The Telepath

A Highly Effective Software Developer able to extract unspoken and undocumented requirements from stakeholders.

Special Abilities

Patience of Socrates

Relentlessly asks probing questions for hours at a time.

Mind Vault

Will recollect all previously extracted information with extreme accuracy.

Fallacy Smash

Instantly refutes distracting details, contradictory ideas, or irrational logic.

Overview

The Telepath acts as an interpreter between business stakeholders and the rest of the software development team. By utilizing their dual gifts of active listening and limitless patience, they create opportunities for open discussions around precisely what needs to be built. They are able to leverage their expertise in the art of facilitation, mediation, and collaboration to streamline communication between business and technology to the benefit of the entire project.

Telepaths draw from an inexhaustible pool of composure and persistence to lead analytical conversations on even the most challenging topics. Their combination of meticulous exploration, thorough examination, and insightful reasoning routinely reveal new questions in need of careful consideration. Often, to the amazement of everyone involved, they guide the team to discoveries that save the project incredible amounts of time and energy.

The Telepath’s endurance for marathon meetings can seldom be matched by other team members. Often their greatest opportunity of self-improvement is in recognizing when other team members are in need of a restorative pause before continuing a discussion. In learning to establish a sustainable rhythm of discussion and interludes, they will be able to delve into the most complex of topics while still keeping every member of the team fully engaged.

Identification Checklist

  • Will routinely ask dozens or even hundreds of questions in rapid succession to understand hidden details of a feature.
  • Will never get frustrated or impatient in their pursuit of accurate information.
  • Will remain fully engaged with no signs of fatigue during long meetings.
  • Will challenge irrational logic, misdirection, or answer avoidance without hesitation.
  • Will not be satisfied until every member of the team has the same deep understanding of what needs to be built.

Common Misconceptions

  • Telepaths are not acting as The Extreme Overestimator, in that they are not looking for reasons why the feature might take longer to build, but simply are trying to understand what precisely needs to be built.
  • They are not acting as The Patent Author, as they are not concerned with creating documentation so much as building a team-wide understanding of requirements.
  • They are not acting as The Professor intentionally, even if they have questions that have their root in theoretical design principles.
  • They are not acting as a The Meeting Scheduler even if the schedule a series of meetings, as each of their meeting has a single specific end-goal of fully understanding what needs to be implemented before work is started.
  • They are not acting as The Process Obsessed, as they do not have a single process they must always follow; they will use whatever process necessary to arrive at the answers they are looking for.

Supporting Team Members

  • The Assassin can deliver an initial version of a feature to give Telepaths time to gain insight into the final version of a feature.
  • The Ghost‘s meticulousness is often required when implementing the comprehensive list of task that the Telepath has uncovered.
  • The Sage provides a valuable collaborator to the Telepath when figuring out what line of questioning should be followed in light of earlier answers.

Typical Soft Skills Scorecard

  • Telepaths become more precise in the questions they ask with a high degree of Business Focus.
  • Telepaths will be able to find earlier cut-off-points in asking questions as they increase their Risk Tolerance and Deadline Focus.

Showing Appreciation

  • Telepaths greatly appreciate when direct answers are given to their questions, or a commitment is made to finding those answers.
  • Telepaths appreciate when their team affords them the time during meetings to ask all of the questions they have.
  • Telepaths will often enjoy spirited follow-up discussions about the implications of information they uncovered.

Add your thoughts