“survey found 51% of people are not fond of project managers because ‘they don’t listen’, ‘they’re lazy,’ ‘take credit for others’ work,’ ‘fail to do realistic planning,’ and ‘don’t understand the technology.’Robot project managers can be programmed to be free from these types of human flaws such as biased decision making, a lack of knowledge, and careless errors. Not only that, their performance will increase over time as their algorithms get more accurate as they continue to learn from data.”
I recently attended PMI Agility Conference and one of the discussions was ‘The Future Skillset Needs for Project & Project Management”. His main point of discussion was about project management jobs will be either taken over by Artificial Intelligence and/or Offshored. Immediately, I started thinking about the impacts domination would have on my career.
Looking at some areas where I am certain project management can be automated is around communication. Several studies report that one of the key failures of a project is due to communication. If we start bringing bots and algorithms that currently exist right now and build a system to facilitate communication, then that is just one small step to automation taking over my career. Project management AI is an interconnected system that can manage projects with little to no human input. Not only can bots automate tasks, but the key point of AI is providing insight into process recommendation, and make project decisions. I work with bots in my current work via communication channels so it has already introduced itself into my workspace.
One of my strengths as a project manager and Certified ScrumMaster is working with the delivery team allocating and estimating tasks through JIRA or Azure DevOps. AI has made its way into estimating, budgeting and sprint management through companies such as stratejos.
One of the challenges companies such as stratejos find is that people still need to input data correctly so that the AI tool can provide accurate input. This is just like most AI technologies; the machine behind needs to learn from a set of data. One of the areas I struggle as a ScrumMaster is reminding the delivery team to input certain data points such as estimations, descriptions etc so this tool would be very helpful for us to make sure we have everything we need to make each sprint and release successful. AI can be a gentle encouragement to improve the quality of data.
stratejos is going further and besides estimates, actuals, sprints and budgets, they are looking for ways to take task descriptions and historical data to teach the engine so that it can learn about new metrics such as quality and performance. Imagine a bot that is able to know who is available and re-assign tasks based on historical capabilities and availability!
There are a number of other project management AI’s that have similar but interestingly different offerings. A few are listed below:
Accenture myWizard provides clients a team of virtual agents, powered by artificial intelligence, to analyze data and identify patterns for cost reductions typically done in traditional business process reviews that can cost millions for such manual and tedious tasks.
Rescoper manages your schedule, stops you from getting overworked and keeps you on track to meet deadlines. It has a look and feel of Kanban boards and Planner/Trello.
This is only the beginning and I must wonder, how will AI learn from one another, how will companies know which one to choose over another. Investing in AI is a bigger responsibility than investing in a human. A human has an emotional connection that at this point AI cannot provide other than language or voice when it comes to project management AI tools.
Machines are becoming more agile and able to adapt to the real world by analyzing human behavior, however, at this point, I cannot imagine a machine dealing with a stakeholder. A stakeholder is a human and needs human interaction. At this point of my job, I could see an assistant working alongside to ensure everything is up to date. Right now is the time to think ahead and I am looking for ways to stay ahead, so let me know your thoughts on what you are planning?!