Carson Pierce

Carson’s 15-year career in the digital space has included roles as a web developer, project manager, and production director. He is currently a Senior PM at DDB Canada, where he focuses on delivering digital marketing projects.

For the past three years, Carson has been studying the intersect between project management and brain science, aided by his psychologist wife who tells him when he’s wrong.

Outside of work, Carson enjoys listening to music that no one else likes and playing hockey poorly. You can read the occasional article on his blog at or follow him on Twitter at @carsonpierce.


Your Brain Hates Project Management

October 14th | 3:00 PM

You’re a really good PM, we all know that. You even use an established process and have some fancy software tools to help. So why do projects never seem to go quite as expected? We can blame the nature of digital work or the usual scapegoat - clients - but it’s actually all in our heads. Literally. Our brains are simply not naturally wired for project management. Examples abound:

  • Why are we bad at estimating? Blame the planning fallacy and optimism bias.
  • Why does work not stay on schedule? A combination of Parkinson’s law and student syndrome.
  • Why do we not foresee risks? It’s the illusion of control, compounded by confirmation bias.

This session will answer all these questions and others by drawing on the fields of organizational psychology and behavioral economics and applying it to project management. We’ll look at some real life examples, do a few experiments of our own, and learn how to counter the misguided tendencies of our brains.

In this session you’ll learn:

  • the major cognitive biases and other forms of irrational behavior that impact project management
  • how to recognize where our default thinking fails us and how to counter it with specific workaround strategies
  • how to live a slightly less frustrating life