Monday, April 13, 2009

Red Teams: Toward Radical Innovation


This executive technology report was produced by IBM and therefore represents a competitive intelligence aspect of red-team analysis.

The executive summary of the report summarizes the main points the best:

Red teams assume the role of outsider to challenge assumptions, look for the unexpected alternatives and find the vulnerabilities of a new idea or approach. By consciously working to assume another perspective and out-do the standard team, they provide one means to getting "out-of-the-box" views and insights.
The report also lists a number of key benefits of a red team:
  • Identify significant vulnerabilities
  • Discover new uses for innovations
  • Challenge taboos and assumptions
  • Provide a minority report on a new concept or idea
  • Reveal the consequences of different perspectives
Red teams impact all three levels of planning (strategic, tactical, operational). To have any impact the red team must have a proper composition, have the support of management, have an operational relationship with the blue team, have established goals, and have access to most of the information of the blue team.

The report does outline some drawbacks from using a red team approach. The red team needs to take their assignment seriously. At times the red team was marginalized by the red team. Team membership quality lacked to fully exploit the role of adversary. Also, red teams did not receive enough credible information to act appropriately.
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