From this analysis, we are now in a position to make some assessment of the
numbers of different types of project-suited people in the population at large.
Figure 4 shows an MBTI grid with a few key words
from the appendix to reflect the "project management flavor" of those
in each cell, and their approximate percentage in the population at large.
ease of reference, each cell in the grid is referenced according to its position
on each of the four basic MBTI axes shown in Figure
2. However, the grid has been re-oriented to match the orientation of
our Figure 1.
not a builder
alert to next move
too many projects
drive to lead
looks to the future
skilled with people
not a planner
spender, not saver
adept at selling
excellent at PR
not a risk taker
hunger for action
loyal, in tune
pillar of strength
Note: the percentages show the approximate proportion of the type in the
Figure 4: The MBTI Grid as seen from the Project Management Perspective
Figure 5 shows the same grid used previously but shaded
to reflect six different "project personality" types relative to suitability
for project management teamwork. If our analysis is reasonably correct, then
we may deduce that the "project" population is distributed as follows.
The Explorer (entrepreneur) type makes up only about 1-2% of the population.
Rather more, some 5-10%, are of the Driver (marshal) type. A similar number of
Coordinator (catalyst) people are available for facilitative type duties. There
are considerably more, 25-30%, Administrator (stabilizer) 'professional"
types. Another 20-25% are probably more suited as "followers". That
still leaves about a third of the population who are most likely uncomfortable
and unsuited to working on projects at all.
If you consider a traditional, "established technology" project,
Shenhar and Wideman have suggested that the "Concept" phase of a four-phase
generic life cycle should start out with an "Explorer" type; proceed
with a "Coordinator" in the "Definition" or planning phase;
move to an assertive "Driver" type in the "Execution" phase;
and conclude with an "Administrator" type in the clean-up "Finishing"
phase. They have further suggested that failure to match an appropriate style
to project circumstances can quickly demoralize the project team and lead to
unsatisfactory project results.
Figure 5: The MBTI Grid and Suitability to Project Management Teamwork
If these relationships are anywhere close, then for a typical enterprise contemplating
moving to a project oriented style of management, about a third of the work force
may be unsuited to working in the new environment. Thus, it is a mistake to think
that everyone will be highly motivated by working on projects. At the same time,
in a workforce population of say 100, only one or two people are seriously capable
of successfully conceptualizing a project, and then, no doubt, only if they have
sound project management experience. Indeed, in this size of firm, perhaps only
the CEO and his or her senior vice president are thus suited.
Shenhar, Aaron J. and R. Max Wideman. Matching Project Management Style with
Project Type for Optimum Success PMForum web site, September, 2000.