How can project managers leverage AI?

Project management is a practice that cannot be excluded from the current activities of any company. Whether you’re working on a construction site, or in software development, you’ve definitely dealt with planning, executing and controlling the work of a team. Although a practical and beneficial process, project management is not without its drawbacks. It can be really time-consuming and sometimes it comes at a high financial cost too. Increased complexity and lack of creativity or room for tweaks are also some of the disadvantages often cited.

However, with the advent of artificial intelligence and machine learning, some of the challenges of project management can be easily tackled. AI for project management is on the rise and it promises to help teams make smarter decisions.

According to a report published by the Project Management Institute in June 2019, 81% of project managers surveyed stated their organization is being impacted by AI technologies. In addition, results show that the proportion of projects that are managed with AI is expected to jump from 23% to 37% by 2022.

The survey further reveals six AI technologies that have an effect on organizations around the globe. The following three are currently influencing the largest number of businesses:

·       Knowledge-based systems: Understands the context of the data being processed, helping support human learning and decision making.

·       Machine learning: Analyzes data to build models by detecting patterns, yielding improved decision making with minimal human intervention.

·       Decision management: Creates an intelligent process or set of processes based on rules and logic to automate decision making.

No doubt that project management is one of the practices that will be reshaped by artificial intelligence and will significantly change in the years to come. Let’s have a look at some of the main areas that will be impacted.

Data collection, tracking and reporting

Another report on AI and project management, this time conducted by Gartner, estimates that by 2030, 80% of the tasks involved in project management will be eliminated. Data collection, tracking and reporting are among them.

In project management, data is king. To establish and keep track of the right metrics, project managers need to gather and analyze a lot of data. AI systems are much better at this. These are considerably faster at gathering, analyzing and interpreting information based on certain patterns or desired outcomes. Furthermore, the system can observe the way that a project is moving and make better and more accurate predictions about the future of the project.

Project managers spend a significant amount of time on keeping records and creating reports. By transferring these tasks to an automated AI-based system, it allows for a faster completion of these activities and it enables project managers to focus more on deliverables and other critical parts of project management. In turn, this can lead to saving time and money. And, more importantly, it can lead to more successful projects and more relevant data to analyze for future projects.

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