Where is Project Management headed?
Every company needs a skilled project manager who will allow the company to implement its operations — but what should they do, where are they coming from and where are they going? Those are the key questions facing senior management in today’s businesses.
Of course, project management in the broadest sense has existed for longer than we could even remember. However, it was only formalized during the 1950’s. More precisely, history shows that project management as we know it can be explained through four main eras:
Project management is constantly evolving and with the various fields on the market, come various project management methodologies.
What is project management’s future?
If anything, the timeline above showed us that project management was partly shaped by the era’s advances in technology. Today, one of the biggest trends “tech-wise” is Artificial Intelligence. What happens when we take Artificial Intelligence and use its ability to process large amounts of data? Organizations are increasingly integrating AI in their processes so let’s go over the major changes AI could bring about.
Enhanced decision making tools
The use of Artificial Intelligence would first allow better business insights. Let’s take a consulting firm as an example. Using machine learning to process the data of previous projects, the machine can first detect the request for proposal they are most likely to win by comparing the cases they have won opposed to the ones they have lost. That would allow the firm to reduce considerably the risk and cost of the business proposal preparation. In addition to that, by using variations of Fuzzy Logic, the project management team can easily evaluate which project in a portfolio would be most beneficial to them.
The algorithm can also be run to provide an accurate planning, cost analysis and budget for the project a firm is undertaking. The planning and scheduling is crucial to project management and AI could not only help predict each milestone, but the scheduling it would offer could also be optimized to minimize the total cost based on resource constraints. Furthermore, when designing a project, the project manager can use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to process emails, documents and information shared by their clients to generate a synthesis of the challenges for the project framing.
Improved Risk Management
Artificial intelligence is creating more and more opportunities for better risk management. A study conducted by the National Business Research showed that 32% of the financial services executives who responded confirmed using AI technologies such as predictive analytics, recommendation engines, voice recognition and response allowing improved risk management. AI can help estimate the impact of an unforeseeable event like a supply postponement or a strike on the critical path of a project.
AI can also run multiple scenarios and suggest in return possible remedies. That way, project managers can have a better visibility when designing and mapping out a project. They can know way ahead of time, what kind of issues they could encounter when deploying it as well as how to potentially overcome them. Additionally, Natural Language Processing can once again be used to process emails and documents for signs of possible liabilities.
Providing active assistance
Artificial Intelligence could mark the end of the more repetitive and boring work of interns. AI can be used to assist project managers by performing administrative tasks on their behalf. It could help in data entry and collection, in updating the project planning as it evolves and track the sources of the delays encountered. The machine could assist in generating reports and allow the project management team to focus on higher value-added and more complex tasks.
Artificial Intelligence is still in the process of shaping our ways of doing, and project management is no exception. With the evolution of project management throughout history, came the evolution of the project manager. Consequently, will the introduction of AI in Project Management change the role of the project manager as well? Of that, there is no doubt. The remaining question is : How?
About this article
This article has been written by a student on the Grenoble Ecole de Management’s Advanced Masters in Digital Strategy Management. As part of a content creation assignment, students are given the task of writing articles based on their digital interests and disseminate the articles online. Articles are marked but we make minimal changes to the content. Thanks for reading! James Barisic, Programme Director, MS DSM.