Is there a “type” that is more suited to requirements elicitation and documentation? A survey of our experience identified four useful personality roles that have direct application to the requirements gathering process: Openers, Closers, Handlers, and Hunters.
Jung at Heart
Personality typing rubrics seems to be a surprisingly touchy subject for a neutral “instrument” (the word “test” is deemed judgmental). I notice the Wikipedia article on Myers-Briggs actually had sections discussing personality attributes labeled as having disputed neutrality. What do people think is the best personality type that is a better fit for requirements elicitation and documentation? Should teams be a phalanx of a certain type like the Spartans? Or perhaps more like a salad of different personalities, like the A-Team? Or are personality types just a lot of bunkum?
Openers, Closers, Handlers, Hunters
Our team identified a few roughly defined types that may help build a team that addresses many of the common needs of a requirement gathering project:
Generally speaking, NP’s (iNtuitive Perceivers) abstract visionary skills are ideal for project kick-offs and “getting” the big idea quickly.
Strengths: Openers give a strong positive first impression for the whole team with their quick-draw, right-on analysis.
Weaknesses: Openers don’t always follow through on… ooh, look a bird!
On the other end, SJ’s (Sensing Judgers) obsession for detail and resolution are ideal for making sure the big idea gets realized and the scope of the project is achieved.
Strengths: Give them a ship and a star (ok, and maybe a map and sextant) and they’ll not leave the wheel till the project gets fully into port.
Weaknesses: Uncharted waters make closers seasick. First the details, please!
A Handler’s action-oriented detail-driven style can be a perfect complement for working with those quirky, high-production subject matter experts—the Architects (aka the INTP’s). The Handler makes sure the Architect’s time isn’t wasted.
Strengths: ESXJ can put the Architect’s mind at ease, knowing that their vision will be heard and fastidiously recorded.
Weaknesses: If the Architect isn’t secure in their role as Super SME, they may feel bullied and not protected by their handler.
A Hunter’s single-minded zeal to systematically arrive at a solution make these types are ideal for elicitation and documentation, especially when there are missing pieces. They can work their relationships to stalk problems.
Strengths: They can sniff out the answers when no one else can.
Weaknesses: Not always comfortable in the spotlight.