Companies are just discovering the potential of AI to unburden project managers, who are already spending too much time on paperwork or management tasks rather than crafting strategies and future plans on the macro level.
The average project managers today have so many responsibilities that it's any wonder they can get things done other than filing and signing documents, making sure everybody follows the schedule, crafting budgets, and other administrative duties.
This routine has been maintained for so long that companies take the delay as par for the course. In public organizations, a large bureaucracy can add to the Gordian knot to the point wherein a project submitted on time is now sometimes greeted with surprise.
According to the Harvard Business Review, over half of the project manager's time is wasted on administrative tasks. In fact, if they have their way, almost nine in 10 of the survey respondents replied that they could benefit from AI support so they wouldn't have to focus so much on administrative tasks.
The good news is that there are already AI tools on the market today that can help project managers unclog their desks. Kono.ai, for example, has an app that can work as an effective smart assistant. The Monte Carlo app, meanwhile, can submit a risk analysis through probabilities. Admittedly, developers are just scratching the surface of what AI can really do for project managers.
Scott Middleton, the CEO of Stratejos, a smart assistant software maker, says that despite skepticism by employees about AI stealing their jobs, the future of machine-learning in relation to business tasks is bright.
“AI isn’t to be feared,” he explained. “It may even be your best team member, especially for project managers. AI for project management is on the rise, and the way things are going, it’s going to help teams make smarter decisions and move faster.”
A survey from software developer Atlassian revealed that more than 70% of those surveyed claimed that half of their tasks can be done by robots or AI tech. Right now, almost 40% believe that they are already utilizing AI in their office.
Middleton predicted that developers—and companies in general—would place more focus on smart assistants for project managers to relieve them of some of their more menial tasks. In the future, the amount of complicated tasks assumed by robots will have increased.
But the AIs of today are severely limited in scope. For instance, they still rely on data collected and input by humans. These robots are not self-updating, nor do they make corrections automatically if they spot a mistake.
That will change in the future, of course.
To allay the fears of middle managers, as well as the rank and file, it seems unlikely that machines will take over whole organizations because they lack the capacity for creative thinking in solving complex problems.
What they do, however, is cut back the amount of errors committed in the implementation of the project until its submission. As the technology advances, they will become invaluable tools in reporting and monitoring.
Instead of project managers defining the scope of the work, assigning tasks to the teams, analyzing the data, adjusting timetables, documenting the process, predicting outcomes, and gauging the risks, these can all be done through machine-learning.
This is the reason why companies are well advised to start thinking about investing in AI as an assistive tool in everyday tasks. In the same vein, instead of being viewed as a threat to human jobs, project managers should teach themselves to better harness today's advances in machine-learning to come up with solutions to their core project problems.