While many in the DoD systems development community have been exposed to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) ® assessment, many acknowledge not actively applying its insights to their work. Ultimately, because every system begins and ends with the human mind, the cognitive theory that underlies the MBTI is directly applicable to development work and management. This article summarizes practical ways to apply the MBTI to project and systems management. Most experienced hands in the DoD system development community have encountered the MBTI assessment. A common tool for better understanding communication, leadership, and teams, the MBTI has been administered to millions of people over more than three decades. That means a lot of workshops, a lot of money, and a lot of hours. Despite this, trainers frequently find themselves leading MBTI workshops where most participants have taken the assessment before, but where few remember the preference scales or their personal type preferences. Even fewer are able to describe how they have used type to better manage themselves, others, and the projects they lead. A recent participant at a Defense Acquisition University workshop I facilitated captured it best: “DoD implementation of the MBTI has historically been, at best, suboptimal.” This article reviews practical and concrete methods for applying the MBTI assessment and its underlying theory of psychological type. An applied understanding of psychological type to solve problems helps build better systems and can improve the optimization and ROI on MBTI training programs
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