In today’s rapidly advancing technological landscape, the role of artificial intelligence (AI) has become increasingly prominent across most (if not all) industries. The field of project and program management is no exception. Last week, we asked the question “What impact will Artificial Intelligence have on Project Managers, in the future?” the results of our poll were really interesting: 43% of all respondents think that AI will add more depth to Project Managers’ outputs. Equally interesting is that very few respondents – only 6%, in fact – believe that AI will replace PMs. With that in mind, we’re taking a deeper dive into the world of AI – and what it could mean for the world of Project Management.
Will Project Management be replaced by AI?
The replacement of human oversight by automation and technology is not new. Ever since computers became mainstream, and especially in the last decade, where technology has become an integral part of almost every job, concerns about humans becoming ‘surplus to requirements’ have loomed large. However, as we fast-forward to the present day of 2023, AI tools like ChatGPT (Here’s a short history of the development of ChatGPT) and Bard have redefined the landscape of project management, challenging these fears and proving that AI is not here to replace project managers but to empower them.
Gartner’s 2019 survey prediction that “80% of today’s project management tasks will be eliminated by 2030 as Artificial Intelligence takes over” has transformed into a realisation that AI is not here to replace project managers but to make their job easier. The collaboration between humans and AI is forging new paths of success, liberating project managers from repetitive tasks and empowering them to focus on strategic thinking, creativity, and stakeholder relationships. Embracing this technological revolution, we enter a new era where AI’s support enhances project management, driving efficiency, innovation, and prosperity.
What aspects of project management will not be replaced by AI?
Despite the obvious benefits of AI, we believe that human oversight and intervention will remain crucial in project management. AI is a powerful tool, but it lacks the human touch and nuanced understanding that project managers bring to the table. While AI can automate certain tasks, as we have explored, it will remain project managers’ responsibility to ensure the quality and effectiveness of AI-generated outputs; how these are deployed, and where adjustment/enhancements may need to be mad.
Here is the rub: project management is not solely about managing tasks and processes; it also revolves around people, fostering collaboration, and aligning project goals with the broader organisational strategy. Transformation programs often require a holistic approach that involves people, processes, and technologies. In such scenarios, project managers play a pivotal role in providing leadership, facilitating communication, resolving conflicts, and adapting to dynamic project environments.
Furthermore, project managers possess the expertise to interpret AI-generated insights and apply them effectively to project planning and execution. They can validate AI recommendations, assess their impact on the project, and make informed decisions based on their experience and domain knowledge. Human judgment and intuition remain invaluable assets that cannot be entirely replaced by AI.
Thinking about AI – Is project management a good career?
So, to conclude while AI undoubtedly has the potential to enhance (and in some cases, completely revolutionise) project and program management, we remain certain that it is unlikely to replace project managers entirely, making project management a great career choice as we move into the future. Those with good project management skills will continue to play a vital role in overseeing the quality and effectiveness of AI applications and ensuring their alignment with project objectives. As long as projects and transformations continue to harness people, processes, and technologies, the need for human oversight and intervention will continue – cementing the role of project managers in this highly specialised landscape.
Are you already using AI in your Project Management – or are you considering doing so? What aspects of your work could benefit from automation? Let us know – we’re interested to hear! Email firstname.lastname@example.org