Tag Archives: color personality

The Colors of Project Management

Author: Iliana Alvarado, PMP

When it comes to project management, most government and private organizations strive to reinforce the latest edition of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK) Guide, using tried and true tools and methods such as the Work Breakdown Structure and Earned Value Management. With seemingly unlimited project management tools available to ensure project success, why do so many projects fail? According to a recent survey from the Project Management Hut, project failure is due to bad communications 57% of the time and 39% is due to lack of planning1.

Statistics aside, the nitty gritty of it is a lack of maximizing the talents of individuals comprising a project team. With much of the project focus on tasks and outcomes, project managers often miss the opportunity to realize the full capabilities of their team. Of all the resources available to project managers for team development and improving project success, one of the simplest tools to utilize is the color personality test (adapted from the True Color Personality Test2). With this survey, team members are matched to four different personality types, identifying their most prominent characteristics and preferred working environments. While this tool may seem rudimentary and maybe even trivial, the applicability of matching employees to their desired project activities is critical to project success.

The four personality types are summarized as:

  • True Blue employees are compassionate, imaginative, sensitive, prefer encouragement to completion, and react very negatively to rejection
  • Curious Green crew members are analytical, conceptual, logical, problem solvers, and need constant mental stimulation
  • Solid Gold contributors are dependable, loyal, thorough, punctual, and prefer to handle details and organization
  • Action Orange are the charming, spontaneous members who are bold and restless and thrive on independence and freedom

As reflected, each personality type brings unique strengths and talents to the project team. In future posts, I’ll discuss how to utilize the color survey to best utilize a human-centered approach to project management.

1 The Project Management Hut “Project Failure Statistics”, www.pmhut.com/project-failure-statistics-and-facts

2 True Color Personality Test, www.TrueColorsTest.com