How to Build a Roaring-Good Tiger Team [+Template]

4 minutes • Jun 9, 2020Collaboration
How to Build a Roaring-Good Tiger Team

Not every big problem requires a large team to implement the best solutions. In today’s rapidly changing business environment, smaller and more agile professional teams are often able to tackle bigger challenges.

This guide explains what a tiger team is and how organizations can form their own tiger teams to successfully tackle big projects. Read on or jump ahead to each section:

What is a Tiger Team?

A tiger team is an efficient, highly motivated, and diverse team created to solve or troubleshoot specific major issues facing a company.

The term “tiger team” was originally coined by the military and was later made famous by NASA during the historic Apollo 13 moon landing mission in 1970. Two days into the mission, the craft experienced a catastrophic failure when an oxygen tank in its service module exploded. In response, NASA created a hand-selected technical team to triage and resolve the issue in order to bring the astronauts safely back to earth.

Since then, tiger teams have become a common and effective structure for organizations that need a specialized group of experts to conduct technical deployments or solve complex problems.

What is the Tiger Team Approach?

Tiger teams are built for all types of issues, including culture problems: employee satisfaction or employee retention dips. While having in-depth background knowledge on the subject matter is important, team cohesion is the vital element in making tiger teams work.

When building a team think about who works best together and important points of view each member can bring to the table. Employees who are rockstars but work best independently aren’t the best candidates for inclusion in a tiger team.

Tiger Team Template
Tiger Team Tempalte

Tiger Team Structures

Team members assigned to a company’s tiger team are hand-picked and centered around the specific needs and the nature of the problem the organization is confronting. Generally speaking, a tiger team will include a small team of subject-matter experts from business development, operations, finance, legal, engineering, sales, and/or marketing.

By crafting a group of the most qualified and diverse specialists, companies reduce gaps in knowledge and increase agility. Team members with niche-focused specialties that do not have a more broad-range of experience can result in siloed efforts and can increase the time it takes to achieve the desired results.

How to Use Pingboard to Build Your Tiger Team

Pingboard empowers organizations by creating a better relationship and increased understanding among teams and staff. This makes Pingboard the perfect resource to better manage and deploy tiger teams when they are needed the most through their comprehensive organizational chart software.

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Here’s how to leverage Pingboard when building and managing tiger teams:

1. Build an Organizational Chart Geared for Specific Needs

Build your org chart by hand, automatically with a data integration with your HR system, or use an org chart template for your specific industry. Organize employees by department and office location, to facilitate the process of uniting tiger team members with diverse skill sets even if they are spread across multiple offices or geographic locations.

2. Automate and Visualize Your People Data

Build interactive org charts using real-time identity data by pulling information from current systems already in place. Companies can easily and automatically keep their org chart up to date through integrations with systems like ADP, Microsoft Azure, Google Workspace (Formerly G Suite), and others, making it easy to import data and make changes on the fly.

3. Share Team Directories and Resources

With fully native apps for iOS and Android, managers have the entire company org chart in their pocket. Rapidly identify tiger team members and their information using the employee directory.

With Pingboard’s org chart software, members can easily share secure, revocable links with board members or people outside the company for better collaboration.

4. Cross-Functional Org Chart Creator

Organize teams by products, projects, or customer segments. Use custom fields to add additional data to org charts, like team goals, individual skills, or even employees’ t-shirt sizes. This simplifies the process of identifying and choosing members for a desired tiger team since managers can more quickly identify who has the right skills for the team.

5. Centralize Essential Info to Help Tiger Teams Work Together  

Connect Teams

Once you’ve chosen tiger team members from across the company give them a hub to connect. In Pingboard you can form Groups, like the picture above, where contact info, employee out-of-office status, and links to each employee profile can be stored. Having this type of info will make working with new teammates easier. Tiger team members will be able to see the skills, experience, hobbies and essential info needed to work better together in Groups.

Tiger Team Best Practices

Here is a common process for optimizing your tiger team’s chance of success when facing a high-impact obstacle:

  1. Analyze and record core issue components and their impact. For example, perhaps an organization is facing a system-wide bug or code issue that is preventing users from using functionality they are paying for. The impact is that churn rate may increase and revenue may be lost.

  2. Identify potential root causes of the issue.

  3. Develop a method to validate root causes. For example, perhaps this means building a testing environment to better triage the problem without further impacting customers.

  4. Refine which troubleshooting routes to execute based on company priorities.

  5. Identify potential solutions.

  6. Decide the order of possible solutions to implement based on likelihood of cause.

  7. Present final strategy to leadership.

  8. Implement final strategy, and establish specific goals to track so you can understand the impact of your efforts.

  9. Analyze results, allowing them to refine and make changes to future triage processes.

Following this approach keeps tiger teams on track and optimized to reap effective results.

The core takeaway is that tiger teams are not only vital for solving high-impact issues, but also for generating new innovative solutions because they have the ability to be creative and nimble.

Software to Help Build Tiger Teams

As discussed above, properly identifying, forming, and connecting tiger teams can be a make-or-break when tough issues arise. With the right organizational chart software, this daunting task becomes much easier, saving valuable time and money.

Download our Tiger Team template to get a head start on forming your tiger team to help you set the right goals in the applicable areas to more quickly solve the core issues at hand. This will arm teams with the tools and information needed to work together more cohesively, assisting companies in dealing effectively with major issues much faster, which will result in saving money and retaining their all-important customer base.

Tiger Team Tempalte

Pingboard has resources and tools that help organizations create and manage tiger teams and so much more. Whether your organization is early-stage and needs the right tools to plan for hiring and growth, or if you’re rapidly growing and need to stay organized and on track with multiple locations and offices, Pingboard makes each step a little easier.

To explore Pingboard subscription options, including our free plan, visit this link.

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