The 4 Personalities In Your IT Team And How To Manage Them


Whether you lead an agile or scrum team, a technology-aligned team or a project matrix team, you’re managing people and their personalities. To reference Jim Collins in his book “Good to Great”, your job is to get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. This methodology will help you do just that, resulting in a happy team that gets great results.

The personality types we’ll focus on come from Deloitte’s Business Chemistry. Deloitte teamed up with neuro-anthropologists and geneticists to develop a personality system that works for the world of business. While personality tests like the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the Enneagram are helpful, they focus mainly on personal relationships and can quickly become confusing. The four personalities of Business Chemistry are easy to remember, allowing you to recognise personality traits in your team organically.

Infographic showing the 4 personality types in IT teams

Drivers

Drivers are always thinking about what’s next. They prefer doing over talking and won’t thank you for unnecessarily long explanations. They are direct and expect you to push back with your own opinions. They are logical and analytical and find it easy to grasp complex ideas.

Drivers make great software developers, though you won’t often find them in client-facing roles.

Pioneers

Pioneers are the ideas people. They focus on the big picture. They like exploring possibilities and finding new solutions to old problems. They need you to help them clarify their thinking and connect them with the people that can bring their ideas to life.

Pioneers make great functional consultants and business analysts and will be a huge asset at the requirements gathering stage. This is an area where junior talent can add a lot of value as this way of thinking is not reliant on technical knowledge.

Integrators

Integrators can spot unintended consequences of a solution by putting themselves in the shoes of everyone affected. They understand the broader context of an issue. They can relate the solution to the end user and consider whether it will make their lives easier or harder.

Integrators are great in QA and testing roles. They catch things other people won’t and understand the human impact of their work.

Guardians

Guardians need concrete facts. They like details and are very risk averse. While they are prone to perfectionism, they can provide great structure for the rest of the team. They will ensure that nothing is missed before a solution goes live.

Guardians make great software testers and project managers. They bring the team together and provide structure so nothing is missed.

We hope this post has helped you identify some of the personality types in your team. The next step is to start thinking about how you can assign the right people to the right projects, identify skills gaps and appeal to shared qualities to get messages across. Do you need to spend some time with your pioneers to help them clarify their thinking? Can you work with your guardians to mitigate some of the risks they’re worried about? If you have any questions feel free to get in touch or tweet us @diginativeuk.