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Project Management 

Tiger Team

A 1964 paper entitled Program Management in Design and Development used the term tiger teams and defined it as “a team of undomesticated and uninhibited technical specialists, selected for their experience, energy, and imagination, and assigned to track down relentlessly every possible source of failure in a spacecraft subsystem or simulation”. The paper consists of anecdotes and answers to questions from a panel on improving issues in program management concerning testing and quality assurance in aerospace vehicle development and production. One of the authors was Walter C. Williams, an engineer at the Manned Spacecraft Center and part of the Edwards Air Force Base National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. Williams suggests that tiger teams are an effective and useful method for advancing the reliability of systems and subsystems in the context of actual flight environments. Jane Goodall, Liam Hunt and Kate Herron, among others, have noted that tigers are not naturally cooperative animals and have suggested referring to “chimpanzee teams” because of the intense cooperation that occurs in chimpanzee social groups.