McKinsey notes: “AI now powers so many real-world applications, ranging from facial recognition to language translators and assistants like Siri and Alexa, that we barely notice it. Along with these consumer applications, companies across sectors are increasingly harnessing AI’s power in their operations. Embracing artificial intelligence promises considerable benefits for businesses and economies such as increased productivity and innovation.”1 And Project Management is in no way exempt from this wave of change.
PWC’s ‘A Virtual Partnership? How Artificial Intelligence will disrupt Project Management and change the role of Project Managers2’ provides the following thoughts about what the correct attitude to AI should be by project managers:
“Project managers need to capitalize on the opportunities generated by technological disruption, and in many ways be the champions of new technologies as they emerge.”
“Both AI and project managers depend on each other; the project manager is required to have the right skill set to be able to manage AI and AI is inoperative without the input and added value of a skilled project manager.”
PMI talks about a need for a high project management technology quotient, or PMTQ, to be successful in this new AI project world, in ‘The Future of Work: Leading the Way with PMTQ ’, they comment that “capturing the value of AI isn’t just about rolling out a bunch of new technologies. It takes the right people with the right skills and the right attitude.” They describe PMTQ as defined by three essential traits:
- Always-on curiosity: Looking for emerging project delivery practices without chasing after every new digital trend.
- All-inclusive leadership: Getting the best out of your teams, whether they’re human or machine.
- A future-proof talent pool: Recruiting the right people with the mindset to keep learning new technologies while helping their teammates do the same.
What are you missing out on if you don’t ride the wave of this rapidly unfolding story? Potentially a huge amount. I truly believe the successful future belongs to the early adopters, not the laggards.
So how can you gain an advantage from using AI in Project Management today?
Well firstly, recognise the opportunity. As ‘agents of change’ you should already be open to change in your own profession and business world. The rise of AI in project management will bring about a huge change. While big, this change is positive, not at all like a meteor strike that prompts the extinction of the species known as ‘project managers’.
Secondly, open your mind to the art of the possible in the AI-empowered project world. Begin to learn and plan your adoption of the rapid rise of AI opportunities heading your way.
And thirdly, explore. Start using some of the technology in the marketplace right now and assess what will work and what won’t. One great place to start is through using the next-generation wave of project management software dubbed ‘Planning Intelligence’. Software like LiquidPlanner can provide insight into problem areas before they occur. And they even help save you time through automation. Tools like LiquidPlanner can allow you to scenario plan in real-time with a complex Monte Carlo simulation that does the hard work for you.
In my book ‘AI and the Project Manager: How the Rise of Artificial Intelligence Will Change Your World3’ I conclude:
“You know, we are not going to go all the way towards the autonomous project management experience (my opinion). I just cannot see that. But there is a significant step forward in the coming months and years that will take us to a completely different place as far as project management is concerned, and I believe this, it truly fits with the principles that I had all those years ago.
Behind the ‘Lazy Project Manager’ and the whole ‘working smarter not harder’ approach I advocate, and the power of working with people (that I believe project management is really all about, managing yourself and managing other people, whilst delivering a project successfully) then I can only welcome AI into my profession.
I believe AI can only make things better here.
So, here is to the next generation of AI empowered Lazy Project Managers.”
Good luck. There is an exciting future for project managers – independent thinking – creative – compassionate – collaborative – and even more successful than today, powered by AI and focused on people.
About the Author
Keynote speaker and coach, Peter Taylor is the author of the number 1 bestselling project management book ‘The Lazy Project Manager’, along with many other books on Project Management, PMO development, Executive Sponsorship, Transformation Leadership, and Speaking Skills. He has built and led some of the largest PMOs in the world with organizations such as Siemens, IBM, UKG, and now Ceridian, where he is the VP Global PMO. He has also delivered over 500 lectures around the world in over 25 countries and has been described as ‘perhaps the most entertaining and inspiring speaker in the project management world today’.