The SWAT team concept is taken from the police response teams that deal with emergency situations. These teams are called special weapons and tactics—hence, SWAT. In project management, SWAT teams are used to create and set up the infrastructure for a new project under the aegis of a project manager. These teams develop and implement plans (e.g., work breakdown structure, schedule), and then a normal project team replaces the SWAT team.

The benefits of using SWAT teams are threefold. One, they can get a project up and running early. Two, they can clarify assumptions and issues early. Three, they can shorten the life cycle of a project. The downsides are that SWAT team members can burn out, and using a SWAT team decreases ownership ...

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