Any video about Artificial Intelligence is likely to be – at best – provisional. The technology is improving fast and what seems possible now is likely to be little more than the leading edge of a massive transformation. With that said, however, what can we say now about how AI can transform Project Management?
This video is safe for viewing in the workplace.This is learning, so, sit back and enjoy
There are four classes of things AI can do that may contribute to a transformation in Project Management either individually or in combination:
We are already seeing AI’s language skills at work in translation, transcription, and dictation software. But natural language recognition is also at the heart of voice-operated systems and processing tools like the already-famous ChatGPT.
So, the first big change is improved communication: AI can help improve communication between team members with real-time translation, transcribing meeting notes, and chatbot support to software. These can help team members work more efficiently and effectively, especially in global or remote environments.
If it can recognize patterns, AI can deliver prediction, estimation, and forecasting. Data analysis and machine learning already enable AI tools to make more accurate predictions about project outcomes than people can.
This can help Project Managers to make better decisions about resource allocation, project timelines, and risk management. This has powerful implications for preparing project plans and budgets, and for project decision-making.
AI tools will increasingly support us in creating project schedules and budgets. And risk analysis will become more robust when data sets are sufficient to allow AI to go beyond identifying potential risks, and allocate likelihoods.
Even more powerfully, AI can provide decision-making support to project managers by analyzing data and recommending actions. I think it will be a long time before we feel able to delegate authority, but it won’t be long before AI can help project managers make better decisions and reduce the risk of making mistakes.
Indeed… one of the most important decisions we need to make, is ‘which’ projects to do…
AI can search through hundreds or thousands of options and use complex data sets to optimize among many choices. This is valuable in scheduling, but even more so in things like portfolio selection or resource deployment. Both of these are likely to see massive benefits from AI.
Perhaps the biggest near-term impact of AI will be in the automation of repetitive tasks, processes, and workflows. This will range from simple data entry that might then trigger actions in software, to more complex PM processes, like assigning resources to tasks, tracking progress, or preparing status reports.
On smaller projects, this will free up Project Managers for more strategic and people-oriented work. On larger projects, this may partly (or eventually, completely) replace project administrators.
AI has a huge potential to help us work more efficiently and make better decisions, to deliver better project outcomes.
But note that I said ‘help’. Artificial Intelligence is not a replacement for Human Intelligence and it won’t be in the easily foreseeable future. Our judgment will remain the basis for decision-making, and it’s people who will lead people to project success, even if we share the ups and downs of the process with AI colleagues.
This video is part of a collaboration with Jelvix, whose ‘Tech in 5 Minutes’ YouTube channel is well worth a visit. Here are some of my favorites:
Carefully curated video recommendations for you:
Artificial Intelligence is here. What does it mean for Project Management and Project Managers?
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I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own.
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Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.
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