Skunk Works®

Posted on January 11, 2010 by

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A Skunk Works team is an everyday business term that describes a team who has quite a bit of free rein as they are outside of the normal organizational hierarchy. This can be advantageous if there is a highly-skilled set of people who are being slowed down or burdened by traditional bureaucracy in the organization. If the project is to be kept top-secret, it is also an excellent candidate for a Skunk Works team. The term is also a registered trademark of Lockheed Martin and refers to their Advanced Development Programs which designs aircraft (http://www.lockheedmartin.com/aeronautics/skunkworks/index.html). The original Skunk Works team at Lockheed Martin followed Kelly’s 14 Rules (http://www.lockheedmartin.com/aeronautics/skunkworks/14rules.html) which stress things such as small, efficient teams whose work is kept quiet and shielded from the outside.