Publication: Financial Express

The future of project management with AI

Experts believe that AI can be helpful with aspects of project envisioning and portfolio management

Project management has always been a challenging task, and as organizations are getting more complex and distributed, it is becoming even more complicated to manage projects effectively. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has in some way or the other begun to change every industry practice and project management is no exception. AI is transforming the way project management is done by introducing new tools and techniques that can automate many of the repetitive tasks, reduce errors, and improve overall efficiency.

Already, AI-powered virtual assistants are helping improving project performance of project managers by managing tasks, setting deadlines, and providing reminders. More advanced AI applications in project management can be seen where AI helps automate the creation of project documents, such as project plans, proposals, and progress reports, by providing templates and auto-formatting. AI can also summarize project documents and provide insights into project performance.

While a completely autonomous project management may be a little far off, but we can expect that the human intervention will reduce in the administrative tasks. With present AI tools, the project management office can be automated to a great extent. In fact, AI-powered chatbots can provide support to the project management office by answering frequently asked questions, providing status updates, and assisting with administrative tasks such as scheduling meetings and sending reminders.

We are seeing radical shift in technologies which typically form part of project planning and execution. AI has a great use case for reliably gathering information on project progress and assessing it. AI enabled camera applications have drastically reduced the time it takes in mapping of project sites. Lidar enabled applications can map 3-D spaces and give incredibly detailed inputs for creating blueprints. In terms of physical projects, today we have tools available which can help create VR mockups of roads, bridges, building and any civil construction and provide fairly accurate assessments of feasibility, progress, and risks.

In case of risk identification, AI could prove to be very useful for the project managers. It can reference the tasks, project contexts, data of project progress and assess risks. It can derive reasonable estimates of impacts and probabilities as part of risk management and mitigation. The seamless data from projects and its outcomes also bring out the possibility of AI based predictive analytics which helps avoid failures by deploying corrective measures and maintenance in advance. AI based analytics can help to better estimate efforts or time requirements, expected milestone dates, expenses, resource allocations.

Compliance issues used to be the bane of project management but today we have compliance automation tools that can help organizations manage and monitor compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, reducing the likelihood of compliance issues causing project delays or cost overruns.

Finding the right resources at the right time plays a critical role in project management. AI enabled enterprise search can help project teams quickly find relevant information and insights from various data sources such as project plans, contracts, and customer feedback. This can be used to do the right kind of resource planning and recruitment for projects.

Use any standard project management tool nowadays, you will find wide range of add-ons to automate different aspects of project management – time tracking, invoicing, and team scheduling to budgeting and forecasting. All these data points can help project managers to better leverage AI applications. IOT based systems with direct inputs to the project management system can take out the manual efforts and reduce the unpredictability of project executions. We are seeing a steady improvement of project performance wherever we have implemented modern project management tools. However, you will have to take this with a pinch of salt. The current level of generative AI is not ready for prime application in active project management scenarios. It will eventually happen but not before we see AI become a mainstay in regular operations.

AI can be very helpful with aspects of project envisioning and portfolio management. A clear advantage with AI-powered project management tools is that organizations can better select and prioritize projects by analyzing data from various sources such as market trends, customer feedback, and financial data. With AI, organizations can sift through enormous amount of information in a short period of time compared to the weeks and months it takes for people to do it without AI tools. It’s crucial to have the right insights into which projects are likely to be successful and which ones should be deprioritized.

In conclusion, AI may very well be revolutionizing project management by introducing new tools and techniques that can automate many of the repetitive tasks, reduce errors, and improve overall efficiency. As organizations continue to adopt AI-powered project management tools, we can expect to see significant improvements in productivity, quality, and cost-effectiveness. However, it is essential to remember that AI is not a magic solution, and it still requires human oversight and intervention to ensure that the tools are being used effectively and responsibly.

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