Artificial intelligence (AI) has been influencing the execution of projects and the work of the project manager. With the changing environment and rapid adoption of AI tools in project management, PMI has conducted an annual global survey to understand the impact of AI and how project managers can leverage AI to improve the overall performance of their projects and organization.
This comprehensive analysis provides a deep understanding of this report published by PMI and key takeaways for project managers.
Here is a summary and main findings of this report:
1) 21% of respondents say they are using AI always or often in the management of projects.
2) 82% of senior leaders say AI will have at least some impact on how projects are run at their organization over the next five years.
3) 91% of respondents of the PMI Customer Experience (CX) survey believe AI will have at least a moderate impact on the profession, while 58% say it will have a “major” or “transformative” impact.
4) The report also shows a major gap among the project professionals in terms of Knowledge and understanding of AI tools.
5) According to the report, only about 20% of project managers have extensive or good practical experience with AI tools and technologies, and 49% have little to no experience with AI in this context.
How can project managers use AI to increase productivity, efficiency and project success in their organizations?
Strategies to Start Adopting GenAI in Project Management
The PMI report provides 3 main strategies of using GenAI in project management based on two dimensions: The first dimension is the level of complexity, which goes from low to high. The second dimension is the degree of human intervention needed to get the expected output from the GenAI tool, the more complex the task, the more human intervention is needed to result in high-quality outcomes.
The tasks with lowest complexity and little to no requirement of human intervention can be automated using GenAI. This approach allows project managers to focus on more complex tasks which require a higher level of experience. Examples of such tasks which can be automated are generating reports, analyzing documents with multiple types of data, summarizing meeting notes and performing calculations.
This can be used for those tasks which are a little more complex and hence would require some amount of human intervention for better quality. Therefore, testing and refining is required but GenAI can assist in most of the parts. Examples tasks are performing a data analysis to be used on a scope change, creating scheduling plans, performing a risk analysis, etc.
This is for the most complex tasks in which the experience and skills of project professionals is of high importance and thus requires high human intervention. At this level project professionals still have to guide and perform most of the work, but they can use GenAI to gain insights and perform specific tasks using the tool. This allows project managers to enhance their existing capabilities and perform more complex and strategic tasks. Examples can be creating outstanding business cases for projects and supporting complex decision-making.
To use these strategies and benefit from GenAI, project managers need to understand the complexity of each task and understand their capabilities to adopt the most useful approach to leverage GenAI technology.
AI Skill Development: The PMI Talent Triangle
The PMI Talent Triangle® is a framework to help project professionals understand the impact of GenAI, and what skills need to be developed. Let’s understand how GenAI connects the three aspects of the triangle: Ways of Working, Power Skills and Business Acumen.
1) Ways of Working
We know that there is always more than one way of doing any task or work in a project. This dimension of Talent Triangle focuses on adopting the best approach, practices and tools to perform the task successfully. Ways of working can be understood as a chain of tasks to deliver a project and different tasks can be automated, assisted and augmented based on our strategies. Project managers need to have knowledge of the right tools which can perform the work in the best possible way.
2) Power Skills
As per the PMI Pulse of Profession Report 2023, four most important power skills for project managers are strategic thinking, problem-solving, collaborative leadership and communication. All these power skills can help project managers to contribute more strategically to their projects by applying AI tools to different aspects of the business. Therefore, with time, the power skills will become even more important in project management with the increasing usage of AI as it will provide uniqueness in each project due to human intervention.
3) Business Acumen
As per the report, project professionals with business acumen understand the environment of their organization in a better way and make good decisions. AI can help project managers gain insights to prepare a business risk analysis and impact evaluation because of project issues. This will prepare the organization with a recovery plan before a major event happens and impacts the organization. Therefore, GenAI can augment project managers abilities and help them make better decisions about their projects.
Make GenAI Work for You:
1) The report suggests that project professionals who are looking to build their GenAI skills can use the PMI Talent Triangle® to frame an effective plan for their professional development and leverage AI in their projects.
2) Create a learning strategy and plan to quickly acquire the needed knowledge about GenAI tools to start experimenting with and adopting these tools in your project teams.
3) To do so, PMI proposes a simple approach focused on overall development. Choose the skills you would like to enhance, then map them to your learning needs relative to AI tools and concepts, with the goal of achieving your expected results.
4) Once you have mapped your broader learning and development objectives around AI, you can focus on skill enhancement on a project level.
The report by PMI provided us the important insights on how AI is changing the way project management works. Through this analysis we got three useful strategies project managers can use to leverage GenAI and ways in which project managers can develop the necessary skills to use these strategies. I hope you found this blogn useful. You can also check out our PMP Certification Training Program which will prepare you for the PMP certification exam and will help you understand the application of many more useful methods used in project management with the help of real life examples and case studies essential for project managers for a better performance and overall a guarantee of project success.
Also, you can read and download the full PMI report here