Project Management

Real Possibilities - Artificial Intelligence in Project Management

S.A. Swanson

The impact of artificial intelligence (AI) is real. And it's only going to intensify. By 2024, global investment in emerging AI technologies is projected to reach US$3 trillion—up from US$126 billion in 2015, according to a 2016 Transparency Market Research report. As AI ascends, it has the power to fundamentally transform project management decision making.

The information-gathering capabilities of AI could help reduce human error and biases when it comes to creating budgets, predicting cost overruns and developing schedules. For example, a subset of AI called machine learning—using algorithms to predict outcomes— could analyze massive amounts of historical data from past projects to identify and assess thousands of schedule possibilities and help project managers select the best option.

“AI is not going to replace project managers. But it is definitely going to be a key tool in the project manager's toolbox to improve delivery practices,” says Saravanan Mugund, associate director of Emerging Business Accelerator automation venture, Cognizant Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Chennai, India.

AI-assisted tools could mean that project monitoring and schedule changes require less time and fewer resources. These efficiencies will allow project managers to focus on areas where AI falls short, such as people skills and team building. The …

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