Compared with many other areas of application, the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in project management has been slow. In our last blog post, Have attempts to apply artificial intelligence to project management failed?, we identified three categories of obstacles preventing more rapid progress: technology & data readiness, people & capabilities, and market demand & readiness. This time we’ll look at how project managers overcome these obstacles to further the cause of AI in their field.
It helps to understand what you’re up against: even now, executives see project management as more of a tactical or operational discipline than a strategic one. This means they don’t fully recognise the value it can bring to the organisation – let alone the business case for AI in project management.
Project managers are painfully aware of the gap between the perception of what they do and the actual value they create. What lessons can the profession learn to reproduce the success AI is having in other fields?
There are many examples of AI-based solutions that have been embraced in other fields: robo-advisory and fraud prevention in financial services, lane-keeping assistance and self-driving vehicles in the automotive sector, digital assistants and household robots for home use, image diagnosis in healthcare, and recommendation engines in retail.
What these successful applications have in common is that they have a measurable impact for the organisation or user of the AI solution. This seems obvious, but it’s important to make clear that the impact an AI delivers must be greater than what the process would be delivering without the AI. For the AI to deliver value it must result in higher sales, fewer cost overruns, timelier completions or similar benefits.
Take a deeper look into why progress has been so slow, especially compared with other business areas where the use of AI has skyrocketed in the past few years.
For organisations that recognise the value of project management, the value drivers for AI are clear as day: project managers are more productive, there’s a better view of risks and issues, better budgeting, and an overall reduction in manual administrative tasks. But as we saw before, these organisations are few and far between. Most don’t yet fully appreciate the value of project management and its impact on the business as a whole.
This means that project managers wishing to further the cause of AI in their field – because they themselves are convinced of the benefits – have to address this lack of awareness gap. This means preparing the ground by addressing the obstacles to create a firm foundation for implementing AI.
Based on the categories of obstacles we identified earlier, we’ve come up with IMPaCT, a recipe for creating a solid basis for AI in PM:
If you’d like to learn more about how to create a solid foundation for introducing AI into your project management set-up, please download our white paper.
Also, feel free to contact us to discuss your own plans for AI in project management.
Partner, Core Platform Transformation Services, PwC Switzerland
Tel: +41 58 792 27 99
Senior Manager, FS Technology Consulting, PwC Switzerland
Tel: +41 58 792 21 69