Point Lookout
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Archive of Point Lookout for 2021

Reverse chronological order

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Braided streams in Grewingk Glacier RiverComing March 3: Risk Acceptance: One Path
When a project team decides to accept a risk, and when their project eventually experiences that risk, a natural question arises: What were they thinking? Cognitive biases, other psychological phenomena, and organizational dysfunction all can play roles. Available here and by RSS on March 3.
NASA's Mars Climate Orbiter, which was lost on attempted entry into Mars orbitAnd on March 10: On Repeatable Blunders
When organizations make mistakes, they sometimes acknowledge them and learn how to avoid repeating them. And sometimes they conceal them or even deny they happened. When they conceal mistakes or deny they occurred, repetition is more likely. Available here and by RSS on March 10.

This page has links to articles from 2021. For other years:

February 24, 2021

Roger Boisjoly of Morton Thiokol, who tried to halt the launch of the Challenger space shuttle in 1986Risk Acceptance: Naïve Realism
When we suddenly notice a "project-killer" risk that hasn't yet materialized, we sometimes accept the risk even though we know how seriously it threatens the effort. A psychological phenomenon known as naïve realism plays a role in this behavior.

February 17, 2021

A jigsaw puzzle with a missing pieceRemote Hires: Inquiry
When knowledge workers join organizations as remote hires, they must learn what's expected of them and how it fits with what everyone else is doing. This can be difficult when everyone is remote. A systematic knowledge-based inquiry procedure can help.

February 10, 2021

Working remotely, in this case, from homeRemote Hires: Communications
When knowledge-oriented organizations hire remote workers, success is limited by the communications facilities they provide. Remote hires need phones, computers, email, text, video, calendars, and more. Communications infrastructure drives productivity.

February 3, 2021

A vial of COVID-19 vaccineCost Concerns: Scale
When we consider the costs of problem solutions too early in the problem-solving process, the results of comparing alternatives might be unreliable. Deferring cost concerns until we fully understand the problem can yield more options and better decisions.

January 27, 2021

stacks of gold coinsCost Concerns: Comparisons
When we assess the costs of different options for solving a problem, we must take care not to commit a variety of errors in approach. These errors can lead to flawed decisions. One activity at risk for error is comparing the costs of two options.

January 20, 2021

A home officeAnticipating Absence: Quarantine and Isolation
When the pandemic compels some knowledge workers to quarantine or isolate, we tend to treat them as if they were totally unavailable. But if they're willing and able to work, even part-time, they might be able to continue to contribute. To make this happen, work out conditions in advance.

January 13, 2021

Why we have so many virtual interviews now: no one is in the officeVirtual Interviews: II
The pandemic has made face-to-face job interviews less important. And so we must now also master virtual interviews, and that requires understanding the effects of the attendance list, video presence, and the technologies of staging, lighting, and makeup.

January 6, 2021

A virtual interview underwayVirtual Interviews: I
The pandemic has made face-to-face job interviews less important. Although understanding the psychology of virtual interviews helps both interviewers and candidates, candidates would do well to use the virtual interview to demonstrate video presence.

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