The Alliance relies on thoroughly considered and well-implemented plans, policies and procedures created with an understanding of the unique strategic and operational issues it faces. For a number of reasons, our processes necessarily drive towards a consensus opinion, often at the expense of unique or divergent perspectives. The application of independent critical thought to a problem can offer the decision maker a broader view and possibly expose unforeseen considerations that might cause failure of otherwise thoroughly considered solutions.
Alternative Analysis (AltA) is a broadly applicable capability that supports the inclusion of independent, critical thought and alternative perspectives to support decision making. AltA offers the opportunity for NATO staff to inject additional knowledge, or knowledge perceived in a different way, into a decision making process alongside traditional problem-solving processes. Regardless of the specific function, AltA’s goal is reduced risk and expanded opportunities through better decision-making.
AltA offers a set of techniques, which build on and enhance various processes NATO already has in place that aim at improving decision-making and supporting problem solving.
These techniques are complemented by a training course held at the NATO School, and a collaboration portal hosted on NATO’s Transnet page 1 .
As a comprehensive guide to AltA, this NATO Handbook provides a critical building block supporting implementation and use of AltA at all levels across the Alliance. It is specifically designed for use as a quick reference guide for staff to assist problem solving in many diverse situations.