Embracing AI-driven Project Management: A Guide for PMs
AI project management software is revolutionizing the landscape of products and services. A host of tools are making their way to the market to capitalize on their potential. Given their ability to automate tasks, analyze data, aid insights, and improve the bottom line, AI project management tools will rapidly become part of standard operating procedure within companies, transforming traditional project management.
This rapid transformation has left project managers wondering how their job expectations will change, whether they will be replaced by AI, and how to adapt to the change. This article aims to cover those questions.
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As industries are becoming more competitive, project managers expect more output from their employees and themselves. AI project management tools assist PMs to select and prioritize projects based on company and stakeholder needs. They help PMs ensure that company resources are allocated to the most impactful projects in the most impactful way.
AI tools help increase the per hour value of work, especially because employees are happier and more productive working with AI. In fact, a McKinsey report found that the productivity gains among junior workers are higher than they are for senior workers.
For project managers, AI can perform many productivity boosting tasks including:
AI project management tools can analyze and report on work you or your teams do and offer improvements. Some AI tools can spot patterns in historical project data and generate project plans optimized for your company and stakeholder needs. They can also spot areas of improvement in employee work.
For instance, any project manager will tell you how bad requirements can have negative downstream effects like rework. Requirements errors make-up 70 to 85 percent of the cost of rework.
When you write requirements for projects and/or products, AI tools can help you rate the quality of your requirements based on the 6C’s (i.e., clarity, completeness, conciseness, consistency, correctness, and context). The results are rated on a scale of 0% to 100%.
Beyond just offering analysis, you can also write and rewrite content and documentation using AI. The rise of ChatGPT has dramatically shifted the landscape of many industries and professions, including project management. You can automate project planning, generate project status reports, summarize meetings, and even develop training materials.
You can also write, and rewrite documents based on drafts and get those results formatted in bullet form or as a paragraph. The best tools also allow you to select and edit the AI’s output to your team’s specifications.
AI project management tools offer PMs the ability to monitor the progress of their projects or sprints. Team members and stakeholders can visually see how the project is progressing against the planned timeline. With AI project management software tools, you can communicate with your team and update project progress. This can help improve team communication and collaboration, leading to more successful project delivery.
Project managers often must grapple with vast amounts of data in bite-sized pieces to make informed decisions. AI tools can create a brief abstract or reframe requirements in different terms so PMs can make decisions quickly. The ability to reframe requirements also has explanatory power so that team members from different disciplines can better understand their colleagues’ intentions.
Current tools can generate reports from your documentation with one click. An AI project management driven method leaves tools to summarize meeting notes or project updates in seconds with pre-structured headers, tables, and more, these tools ensure that project managers have perfectly formatted content.
While these are some basic tools that project managers can use, AI project management tools can go even further. This includes converting requirements data into user stories, translating requirements from language to language for better collaboration, and even elaborate on existing requirements.
There’s no doubt that AI in project management will be the new paradigm in the near future. A Gartner study said that AI will handle 80% of project management tasks by 2023. The best way to deal with this upcoming change is to adapt to it. Here’s how:
A change in the role of project manager is inevitable in many ways. Here are a few ways you can adapt and thrive in the evolving role of PM.
- Focus on Soft Skills: With automation handling routine tasks, the PM role will focus more on soft skills like leadership, strategy, and building high-performing teams. Organizations will need the leadership skills of PMs to keep their companies competitive by switching to AI tools.
- Strategic Alignment: While AI will lead to gains in productivity, using this productivity boost in the right way will involve PMs focusing more on aligning projects with strategic goals for results. This includes using other strategic tools like baselining and documentation tools to direct the power of AI in the best possible way.
The future is a hybrid of machine speed and human judgment. To keep up with these rapid changes, PMs should stay updated with the latest technologies and tools that can help them in their work. This includes new AI technologies as well as other technologies coming down the pipeline.
A key skill for the future is data literacy. In a recent report, 31% of organizations said data-related skills like data management, analytics and big data, are the highest talent development priorities.
And with AI taking over the manual aspects of the job, the PMs role will become even more human-centric, with soft-skills like critical thinking, conflict resolution, and deal making becoming more important.
A culture of learning within companies is important as almost 30% of employees consider learning as a key factor when considering a new position.
Virtual assistants will gradually shift PM activities towards coaching and stakeholder management. AI tools are best understood as competent interns that need some oversight while doing administrative or manual tasks.
The dominant paradigm will involve PMs dealing with more human-oriented tasks that involve soft skills, deep market research, and making critical decisions on product positioning.
Intelligence: Any artificial intelligence must be powerful enough to tackle the task at hand. When looking for a tool, get one that gives you high quality output when automating tasks, analyzing data, and providing context.
User-friendliness: PMs in competitive industries are often time stressed. An AI project management tool must be easy to use. The best tools give you options both for a prompt-based interface and a button-based interface.
Interaction with other tools: An AI tool in isolation is not useful to project managers. However, an AI tool that is integrated into a larger ecosystem of tools is extremely valuable. The best tools typically come with packaged software that allow PMs to document, test, and review their project management performance.
Collaboration: PMs know that success in any project is a team sport. So, an AI tool that simplifies project requirements will make it easier for developers to understand business analysts and vice-versa. A tool that can translate requirements accurately is even better since distributed teams can perform across the world.
In conclusion, AI has the potential to significantly enhance project management practices. By embracing AI tools like virtual project assistants, continuously learning about new technologies, using AI for improved decision-making, automating administrative tasks, and using AI for project selection and prioritization, project managers can adapt to this new landscape for improved outcomes and profitability. It’s an exciting time for project management as we explore these new possibilities.