most useful for eliminating human error during project planning and decision
making, Mr. Mugund says.
“Machine learning can estimate effort and cost for each work breakdown
structure with better accuracy, using the input of details like type of activity,
resources involved, environment and skill set required, [along] with historical
project data,” he says.
Such an AI application can benefit organizations that struggle to maintain
and draw lessons from past project data such as original schedule, team members, skill sets, functions and complexity of tasks. This historical data can help
improve scheduling and other functions, which might be next-to-impossible
for humans to assimilate, Mr. Mugund says. “Project managers won’t be able
to make full use of even a fraction of the real wealth this data offers, but AI and
machine learning are very good at this,” he says.
For instance, in software development projects with past quality data, AI can
help to estimate the number of test cases required or predict the defect count in
subsequent releases with greater accuracy, Mr. Mugund says.
And armed with regular data inputs detailing project developments, AI tools
can boost risk management practices. “They can help the project manager do
better in quantitative risk management and make the right decision to mitigate
or avoid the risks,” he says. “This can help predict and avoid huge cost overruns.”
For example, AI tools can quantitatively evaluate the delivery risk for certain
hardware from a particular vendor on a regular basis. The AI tool can analyze
the vendor’s past performance data and current requirement details such as lead
time, location of delivery, and uniqueness and complexity of the hardware. “This
will help the project manager know when to mitigate risk and change to plan B
for hardware delivery,” Mr. Mugund says.
Widespread adoption of AI in the project management world
could be two or three years away, as skills and resources
lag. However, integration of AI into enterprise software has already begun, says Lee Stogner, PMP,
president of Vincula Group, Greenville, South
Carolina, USA. “For project management, AI
chatbots are enabling new ways to interface
with people and ask questions, provide
advice and keep the resources of a project
focused on the goals of the project,” he
says. “These chatbots reduce the load on
the project managers and enable them to
provide better support for critical activities within their project.”
HIS OR HER
NEEDS, AND THE
—Adrian Müller, PMP, University
of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern,