Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the world of project management
AI is increasingly becoming more and more common in the working world as organizations lean towards technological tools that not only simplify, but automate the way we work. Project management tools can handle everything from scheduling, to analyzing the patterns of a working team and offering suggestions as well as reporting. These augmented tools make AI an obvious benefit to project managers, allowing humans and machines to collaborate to deliver insight to key stakeholders, execute strategies and realize objectives.
Project managers will need to build skillsets that not only support when AI falls short, but also complement AI practices, as both will be dependent on each other. AI removes the need for manual labor for everyday tasks such as data analysis, reporting and deriving key business insight. This will free up project managers to make key leadership decisions and drive projects strategically.
We have identified four areas on how AI may benefit the project manager of the future:
1. Informed decision making
The power of data analytics has allowed for coding of algorithms to depict trends and highlight crucial information. This automatically alerts project managers, in real time, to review certain ‘red flags’ that would impact their project plans and recommends the required corrective action.
2. Management of resources
Tight budgets and schedules bring about an imperative need to actively manage resources to get the job done on time, on budget, and within scope. Artificial intelligence is capable of tracking this and can propose the right mix of resources to effectively deliver a project while monitoring conflicts of schedule. It can capture key performance indicators and recognize top contributors.
3. Automation of repetitive tasks
A project manager’s list of jobs may seem endless but by leveraging AI, project managers will be able to focus more on refining strategic plans and directing their execution. Tasks such as reporting, scheduling of meetings, and communications can all be automated with a virtual assistant. This will empower project managers to serve as leaders adding value to their organization while knowing that their important ‘busywork’ is still under control and not compromised.
4. Real-time access to information
Today’s sophisticated technologies and applications enable project managers to handle portfolios, programs and projects at scale with all the information they may need at their fingertips through their smartphones. This flexibility allows them to multi-task and be more mobile to achieve a more productive and fulfilling lifestyle.
Case #1: Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare
AI has a dominant role in the healthcare industry and has been invaluable in helping doctors read scan images more rapidly to diagnose symptoms more accurately. Through the use of predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms, AI has assisted doctors in diagnosis and in proposing treatment plans aligned with a patient’s financial feasibility.
Case #2: Artificial Intelligence in Transportation
AI has had a significant impact on the transportation sector, where it has helped increase passenger safety, promote a healthy environment, and efficiently enable you to reach your destination at a faster pace at a cheaper cost. Autonomous vehicles are among the most innovative examples which are on the brink of becoming the norm for the future. Data repositories and computer visions can process real time data, historical records and weather information to find the best route that would enable a passenger to reach their destination safely and quickly.
Case #3: Artificial Intelligence in Financial Services
AI has automated and digitized the financial services industry. This has enhanced the customer experience through personalized services such as robotic process automation and voice learning and the use of chatbots. Banks are heavily dependent on predictive analytics and programmed engines to monitor their compliance and back office activities while offering their customers security and assurance on their financial accounts.
A culture of adaptability and lifelong learning will be crucial for shifting today’s project management roles into the future, where working collaboratively with Artificial Intelligence will become the norm. Although automation and AI will make life easier and more automated, there will still remain a high demand for project managers for the successful delivery of portfolios, program and projects.