An Information Technology project is only as good as its parts and one of those parts is the team involved in the project’s creation. Many factors can derail an IT project, including a clash of personalities.
In an interview, businessman Richard Branson revealed that he hires based on personality since skills can be taught. Branson believes that it takes a new hire three months to adapt to their new environment, personality however, is not likely to change.
Knowing that personalities are deeply embedded, there are three specific personality types that are likely to derail an IT project and they are the Know-It-All, the unrealistic deadline setter and the person that only wants to work in one platform.
The Know-It-All personality is the programming Ninja. This team member is dangerous because they consider themselves to be the best and may be less likely to listen to others. Even if the Ninja is correct, this personality does not allow for effective collaboration among the team. If team members begin to feel like their contributions are overlooked, they may not contribute to the fullest of their ability, thereby slowing down the project and derailing the results.
The IT industry does carry its pressure points, so unnecessary stress and unrealistic deadlines make it worse. Therefore, the second personality that can derail an IT project is the one that sets those unrealistic deadlines. While unexpected changes can be requested and additional features might need to be added at the last minute, a wise project manager will have already taken this into consideration.
Lastly, the team member that is unwilling to work outside of one platform is the third personality that can derail an IT project. Technology keeps evolving and one platform can’t accomplish all parts of a project efficiently all the time. Software engineers have found that they have to pack their tool belt from more than just one stack, so working in just one platform is not always enough.
Personality clashes are nothing new, but being on the look for the three that are most likely to negatively affect an IT project will minimize any possible damage.
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