This paper was first published in the Proceedings of the 29th Annual Project Management Institute Seminar/Symposium "Tides of Change", Long Beach, California, USA, 1998. (Updated presentation, April, 2002.) Presented here as the sixth in a series linking project type through management style to project success.

Published here May, 2002.

Introduction | General Characteristics | Myers-Briggs
Comparison | Observations | Summary/Conclusions | Appendix A


Our purpose in this paper has been to provide an insight into the availability of people suited to various roles in project teamwork. We compare the management styles required for successful project management, Jung's theory of psychological types as reflected by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and the distribution of those types throughout the population as indicated by Keirsey and Bates. The analysis suggests that while there should be reasonable resources available for a project's implementation, those suited to initial project conceptualization may be strictly limited, perhaps as few as 1 or 2%. Even the number of coordinators suited to project definition and planning may be quite limited.

It is not difficult to argue that many of the problems experienced in the implementation phase of projects stem directly from ill-considered requirements proposed in the conceptual phase. Considering the scarcity of people naturally suited to this work, the rate of unsatisfactory projects should come as a no surprise.

We also make a further very important observation: Perhaps as many as a third of the population are not comfortable with project type work at all. That suggests that project management as an enterprise-wide style of management may not be the universal panacea that management gurus currently imply.

Observations  Observations

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