Study of Myers-Briggs Types Relative to CM Professionals (2007)

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 Below is a chart that illustrates the 16 combinations or MBTI® and the percentage of the general population that has a specific personality type:

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 Chart 1: Myers Briggs Type Indicators®
and General Population
 Temperaments
An important factor to personality types may be to group Myers Briggs types by temperament.  According to David Keirsey, each of the 16 MBTI® personality types are  divided into one of four basic temperaments according to the following preference pairs:
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Chart
2: Temperaments
Definitions

 
The reason Keirsey grouped them this way is that he believed that the 2 preference combinations may be drivers to understanding the motivation of a person.  Temperaments do not replace types, but are built to reinforce and support them.  A way to view all 16 MBTI® personality types in relation to their Temperament is to separate them into the 4 temperament quadrants which looks like the following:
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Chart
3: Temperaments Quadrants

 

Key Questions
The questions that I hope to answer include:

    • How are CM professionals spread across the 16 MBTI® personality types?  Are we clustered into certain personality types?  How do CM professionals compare with the general population as a percentage within each type?
    • How are CM professionals spread across the Temperament Quadrants?  Are we clustered into certain quadrants?  How do CM professionals compare with the general population as a percentage within each quadrant?
    • How are CM professionals spread across the specific preferences?  Do we favor one preference over another? 
    • Are there differences in MBTI® personality types between the CM process roles versus the CM tool roles?
    • How does the 2003 results compare to the 2007 results.  Will the 2007 results validate the 2003 results or will they differ? 

The 2007 Results
I received 87 responses from CM professionals from across the world who offered their Myers Briggs personality types.  This provided a good sample in which to work.  The
request to folks was to provide their Myers Briggs type and the general category of CM role they primarily played.   I also directed people to a link to the "Jung - Myers-Briggs typological test" found at http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes1.htm) although the results from any Myers-Briggs test was acceptable. 

CM Professionals by Personality Type
The first measure uses the 87 responses and produces a pie chart to indicate the percentage of CM professionals in each MBTI®.  This was then ranked according to which types were most prevalent amongst CM professionals.  The following chart illustrates this:

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Chart 4: Myers-Briggs
Personality Types amongst CM'ers

 
Types Distribution by
Percentage - 2007

 

The data indicates a surprising number (28 or 32% of the total sample) of CM  professionals who have an INTJ personality type.  Why might this be?  Looking more closely at those who have an INTJ type may reveal why those people may either gravitate or thrive in a CM role.  The thinking (T) and judging (J) preferences tend to drive them toward constant improvement.  They believe everything has room for improvement.  Also, their intuition (N) tends to enable them to see the potential in the future and the introverted nature (I) allows them to focus on improvements.  And in the CM world, there is always something to improve and having the vision to see what "can be" provides those in the INTJ grouping the motivation to make that improvement.  

The data indicates another surprising number (11 or 13% of the total sample) of CM professionals who have an ENTJ personality type.  Again, the thinking (T) and judging (J)
preferences tend to drive them toward improvement.  Also, their intuition (N) tends to enable them to see what can be.  And their extroverted nature (E) allows them to take control of the change due to their natural born leadership. 

Third is ESFJ.  The data indicates that 9 or 10% of the total sample

About the author

Mario  Moreira's picture Mario Moreira

<strong>Mario Moreira</strong> is a Columnist for the CM Journal, a writer for the Agile Journal, an Author, an Agile and CM expert for CA, and has worked in the CM field since 1986 and in the Agile field since 1998. He has experience with numerous CM technologies and processes and has implemented CM on over 150 applications/products, which include establishing global SCM infrastructures. He is a certified ScrumMaster in the Agile arena having implemented Scrum and XP practices. He holds an MA in Mass Communication with an emphasis on communication technologies. Mario also brings years of Project Management, Software Quality Assurance, Requirement Management, facilitation, and team building skills and experience. Mario is the author of a new book entitled “<strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0470746637?tag=cmf06-20&amp;camp=213761&amp;cre... Configuration Management for Agile Teams</a></strong>” (via Wiley Publishing). It provides an Agile Primer and a CM Primer, and how to adapt CM practices for Agile Teams. Mario is also the author of the CM book entitled, “<strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Software-Configuration-Management-Implementation-R... Configuration Management Implementation Roadmap.</a></strong>” It includes step-by-step guidance for implementing SCM at the organization, application, and project level with numerous examples. Also consider visiting Mario’s blog on CM for Agile and Agile adoption at <a href="http://cmforagile.blogspot.com/">http://cmforagile.blogspot.com/</a>.
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