A CMS project in most cases comprises a cross-departmental team with a varied set of personalities assigned to get the project done. Over the past decade I've noticed some trends in the type of people who make up these teams and five specific types have come to the surface. I thought I would have some fun and describe these team member personalities and how they interact with other team members.
In my experience the 5 people you will meet [in CMS Project] heaven include:
The Actor/Actress – For this person, everything is an issue above and beyond the comprehension of everyone in the room. This person cannot believe the group just doesn’t "see it" and he/she will have to elevate the issue to higher authorities in order to provide yet another brilliant solution that the executive team can implement. In general every meeting entails at least one outburst just to make sure committee members know he/she is present.
The Authority – A "seasoned professional" who has been with the company for as long as anyone can remember – probably since said publisher created content with chisel and tablet. This type provides a level-headed look at things and can recite quotes from executives who have passed through the hallowed hallways explaining why this is the exact strategy the publisher should take only to see that executive depart publisher for “other opportunities.”
The Thinker (#1) – Generally a meek and mild person sitting at the table who knows her/his stuff inside and out but does not like to be the center of attention. Would rather be sitting in the row of chairs in the back of the conference room than sitting at the table. Unfortunately (in their eyes) their boss made them sit at the table.
The Thinker (#2) – In general, this person thinks everyone on the project team or committee is stupid and if you would just leave them alone they would have a new system built in about a week (if an appropriate level of pizza and soda were supplied).
The Leader – This person can lead the construction of a sky scraper or CMS project, it just doesn’t matter. They are obsessive about details, impatient, and can synthesize more information in 30 seconds than your iPad can download in an hour. The leader is vocal but polite and can generally marginalize the Actor/Actress on the team. He/She has the ability to manage up to executives and down to line employees. In general this person may not always be embraced across the organization because they tend to get too much done and make other people look bad.
Each department at a publisher has its own culture and each person from these departments has their own unique personality. Your success or failure as a CMS Project Team Leader will be dependent on how well you identify each personality type and know what makes them tick to best leverage their strengths and marginalize their weaknesses.