The tools and techniques of project management are sweeping the western world
in a frantic race by enterprises to remain competitive in a global market. No
doubt this rush has spawned the feeling of "Tides of Change". However,
there is also increasing recognition that the art of just drawing bars on charts,
however electronically automated, is not enough. The people that work in project
teams together with their leaders are the ones that count. The question is, what
sort of people make for successful teams and do we have enough of
them in the typical organization?
Over the years, many efforts have been made to classify different
types of people, especially according to their effectiveness and suitability
in a corporate organization. The tacit assumption that everyone belongs somewhere
is often made, and it is just a question of finding where. This is not necessarily
true of the project world. This environment generates stress in meeting specific
goals often within severe constraints, plus the conflicting stresses of serving
across organizational boundaries, to say nothing of a frequent overlay of multiple
projects. Not everyone is comfortable in this atmosphere.
The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to focus on those characteristics
most relevant to a successful project management team and how these people compare
to the population at large. Four project leader profiles have been identified
in a previous working paper using the Myers-Briggs typology as a structural basis
but using vocabulary more appropriate to project work.
While the project leader profiles are very distinctive, the attributes that make
up these profiles are more generally spread throughout the Myers-Briggs Type
Indicator (MBTI) matrix. We make the
usual assumption that people with these same attributes are more likely to be
compatible while working together on a project team.
Keirsey and Bates have identified the distribution of personality types through
the sixteen cells of the four-by-four MBTI grid.
By using this as a basis for comparison, we can gain an interesting insight into
the availability of people suited to various roles in project work. By deduction,
we may also infer which personality types are not at all suited to project teamwork.
Wideman, R. Max. 1996. Dominant Personality Characteristics Suited to Running
a Successful Project (And What Type are You?), AEW Services, Vancouver, Canada.
2. Briggs, Isabel Myers. 1993. Introduction to Type. Consulting
Psychologist Press, Ca.
3. Keirsey, David, and Marilyn Bates. 1984. Please Understand
Me: Character and Temperament Types. Prometheus Nemesis Book Company, CA: