Identify the possible hypotheses to be considered. Use a group of analysts with different perspectives to brainstorm the possibilities.The most effective hypotheses meet two tests. (1) The hypotheses are mutually exclusive. That means if one hypothesis is true, then all other hypotheses must be false – in other words, no overlap between hypotheses. (2) The hypotheses cover all reasonable possibilities, including those that seem unlikely but not impossible. As evidence is collected and added to the matrix, you may find that hypotheses need to be reworded, added, deleted, or combined. Our inital hypotheses are:
- Disgruntled Michael’s employee;
- foreign terrorist;
- serial killer, and;
- domestic terrorist.