During the last few years, we have been able to observe how our world is changing. The Internet of Things, the Big Data or the Blockchain are just some new friends that have come into our lives. But if you think you’ve seen it all after reading our article about Blockchain and Project Management, do not lose sight of this article about the influence of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in Project Management. The Renaissance of Technology has already begun in Project 2080.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
First of all, what is intelligence? Intelligence is the faculty of the human mind that allows us to learn, understand, reason, make decisions and form a certain idea of reality. Intelligence itself is a human faculty. But when certain “cognitive” operations typical of humans, such as self-learning, decision-making, and problem-solving, are transferred to a computer program, we would be talking about Artificial Intelligence. In other words, Artificial Intelligence is algorithms that think and act as if they were human beings. As the author Lasse Rouhiainen would say in his book Artificial Intelligence, AI is the ability of machines to use algorithms, learn from data and use what they have learned in decision-making just as a human being would.
How Artificial Intelligence works
As the famous British mathematician Clive Humby originally pointed out, data is the new oil. Artificial Intelligence feeds on increasingly complex algorithms. The development of AI is getting faster thanks to the exponential increase in computer processing.
Nowadays, we have a large amount of data available for using. Data analysis is generally based on two types of information: structured data and unstructured data. Big Data is helping large companies improve their internal and external operations. According to Kai-Fu Lee there are 5 steps that large technology companies must take to perfect their AI solutions. These are:
- Obtaining more data
- Better products based on AI
- Larger number of users
- Higher earnings
- More experts and scientists in AI
That said, the question for us is: how can Artificial Intelligence evolve within the field of Project Management? Keep reading.
Will Artificial Intelligence influence Project Management?
As we have said before, one of the characteristics of Artificial Intelligence is its capacity for massive data management. Ya Kai-Fu Lee (Sinovation Ventures) mentions it as the first step for the development of Artificial Intelligence to take place. What does this mean? Well, basically, the fuel that fuels Artificial Intelligence is the data. In other words, we are talking about the fact that Big Data makes Artificial Intelligence learn from all the data it offers and that it makes decisions, statistically based on them.
We could say that Project Management is a large database in itself. The project manager must deal with a massive amount of data, such as basic project information (project name, client, project location, project code, project managers, among others), risk and opportunities for the project, project data about other stakeholders, data on the project schedule (start and end of the work, duration of activities, allocated resources, project progress, project constraints, etc.), budget and project costs, manufacturers and subcontractors, warranty, change orders, and much more. It is because of this amount of data that Artificial Intelligence might become part of project management very soon.
Will Artificial Intelligence replace Project Managers?
To answer this question, or at least to find out if in the short term the AI will take control of the projects, access the website about Will Robots Take My Job? The “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, a term coined by Klaus Schwab to refer to this new era. This will tell us if finally the work of the Project Managers is replaced or not by Artificial Intelligence. The Cyberphysical Systems could get to develop machines capable of executing any type of project on their own. Our intuition tells us that this will happen sooner or later. The question we ask ourselves in Project 2080 is: when?
How will Artificial Intelligence change the world of Project Planning and Control?
We have already seen that Artificial Intelligence feeds on a large amount of data, which it organizes and uses through its own algorithms for decision making. In a project, there is an area that stands out above the rest in terms of the amount of data. We are talking about the Project Schedule. This is considered a large database. The schedule includes the work structure, general project data, reference codes for activities, resources, budget, costs and thousands of other data.
Artificial Intelligence, thanks to machine learning and deep learning will be able to learn from the As-Built data of each of the projects that are being finalized. In this way, every single lesson learned during our projects, and thanks to the statistical treatment of the data, will allow future projects to be planned and get closed from the early stage to a future reality that we do not know a priori. Planning using Artificial Intelligence will significantly reduce the risk and uncertainty of the project.
How AI could be applied in Project Management?
There are several applications that could be carried out in Project Management thanks to Artificial Intelligence:
- Project risk reduction
- Resource Management
- Project Performance Management
- KPI analysis
IN PROJECT 2080 WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO REMEMBER
The Fourth Industrial Revolution will implement Cyberphysical Systems in all facets of our life. 3D printing, robotics, the internet of things, autonomous vehicles, nanotechnology, blockchain or quantum computing are some of the technologies that will coexist with us. However, among all of them, the one that will have the greatest impact on our lives is Artificial Intelligence.
Due to the nature and massive handling of data carried out in Project Management, Artificial Intelligence has a high probability of gradually replacing the techniques that are currently used. The field of Planning and Project Controls will be one of the areas of Project Management where Artificial Intelligence can be applied in a deeper way. Therefore, as professionals in the Planning and Project Control sector, we must update our knowledge, deepen and learn more about this new technology that has come to stay with us.