“Ask Rob” is part of TRU Report’s “Ask” series, a series of regular columns that help keep our Clients better informed about TruView’s services and the best-practice approaches we take to our business. This month, our focus is on Director of Investigations Rob Krolikiewicz.

TRU Report: Rob, what’s trending for TruView’s investigative unit in 2018?

 Rob Krolikiewicz: We take a smart approach to investigations. Our Investigations Managers perform a supervisory scope of each case first to analyze available case details before sending out our investigators. This way, we can assign our investigators tactically, based on pre-intelligence. It is more effective, more efficient, and smarter way of conducting investigations, and it often saves our Clients some cost.

 Our Team is expert at pre-investigation intelligence collection, or PIIC. PIIC is “open source intelligence”—OSINT—which is data collected from publicly available sources to be used for intelligence purposes. It’s information we collect from our investigators and analysts putting their observational and analytical skills to effective use, both on the street and behind a computer.

PIIC is important because it helps us establish a baseline of information about an investigative case, whether obtained from a client or us by a client or it there’s very little information provide to us. PIIC helps verify the “who, what, where, why, how, and what else” about a case so we can direct our investigative efforts in the most efficient and effective way. Being experts in PIIC makes us better at finding people, or positioning our investigators at the right location to execute an efficient operation. We have the sources, technologies, methods, and expertise to gain intelligence on subjects who do not show up on public records.

 We’re focused on eliminating common human pitfalls and biases that can have a negative impact on our success in PIIC and boots-on-the-ground casework, and we reinforce it daily as part of our training and culture. We work on eliminating cognitive biases from our investigative approaches—such as holding onto personal social, religious, and cultural preferences and beliefs despite what the evidence wants to tell you.

We make sure our investigators know about “mirror imaging” and “satisficing.” Mirror-imaging is when an investigator or analyst assumes that other people think and behaves the same way they do or expects them to. We’ve had many successful outcomes when investigators break free of the mirror-imaging trap and look at a problem with a different mindset. And similarly, with satisficing: We’re mindful that the first alternative that appears “good enough” might not be, and diligence requires that we analyze and test all alternatives and assumptions. We also resist the urge to bend prematurely when a someone pressures us to agree with their side of the analysis. I tell my investigators to watch the movie “12 Angry Men” with Henry Fonda—an oldie but goodie that speaks directly to this idea.

Improving our tactics, methods, and intelligence gathering—and learning all the time—is how we stay at the top of our game and responsive to our Clients.