Using AI in the project tech solution
Have you managed a project that involves AI? If you haven't yet, you likely will – in some way shape or form – very soon.
Here is the bottom line... I'm an experienced project manager and tech consultant and I believe that the use of AI doesn't come without risks. I'm not talking The Matrix-like risks... yet. But I'm a strong believer that left unchecked that can be our future... or our grandchildren's future. You could say it's unlikely or a long way off, but then you'd be underestimating the power of AI robots and tech to learn, grow and respond. So be careful.
A few pros and cons to consider...
- AI can do tasks quickly and save large effort, time and $$ on a project.
- AI removes human error on tech initiatives.
- AI is easily scalable which can serve an enterprise and software solution unbelievable well when needed.
- There are always risks with new tech
- AI will grow and learn – more planning needed to fully utilize
- Oversight needed to ensure it remains inline with organizational goals and mission as well as end user needs
- Full utilization of capabilities may be difficult compared to more typical tech solutions
Using AI in the PM infrastructure
What I've been talking about so far is AI as part of the customer side tech solution. And believe me, customers like solutions that utilize the latest technology if they have the money to spend. Now, what about how it can help manage a project?
Recently, I read about a Copenhagen-based startup that has developed artificial intelligence that can listen in on emergency 911 calls and help dispatchers detect victims of cardiac arrest. When you are in cardiac arrest, every lost minute decreases your chance of survival by 10%, so any chance of saving those critical minutes in response to a possible cardiac arrest victim is extremely important. The AI in this case analyzes words and non-verbal sounds that indicate someone is in cardiac arrest. It is able to do that after it has trained itself to spot warning signs by analyzing a massive collection of emergency call recordings over a period of time. In one study, it was found that this startup's AI was able to detect cardiac arrest with a 95% accuracy, compared to 73% for Copenhagen’s human dispatchers.
If AI can save lives like this surely it can help us manage projects better as well. It may be cost prohibitive for some organizations, but over time it could be invaluable to the accurate management of PM solutions and initiatives and save cost and time.
What can AI do for your project management infrastructure and project management office (PMO) practices and strategies? Let's consider...
Team meetings. AI could listen to team meetings and collect all of the status update information and – assuming everything is configured correctly – update things like the project schedule, issues list, risk ledger, change orders and other key project information with latest and greatest progress and status info.
Status calls. If AI can listen to 911 dispatch calls and recognize signs of cardiac arrest in potential call in victims, then surely it can be similarly trained to listen in on project status calls and detect confident and concerned tones in both the customer team and the project delivery team.
Change orders. AI can listen to status calls with the client and other key calls and emails and sort out discussions that seem to have requests that are out of scope. Having AI eventually detect the need for project change orders could greatly add revenue and profitability to a project and turn the whole scope management process on it's head!
Issue tracking. Anything we can have AI track on the project likely ensures more accuracy, more potential for help with solutions as the AI learns the issue tracking and reporting processes as well as understanding the goals and mission of the project, the milestones, and the technology in use.
Risk assessment. Just as AI could assist in issue tracking, it could be invaluable for identifying, tracking, assessing and managing the whole risk process throughout the project. AI learns and grows and as it takes in more data on one project and all projects in a company's portfolio.
Summary / call for input
The bottom line is this – it's not if but when will AI be taking on a big role in tech project solutions and in the delivery structure and methodology for tech centric project management organizations. Used wisely it will be invaluable and ultimately save time and cost and greatly advance our PM capabilities, in my opinion. Project success may come more easily – less project failure would be a great thing. However, we just must be careful and manage any risks and concerns with AI – it will learn faster than we do!
Readers – what is your take on AI? Are you managing tech solutions now that utilize AI or have some coming down the project pipeline? Please share your thoughts, experiences and concerns.