in the development of Open Source ACH, Pherson Associates has provided training in analytic tools and techniques to analysts across the Intelligence Community and the private sector for over ten years. Instruction focuses on tools that analysts can use to identify and overcome mind-sets, stimulate creative thinking, discover "unknown unknowns," and instill rigor into the analytic process. Their workshops have trained analysts to apply ACH to law enforcement, counterterrorism, counterintelligence, denial and deception, and homeland security.

ACH training generally includes a short introduction explaining the methodology and how it is used, followed by a practical exercise. In the exercise, students are asked to read a short study detailing a law enforcement, counterterrorism, or other case. The class as a whole generates 3-4 hypotheses, and the students, working in groups of 2-3, generate a list of the evidence included in the case study and fills out the ACH matrix. The class then goes over the matrix together, discussing the diagnosticity of the evidence, disagreements over ratings of the evidence, and which hypotheses are most worthy of further investigation.