Imagine a time where a project plan is not only informed by your PMO, but by every piece of digitally stored data from past projects. Software robots (bots) could one day have the ability to build the perfect project plan, not only scheduling but ‘knowing’ the working style of those involved in the project.
In the near future, smaller projects may not even require human intervention. The planning of predefined actions will be built into computers that are scheduled in sync by a bot. This could increase the effectiveness of human workforces by taking over some of the mundane tasks and allowing them to focus more on the detail of the project.
Project Data Interrogation.
The sheer amount of data available to a project manager can be overwhelming. Information comes from so many different channels, primarily stored in the project team's minds. Data analysis and interrogation is one of the key ways that AI and emerging tech will be able to assist in digesting and summarising detailed project notes. Whether a project is successful or not, project managers leverage past knowledge to make well-judged and measured decisions for future plans. A certain event, keyword or behaviour can trigger that ‘gut feeling’ reaction which can lead to important decisions being made. The advancement of emerging tech could one day allow companies to tap into this data and analyse every project that they have ever been a part of.
Faster, leaner and cheaper.
Does this mean that emerging technology is the answer to delivering things in a faster, leaner and cheaper way? It will be some time, if ever, before technology is single handedly creating complex and cross platform project plans - but imagine being able to ask an AI assistant a question about a previous project and that information being instantly and accurately recalled. “How long did the deployment of the new servers take and what were the associated risks with that task?” That’s where the bot comes in.
A bot can learn after each project; time estimations, scheduling the correct resource, task delivery style, the list goes on. The more data that the bot consumes, the more accurate the project delivery suggestions become. Predictive analytics would enable the bot to foresee risks not easily visible to a human project manager. This could alert a human or automate an action to mitigate the risk.
For now, fellow project managers needn’t worry about becoming redundant in the future of project planning. The truth is that AI and emerging tech are still leagues behind in essential key areas such as emotional intelligence and negotiation. One thing is for certain - I see some interesting times ahead here.