AI in Project Management: how to use it for better results Artificial Intelligence (AI) has gone from the realm of sci-fi to reality almost overnight. Here’s how to harness the benefits for smarter, smoother project management. Written by Helena Young Updated on 15 April 2023 Our experts We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality. Written and reviewed by: Helena Young Lead Writer Artificial intelligence (AI) is fast becoming the most talked about topic in project management (PM).While many organisations still favour traditional methods like spreadsheets to plan campaigns, progressive managers are exploring ‘thinking’ computer systems as a way to improve project outcomes, reduce costs, and increase efficiency.Most have landed on AI. The technology might seem futuristic, but the advantages it brings to projects are immediate. Below, we explore what it is, what the applications are, and how you can get started. This article will cover: What is AI in project management? 5 benefits of AI in project management The future of AI in project management How can project managers prepare for AI? Conclusion What is AI in project management?AI in project management is an integrated system designed to complement human efforts by harnessing the immense processing power of machine learning. It aids in interpreting data and facilitating project-related decisions.If you leverage AI project management correctly, the technology can enhance your project across all stages of its lifecycle. For instance, AI can allocate resources effectively, monitor the project’s process, and anticipate complex situations in real-time. By automating tasks and offering real-time insights, AI improves can free your team from being bogged down by time-consuming, menial tasks. Instead, you can focus on the things that really matter and require human creativity.How to use AI in project managementAI can really transform how you manage your projects. If you’re unsure of what it can offer to your team, here are three key ways in which you can integrate AI into your project management.AI for automation → if the thought of menial and meaningless tasks makes it hard to come into work, don’t fret – AI can remedy that. By entrusting routine responsibilities to AI systems, project managers gain valuable time to concentrate on more creative and stimulating aspects of their projects, like effective people management or refining the project’s vision. AI can become a powerful ally in enhancing project manager’s productivity.AI for intelligent assistance → rather than searching the job market for your own personal assistance, you can turn to AI to become your digital right hand person. AI-driven algorithms can dynamically reallocate resources in response to changes in your project’s pipeline. This enables project managers to adapt seamlessly to evolving project demands and ensure deadlines are still being met.AI for predictive analysis → AI can also provide a strategic advantage as project managers can form better predictions with AI. AI’s ability to assess future scenarios based on the data it is fed provides project managers with actionable insights. This comes in handy when you’re formulating your risk analysis; AI can give you hints as to the potential issues that could arise. Moreover, AI’s predictive prowess also extends to creating multiple cost models, enhancing your financial planning and resource allocation.Here are a couple of examples of these aspects in practice:Automated project reports: automated reporting to give swift updates on project status and achievements. If you have historical project data available, AI can play the role of auditor to locate potential risks for future planning.Natural Language Processing (NLP): used by project managers to extract valuable learnings from large volumes of text data, such as project reports, emails, and customer feedback, in an instant.Project scheduling: AI algorithms can optimise project schedules by taking into account resource constraints, and minimising project duration.Open AI chatbots: AI-powered chatbots can provide real-time support to project team members, answer questions, and provide feedback. Must-know AI in Project Management statistics 80% of companies rate their level of acceptance in using AI in project management as somewhat (57%) or extremely high (23%)By 2030, 80% of project management tasks will be run by AI93% of companies that invest in AI project management report a positive return on investmentAI can improve the success rate of projects by around 25%56% of organisations have already developed a digital transformation strategy that incorporates AI 5 benefits of AI in project managementWith great project management, comes great payoff. The companies that have already integrated AI into their PM processes have seen immediate reward – providing an impetus for more cautious firm owners to get onboard the trend now.Below, we’ve listed some of the top benefits for businesses that employ AI technology in 2023.Improved productivity: Automating routine and repetitive tasks frees team members from time wasted on mundane tasks, giving them more time to focus on the tasks that can’t be completed by a computer. This improves performance management, without sacrificing other areas – essentially doubling output.Reduced risk of human error: Artificial intelligence abolishes errors in project management. Tools can parse, analyse, and dissect huge volumes of data with machine accuracy. Similarly, AI can quickly calculate the resources available for a team, to ensure that no-one is overloaded and likely to miss deadlines.Real-time monitoring of quicker, more accurate decision-making: With the right software, AI can track and record the progress of a project – or even a team member – in real-time. Any issues, both potential or realised, can be speedily corrected. Firms will be able to avoid blockers and spot opportunities to streamline tasks or processes.Greater level of insight for future project planning: AI can undertake real-time data analytics, supplying project managers with accurate and up-to-date information with which to make informed decisions. For example, AI can highlight every occasion that a team member completed a task ahead of schedule. Their manager may then decide to give the employee more responsibilities in a future project.Substantial cost savings: All of the above – smarter resource allocation, risk analysis, and improved productivity – will streamline the project management process to bring significant cost savings for businesses. This is important in today’s economy, as many firms grapple with weakened cash flow and a shortage of skilled labour.Perceptions of AI: how have they changed in 2023?AI might have only leapt onto most project leader radars in January. But it has already caused a major shift in perspective when it comes to PM tools.Business users are now looking at popular PM software brands like Jira and Asana, expecting them to join the revolution and update their platform with ultra-fast, ultra-modern AI capabilities.Some have been quicker off the mark than others. In January, Atlassian (owner of Jira) acquired the AI virtual agent, Percept.AI to deliver “customer support experiences at high velocity.”Asana recently released its take on AI project management, titled Asana Intelligence. For instance, you can use its Smart goals feature, which drafts effective goals based on your project description and your historical performance. It also provides smart summaries from conversations, tasks, and comments.In a fast-moving space like AI, however, customer demands are growing faster than brands can anticipate. That’s why it’s worth managers going the extra mile to compare the top project management systems, to make sure they enjoy all the benefits that AI has to offer. The future of AI in project managementReally, we’re better off talking about the future of project management in AI. As we’ve learnt, it’s been estimated that by 2030, 80% of the work currently done by project team members will be capable of being replaced by smart computers.Humans will not be made obsolete by the rollout of AI. Instead, workers will find they suddenly have ample time – which was previously wasted on time-consuming admin jobs – to spend on more value-added tasks.Managers can put extra effort into the aspects of running a project that AI can’t do, such as collaborating with stakeholders, or making strategic decisions.Plus, as the technology develops, there are lots of other key potential ways in which AI may yet evolve to benefit project managers further. These exciting areas include:Better risk analysis: Pre-stage AI analysis can be used to identify projects with the highest chances of success and with the biggest Return On Investment (ROI).Removal of bias: Most AI learning is based on algorithms made by human beings. In future, this could be removed to enable decision-making based on objective data.State of the art testing: Most projects necessitate a substantial amount of testing. For example, software updates. In future, managers will feel confident enough in AI technology to let it run quality-assured tests without manual oversight.How will AI virtual assistants change project management?For businesses, the arrival of the AI chatbot, ChatGPT in January was like the discovery of fire. Its ability to condense huge volumes of data into actionable, informed advice – and then dispense this within seconds to users – has made it a favourite amongst early adopters.Microsoft, Google, and Meta have all since announced their own versions of ChatGPT, each moving quickly to try and outshine the other.In PM, chatbots are already being used to automate and streamline routine duties like scheduling meetings, assigning tasks, and tracking progress.But companies have plenty more to look forward to as more sophisticated features continue to emerge. For example, a chatbot could be programmed to send regular updates on project status, organise a marketing plan, and even answer questions from team members.Besides the well known ChatGPT, PM platforms have also started integrating AI directly into their system. For instance, Zendesk has built integration with ChatGPT for users to operate, called ZenAI. Other chatbot options are available with many others, including monday.com, Asana, and ClickUp.Although these are not the perfect virtual assistant yet (you have to be very strategic about how to prompt the chatbot well so you get the results you want), it’s likely the technology will develop quickly given the competitiveness of the PM market. How can project managers prepare for AI?To prepare for the integration of AI into their operations, project managers must recognize that this technology will fundamentally change how tasks are approached and prioritised. The best strategy is to become an AI-ready manager.Collect enough data → It's essential to collect a substantial amount of high-quality data as AI systems are only as effective as the data they are trained on. A lack of data can lead to biased predictions and compromise the quality of AI output.Diversify your data → AI systems thrive on a wide and diverse set of data types from various sources. Providing a rich and varied dataset enables AI to learn effectively and yield meaningful results.Avoid overdependence on AI → While AI technology becomes more sophisticated, it's essential to ensure that your team is still proficient in executing processes manually. They should be capable of identifying and addressing issues even when relying on AI.Practice transparency → transparency is vital, especially in the context of data privacy. Customers are increasingly conscious of their personal information and data security. Maintaining transparency and robust privacy measures will build trust with your customers and ensure compliance with data protection regulations. ConclusionAI is a highly-valuable tool for PM, providing a bounty of benefits. These include streamlined planning, resources, and risk-checking; all of which come with the added bonus of dramatically reducing costs for businesses.While it might feel novel, the technology is more familiar than first impressions might indicate. AI in project management is basically a silent virtual assistant; a way to take admin pressures off team members. Human judgement still remains critical to the process.By viewing AI as an aid for decision making – rather than a replacement – savvy managers can reap the rewards of developing tools like AI chatbots. Crucially, before their rivals do. Share this post facebook twitter linkedin Tags AI News and Features Written by: Helena Young Lead Writer Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.