Are Project Managers Being Replaced By AI?

Can AI replace or help project managers? | Photo by  NordWood Themes  on  Unsplash

Can AI replace or help project managers? | Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

As the world shifts drastically towards digital, concepts such as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are garnering a lot of attention from business leaders across industries. In fact, project management (PM) is one aspect that has been heavily impacted by artificial intelligence (AI) and the trend is going to continue in the coming years as well. Enterprises are increasingly adopting AI in their project management processes to make projects more successful and efficient. So, what does this mean for the project managers? 

Advancements in AI technology are giving rise to more innovative product development opportunities for project managers across industries. AI-enabled technology has the ability to skillfully carry out various PM tasks generally done by project managers. This is the reason why an increasing number of companies are investing in AI and ML technologies in place of skilled project managers. AI technology can make mundane tasks and data analysis much faster and efficient. However, the recent buzz around artificial intelligence has created mixed emotions among PM teams.  

As per a recent survey, more than 85 percent of respondents believed that AI is positively going to change their job in the future and they are excited about the prospects. Interestingly, an equal number of respondents (almost 87 percent) said they are feeling skeptical about AI and its effects. These numbers lead to the big question everyone is thinking about –

Will AI Ever Be Able to Replace Project Managers Entirely?

Before we begin to explore this question, let's first discuss the AI concept in detail. Artificial intelligence simply refers to machine systems that can replicate the work done by humans and change behaviors when needed without being completely programmed. AI-powered tools work based on different parameters such as data collection, predictive analysis of user preferences, and other observations.

So How Can AI Help Project Managers?

AI project management is an interesting concept that can take the burden off of project managers by automating repetitive and complex tasks and helping teams perform faster.

AI Project Management: This refers to a self-learning system that performs the seamless administration and management of daily projects without any manual intervention. There are several ways in which AI project management can help change the way projects are executed –

  • Uncovering relevant insights from data

  • Performing repetitive and more complex tasks

  • Making decisions as well as recommendations

Project management artificial intelligence saves time while improving outcomes for projects as well as teams. Among the various ways, artificial intelligence can revolutionize project management include –


Effective Allocation of Resources

An AI-based PM system has the ability to allocate resources much more effectively. Right from searching for optimized resources to reviewing their availability and assigning tasks to perform, AI can help project managers save both time and money. Furthermore, the majority of repetitive tasks including data entry, automated emails sending, etc. can be simplified using AI-enabled technology.

How this can help PMs?

This allows the project team to focus on other innovative tasks and transforming ideas into reality. Moreover, AI can also find tasks for individual employees thus helping project managers avoid idle time if any.


Cost Reduction

Contrary to the opinion that incorporating AI-powered project management software might not be a cost-effective idea, proper utilization of AI can be instrumental in reducing project expenses. In fact, a survey by MIT Sloan found that more than 60% of respondents stated cost reduction as the primary reason for adopting project management AI.

How this can help PMs?

By streamlining and automating repetitive tasks, AI allows project managers to focus on more complex activities that can help improve the quality of work while decreasing the cost of labor.


Lesser Instances of Projects Failure Thanks to Predictive Analytics

Any project faces a number of uncertainties throughout its lifecycle that can lead to failure. So the project team needs to continuously assess and mitigate these risks based on their knowledge and the tools that are available. Despite that, it does not prevent the risk of project failures, especially in the case of large projects.

AI technology, on the other hand, can allow the collection of relevant data from user behaviors, analyze that and help in creating an efficient decision-making algorithm to bring greater ROI for projects as well as reducing the project failure rate. Project management AI tools can also be used to get real-time insights from raw data that the companies can use for scaling their businesses. 

How this can help PMs?

Using predictive algorithms, AI tools can be instrumental in helping project managers to anticipate customer preferences and accordingly design solutions to ensure the success of their projects. It is, in fact, an affordable way for project managers to get real-time insights from data that leads to better decision-making.


Objective and Powerful Reporting

To err is human and it applies to even the most talented project managers as well. Many a time, they fail to gauge the actual project progress and end up missing deadlines, or simply fail to predict the problems that suddenly crop up during a project lifecycle. 

How this can help PMs?

In such instances, leveraging AI-enhanced project management tools can provide realistic and objective reports on project progress. Not only can it warn project managers of any sort of project delays, but also carry out a detailed analysis of project progress and report them. Such kind of objective reporting helps project teams with informed decision making and reduces the chances of project delay and failures.


Project Managers Need to Embrace AI

There is no denying the fact that AI is going to change the way projects will be delivered in the future, powered by more advanced PM techniques. The future, in fact, holds great potential where AI can support project managers by helping them to automate mundane and repetitive tasks along with finding errors that are usually missed when working manually.

However, the objective of this incredible technology will never be to replace the project manager. Instead, it will be to help enhance the project manager’s performance by –

  • Ensuring that projects run on time

  • Reducing the sheer number of errors

  • Appropriately deploying the resources

It won't be wrong to say that AI is definitely going to assist but not replace project managers entirely. On the contrary, together through sustained human effort, AI can be a great accelerator for project managers and help them increase their project success rates manifolds. 

Guest writer David is a technical writer, his works are regularly published in various papers and top-notch portals. His rich experience in project management software helps him offer latest and fresh perspective on improved efficiency in workflows across organizations. His informative works on similar lines can be viewed on ProProfs Project. You can find him here or follow him here.