Friday, September 21, 2007

IT Impedance Mismatch?

I stumbled upon an interesting slide deck, Information Technology Team Dynamics. It summarizes some work sponsored by the Defense Systems Management College in the US Department of Defense.

The deck provides a reasonably detailed picture of work done to analyze team dynamics in IT organizations relative to several personality classification methods.

It's an interesting read for those interested in the topic.

It presents some thought provoking findings. A few in particular caught my attention.

  • Preference for intuition was 40% higher in the study group than the MBTI national sample
  • Preference for thinking was nearly twice the percentage found in the MBTI national sample
  • Feeler and perceivers were underrepresented relative to the MBTI national sample
Put another way, the study group seemed to have a higher concentration of people that exhibited an
  • increased preference for abstract theoretical information over concrete sensory information
  • increased preference for rule-based decisions over consensus based decisions
  • decreased comfort with changing course when new information is available
These are at direct odds with situations in which
  • previous working theories are disintegrating under new market conditions
  • new information is capable of arriving at ever increasing rates
It would be inappropriate to apply these to IT as a whole, particularly given that the application of Myers Briggs requires some subtlety and care. The basic analytical process can, however, provide some interesting food for thought when mapping out longer term strategies.

How many IT organizations are fundamentally mismatched to the problems they face?

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