PMI® Switzerland Chapter

Artificial Intelligence and Project Management

Artificial Intelligence and Project Management

Krisztian Sardi Daniel Rodellar 100x100

Authors: Krisztian Sardi, PMP, and Daniel Rodellar, PMP

Marc’s daughter asked him: “What do you do all day at work?”. “I ask questions and get answers”, he replied and she then said: “Aaah… OK, ... so you are a chatbot!”

On Thursday 12th April 2018, PwC hosted the event that made the association between artificial intelligence (AI) and project management (PM). Manuel Probst started the presentation by explaining the evolution of project management profession. 

During this event we learned what the main cause of failures of projects / programs are, and then we discussed about the definition of AI (Artificial Intelligence).

With a review of the past years of Project Management, as the starting point of the event, we learned that around 200 years ago the industrial revolution changed society for good.

Did you know that it all started in Egypt with constructing the Great Pyramids (4500 years ago), or perhaps even earlier. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the term “project management” gained some popularity and ever since then it has started to evolve into what it is today.

Experts are predicting that Artificial intelligence (AI) in industry will change everything about the way we produce, manufacture and deliver. Machines could one day be taught to learn how to adapt by themselves, rather than having to be spoon-fed every instruction for every eventuality.

Beyond data integration and process automation, self-driven project management no longer looks like mere science fiction.

Marc Lahmann continued, giving us his view on the anticipated evolution of AI in project management as follows:

  • (1) Integration & Automation;  
  • (2) Chatbot Assistants;
  • (3) Machine-learning based project management;
  • (4) Autonomous project management.

He presented potential use-cases for all 4 steps. Finally, he answered the question of what does AI in Project Management mean to us, project managers in the near, mid- and long term future.

Artificial intelligence and  machine learning could be used for everything in Project Management. However quoting Stephen Wolfram: "we can automate everything that can be described." But, can we clearly describe everything?Ccan we clearly describe in an exact manner what a machine could execute and will the results be always as expected?

Why AI for project management? Well, since we still have projects failing - either on Scope, on Time or on Benefits -, we have repetitive tasks in PM and that we humans unfortunately do not have unlimited capacity (for data) and can only work 24h for 1 or 2 days max!

Some of us personally like to receive factual data based advises - no matter if it comes from a machine - that would help me, my colleagues, the project, the organization deliver better, more predictable results. What do you think?

As a child one of my favorite movies was “Back to the Future”. In 1985, at the age of pure cable telephones, no internet and no “Watson” I watched fascinated the McFlys having video phone calls in their daily life. Today I watch my robot mower doing its job better and better day by day without my inputs.


Hmm. You still ask. And so what?
Well, we definitely can not tell how it is going to be in 30 years.

What we can agree on though: it will be much much different than today, and beyond our current imagination!


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Event: Artificial Intelligence & Project Management: Beyond human imagination!

PMI-CH Event team Romandie Thursday, April 12, 2018 from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM (CEST) Geneva, Switzerland

By Marc Lahmann (Assurance Director) and Manuel Probst (Assurance Senior Manager).

References:

AI will transform project management. Are you ready?

https://news.pwc.ch/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/AI-will-transform-PM-Whitepaper_EN_web.pdf