Another post in the Development Project Archetypes series…
Every time that the team attempts to implement a technique, process or technology that will address a project problem and better the team’s ability to deliver to the client, the Skeptic will interject. If it’s unknown to the Skeptic, then he must speak out about his doubt. Often the doubts are small and founded in his complete lack of knowledge. Regardless, he will stand by them vigorously until the project has discussed (at least three times) the situation.
The discussion will not, however, satisfy the Skeptic. If he does agree to move forward, it will be under very vocal protest. He will end his part of the discussion by stating that he “still isn’t sure that [he’s] fully convinced of any benefit”. Regardless of how the project moves forward, the Skeptic will always be the first person to point out any small flaw in something that he opposed. He was, after all, trying to warn the team of the potential problems ahead of time. And now it’s your fault for not listening back then.
If you’re lucky, The Skeptic can be ignored. But if he has some political clout, you may need some allies in the form of other developers. Focus on convincing the other developers that what you are doing is correct.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Just like you are not always right, The Skeptic is not always wrong. Don’t discount his arguments just because you always have before.