Tiger Labs Corporation

Tiger Teams


We at Tiger Labs Corporation eat, live, and sleep a high energy management style that we call Tiger Teams. The fundamental concepts of these teams were instilled in several of us in prior employment environments. While participating in several of the initial IBM PC designs in Boca Raton Florida, we were introduced to a focussed team concept where all bureacracy is held at bay while the team foccusses on one mission. .. to ship The Product. For a brief moment, the goal of each of the IBM PC design team was to design, announce, ship .. and to then disband.

The surge of adrenaline that members of such design teams feel is not uncommon. A college roommate related the same euphoria was felt by his team at Data General during the development of the Eagle. Much of his team's enthusiasm was captured in a book by Mr. Tracy Kidder entitiled "The Soul of a New Machine".

As engineers, programmers, and project managers, I am sure that many of us have felt the intense energy that these teams generate. Some of us later nurture it in our own companies.

Focused Passion

The list goes on ....these highly charged, extremely skilled, foccused teams can do amazing things with limited resources.

" The Skunk Works illustrated what could be accomplished when a small but dedicated team of selected specialists was allowed to focus on innovative design solutions and production efficiencies. "

" Aspects of his (Kelly Johnson's) management style bear strong similarities to some of the commonplace approaches of the Total Quality Management (TQM) concept - such as selecting motivated people, placing them in an environment in which they have authority to make changes and rewarding good performance. "

obituary, Kelly Johnson, Aviation Week & Space Technology 1/7/91

What is a Tiger Team?

Rules for a Tiger Team:

  1. Strong Project Leader
  2. Leader picks the team
  3. Delegate responsibility and authority
  4. Do not micromanage
  5. Schedule tight!
  6. Demand results
  7. Be ethical,
  8. Reward and punish
  9. Have fun!

One objective of a Tiger Team must be to "go out of business". This causes problems with many departmental managers. The Client company must ask and answer a fundamental question ...

Develop and ship the Product OR Design departments and processes

While being extremely effective on project-based tasks, Tiger Teams are not designed for all job tasks.

To be most effective...



Tiger Labs Corporation is a company that specializes in forming and managing small goal-orientated design groups.

Disclaimer: "Skunk Works" is a registered trademark of the Lockheed Corporation. There is NO affiliation between the Lockheed Corporation and Tiger Labs.

Comments or suggestions?
Need more information?
©1997 Tiger Labs Corporation

$Date: 06 Mar 1998 22:49:16 $
team.htm $Revision: 1.1 $