Thursday, March 30, 2023

Neuro-tech comes to the PMO

Cognitive liberty
Cognitive privacy
Have these concepts come to a project near you?

Here’s the on-coming HR issue for the PMO, if it’s not already arrived:
Hidden, embedded, or even overt sensors of your cognitive state, what your doing, how often you do it, whether you’re focused or distracted or daydreaming are all within operating reach, or pretty close by. Are they legal without disclosure and consent? Are they transparent? And is there a path to challenge and dispute resolution?
Talk about 1984 big brother 40 years on!
Is all this really happening?
At least to some degree: Yes. 
And, the idea of "cognitive liberty" has spawned a whole genre of books and articles and podcasts.

Metrics everywhere
Working in the cloud with cloud-based applications? These applications, at least in theory, can track and interpret and report every keystroke (is your typing off today?); their timing (are you sleepy? Do you need to be awakened?); mind-block today?; and other metrics.

Working online from a work-based laptop? It can be interrogated routinely, even the camera may be watching. More likely not, however. But some advise turning off when you don't need it.

Other workplace devices: smart this and that you may be wearing or carrying? If there’s an internet connection there may be surveillance.

Would you agree to wear a sensor?
If you wear a digital smart watch, Fitbit, or the like, you've already made that decision.

Yikes! What did I sign?
Oops! Remember all that on-boarding paperwork? What did you sign that waived your privacy or agreed to surveillance?

And whose data is it?
It’s about you; is it yours? How is it stored and protected? Could it play into your next job interview if you change employers?

Do you drive as part of your project activity? Surveillance .... with permission ... has invaded the car insurance industry. Now to avoid premium surcharges, or more benignly qualify for discounts, you agree that your every driving detail can be tracked, evaluated, and reported. You are also told the data could be used in accident investigations.

Can the same idea be ported to the PMO? Will your cognitive record be cited in your next review, or influence your project assignment, or be considered in a project bonus?

Who has expertise?
And what’s the training around this for HR and supervisors? And what are the penalties for abuse?
And what about copyright of ideas? You'd better dust off the rule book. When is your stuff “work for hire” and when is it not?

The path
It's hard "to begin with the end in mind" as Covey might advise. Because.... because where could this possibly end? Is there a steady-state we are journeying to? Unlikely. More likely: there is no end-state; only constant innovation and change. 

Like this blog? You'll like my books also! Buy them at any online book retailer!