In her Personality Matters series, Leslie Sachs examines the personalities and people issues that are found in technology groups from cross-functional, high-performance teams to dysfunctional matrix organizations.
“feather-in-their-political-hat”. Beware of people who try to hijack the tools selection process for their own political purposes.
What should I do?
While some of these personality issues might seem very challenging to overcome – often some good communication will help mitigate the risk of these distracting side-behaviors. The first step, of course, is to realize and recognize what is going on and why. Hopefully, you have management above you who are to help steer you through what may be a political mine-field. Almost always, transparency and open communication will keep the project on the right track and, of course, yield the best results.
One of the biggest dangers is that you may find yourself becoming part of the problem. This is often inevitable and may even give you some keen insight into why the current dynamics are found in your environment. In a certain sense, you may feel like you are becoming “part of the problem” – and indeed you may very well be! This is normal as the environment may pull you into the problem. Your best choice in this situation is to be aware of the dynamics and realize how it is affecting you personally.
The wrong choice could cost you your job!
Picking the wrong tools can indeed be career limiting. The positive side is that these challenges make this task and the management of the group dynamics all the more important. If you manage to navigate all of the personalities and come up with the best choice from a technical, process and organizational culture perspective, then you can proudly add the effort to conduct a solid tools analysis to your resume. Don’t be surprised when both your current employer and others want to utilize your objectivity and professional “people” skills for the other projects that are equally important to the organization!