What is a tiger team, and should your company have one?

What is a tiger team, and should your company have one?

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A tiger team is a select technical team tasked with addressing specific, often intricate problems.

This concept, which originated in the military and space industries, has broad applications, ranging from IT and cybersecurity to product development and business development.

The value of a tiger team lies in its ability to bring together uninhibited technical specialists and cross-functional experts to devise and implement innovative solutions.

This article looks at the tiger team approach, its benefits, optimal deployment scenarios, and key considerations for companies contemplating the formation of such a team.

Understanding tiger teams

At its core, a tiger team consists of a focused group of cross-functional experts brought together to solve pressing issues. These teams are characterized by their agility, expertise, and capacity to work under significant pressure. They often operate with considerable autonomy, enabling them to explore possible solutions without the constraints typical of standard organizational processes.

The benefits of having a tiger team

Having a tiger team offers several advantages to an organization facing complex challenges. Tiger teams work to address and solve problems with a level of expertise and efficiency that standard teams might not possess. Here’s a closer look at the benefits:

Expertise and focus:

Tiger teams are made up of subject matter experts and team members selected for their specific skills relevant to the task at hand.

This means the team has a deep understanding of the issues they’re working on, which leads to more effective and innovative solutions.

The focused nature of their work allows for a deep dive into the problem, ensuring that all aspects are considered and addressed.


These teams are dedicated to a single project or problem at a time, allowing them to work without distractions.

This focus helps in significantly cutting down the time it takes from identifying a problem to implementing a solution.

Their ability to work quickly is especially important in situations where time is of the essence, such as in resolving security vulnerabilities or bringing a product to market.

New perspectives:

A tiger team brings together experts from different areas of an organization, each with unique viewpoints and experiences.

This diversity of thought can lead to the discovery of issues that might not be apparent to those too close to the project or problem.

It also means that the team can come up with creative solutions that might not have been considered before.


Tiger teams are known for their ability to adapt to changes quickly. Whether it’s a shift in project scope, new information coming to light, or unexpected challenges, they can pivot as needed.

This flexibility is crucial for projects that are complex or have moving parts, ensuring that the team can still achieve its objectives even when conditions change.

When to deploy a tiger team

Deploying a tiger team is just the approach for specific scenarios where specialized knowledge or skills are necessary. These include:

  • Complex technical challenges: When a project hits a technical roadblock that the current team cannot overcome, a tiger team can provide the focused expertise required.
  • Security issues: For physical or information security breaches, a tiger team can identify the root cause, mitigate damage, and enhance future security measures.
  • Product development hurdles: Tiger teams can navigate unforeseen challenges in product development, ensuring projects remain on track.
  • Operational inefficiencies: To improve operational efficiency, tiger teams can analyze existing processes, pinpoint inefficiencies, and recommend optimizations.

Forming a tiger team: Essential considerations

The formation of a tiger team requires strategic planning. Key factors include:

  1. Clear objectives: Define the team’s objective with specificity to ensure focused efforts.
  2. Team composition: Choose tiger team members for their expertise, problem-solving abilities, and collaborative skills. An effective team structure benefits from diversity in skills and perspectives.
  3. Support and resources: Provide the tiger team with necessary resources, access to critical information, and organizational support to facilitate success.
  4. Empowerment: Granting autonomy and authority is crucial for the tiger team to make decisions and implement solutions effectively.
  5. Communication: Maintain open lines of communication between the tiger team and the broader organization to ensure alignment and facilitate the adoption of the team’s solutions.

Typical tiger team structure/composition

A tiger team’s structure is designed to maximize efficiency, creativity, and problem-solving capabilities. Typically, a tiger team includes:

  • Project manager/leader: Coordinates the team’s efforts, ensures alignment with the project’s goals, and serves as the liaison with the rest of the organization.
  • Technical experts: Specialists in areas relevant to the project, such as software development, cybersecurity, engineering, or data analysis.
  • Business analysts: Provide insight into the business implications of technical solutions and ensure that the project aligns with strategic business goals.
  • Quality assurance professionals: Ensure that the solutions meet quality standards and work as intended.
  • User experience designers: Offer insights into how solutions will be received by end-users, ensuring usability and satisfaction.
  • Subject matter experts (SMEs): Offer deep knowledge in specific areas critical to the project’s success.

This cross-functional composition allows the tiger team to approach problems from multiple perspectives, ensuring comprehensive solutions. The team’s size and specific roles can vary depending on the project’s scope and complexity.

Can you outsource roles within a tiger team?

Outsourcing roles within a tiger team is possible and can be beneficial under certain conditions. However, it’s important to weigh the advantages against potential challenges to ensure the team remains effective. Here are the key considerations:

  • Availability of expertise: Outsourcing is useful when specific expertise is not available in-house. For specialized skills or knowledge, such as advanced cybersecurity, external experts can fill the gap.
  • Cost and efficiency: It can be more cost-effective to hire an external consultant for specialized, short-term needs rather than employing a full-time specialist.

Challenges of outsourcing

Outsourcing roles come with challenges that need careful management:

  • Integration and communication: The success of a tiger team relies on tight-knit collaboration. Outsourced members may require additional support to integrate with the team’s dynamics.
  • Confidentiality and security: Projects involving sensitive information demand that external team members adhere to strict security protocols and confidentiality agreements.
  • Flexibility vs. control: While outsourcing offers flexibility to adapt to project needs, maintaining control over the project’s direction and ensuring outsourced members align with the team’s goals is crucial.

Should your company have a tiger team?

Whether to form a tiger team depends on the nature of the challenges your company faces, the availability of internal expertise, and the capacity to support such a team.

If your organization encounters complex, high-stakes problems requiring specialized knowledge and a swift response, forming a tiger team could be just what you need.

However, it’s important to consider the resources and commitment required to support a tiger team effectively.

Looking for experts for your tiger team?

Finding the right experts for your tiger team is essential for tackling complex challenges effectively. The ideal team members bring a mix of deep technical knowledge and the ability to think strategically to align solutions with your project’s objectives.

This search focuses on finding individuals with specialized skills who can also work well with others to create and apply new solutions.

Right People Group specializes in connecting businesses with IT consultants, including professionals who are experts in the specific fields required for your tiger team. Our selection process is designed to ensure you match with experts who have the perfect combination of technical prowess and strategic thinking necessary for your project’s success.

When you choose us, you benefit from:

  • Fast matching: Quickly identify the best experts for your tiger team, saving you valuable time.
  • Access to qualified experts: Connect with professionals who have proven experience in their respective fields and a history of contributing to successful projects.
  • A personalized approach: We recognize that each project has its unique challenges and requirements. We find experts who understand your specific needs and can develop tailored solutions.

Contact us today to find the experts your tiger team needs to overcome your project’s challenges with their expertise and personalized service.


Tiger teams represent a strategic direction for companies facing specific, critical challenges. Assembling a cross-functional team of experts focused on a particular problem allows these teams to drive innovation, efficiency, and problem resolution. However, forming a tiger team requires a clear understanding of the critical issue, the goals to be achieved, and the resources available. Careful planning and execution can make a tiger team a powerful asset in navigating complex issues and achieving strategic objectives, making this approach worth considering for businesses facing significant challenges.