WHAT- A "Project SWAT" function within an organization is a defined team of senior PMs and other disciplines that provide part time support to projects, usually the more strategic and risky projects. Typicaly the SWAT members have other full time jobs and work with projects on a part-time basis.
Example SWAT Support Actions- The SWAT function can support the project team in ensuring adequate deliverable requirements exist, that a good project definition exists, may provide support in developing the plan, ensuring good resource needs are known and advising the team on working with subcontractors.
WHY - Projects need more support than is generally provided by training and processes as the real world poses challenges not addressed in traditional learning avenues. A sponsor or exec of interest can help, but these individuals typically will not have a sufficiently broad experience base to support all issues. The SWAT is there to address and resolve project issues.
HOW - (See the downloadable description for implementation details and additional information about Project SWAT.)
Project SWAT - A Coaching Team for Projects
Project managers and project team members can learn from training, their own experiences, trail and error and other learning avenues. But what happens to all projects is that they run into issues and problems outside their learning experience and may fail as a result. A team of senior individuals that can advise projects can be invaluable in making projects successful while increasing the skills of all involved.