A paper presented to the Project Management Institute's Annual Seminar/Symposium "Tides of Change", Long Beach, California, USA, 1998 (Updated for web presentation, 2002). Presented here as the fourth in a series linking project type through management style to project success.

Published here March 2002.

Introduction | Review 1950-1970  | Review 1980-1990  | Classification
Findings | Summary & Conclusions | Appendix A  | Appendix B


Much discussion and research has taken place over the years attempting to classify personality types and their functionality in an organizational setting. The purpose of this paper is to focus on those characteristics most relevant to a successful project leadership role. It identifies how different types of people might have to be selected to suit different project circumstances. Such circumstances include differences between the major high-level phases of the project life cycle.

By definition, the objective of a project is to produce a once-only product within desired constraints of scope, quality, time and cost. Obviously, a project is a process that requires managing and the objective of this management, i.e. of project management, is to produce the product successfully. In this context, producing the product successfully means not only conducting a successful project but also creating a successful product. This distinction is drawn because too often successful project management is characterized as being "On-time and within-budget'. Unfortunately, simply being on time and within budget does not necessarily mean that the product of the project is also successful - even if the product meets specified requirements.

It would appear axiomatic that the success or failure of a project is almost entirely dependent upon the people involved and how they run it. Therefore, this paper focuses on the most relevant people characteristics, especially those of the project leader or manager and how different characteristics might have to be selected to suit the project circumstances.


Home | Issacons | PM Glossary | Papers & Books | Max's Musings
Guest Articles | Contact Info | Search My Site | Site Map | Top of Page