We live in a world where our banking apps can create our monthly budgets (and help us stick to them). Smart home devices automatically adjust our energy settings according to our lifestyle. Our social channels, music and TV streaming services know what we want even before we do.

OK, so these are pretty simple examples of everyday AI, but they’re the shape of much bigger things to come. And they raise an important question: if most of us Joe Schmoes are already benefiting from AI at home and on the go, why has project management been left behind?

 

With 45% of tech projects running over budget and 56% of large change projects under-delivering on value, passive project management platforms are fast becoming the dinosaurs of delivery.

So, how can AI help, and what would it look like?

Here are 4 ways that AI makes delivery more data-driven.

1. No more mega-meetings

We’ve all been there. 1.5 hours into the status update meeting and the PowerPoint’s still sitting on slide 22 of 50. Stomachs are rumbling. Mobile phones are being tapped under the boardroom table while everyone’s waiting for ‘their bit’ of the presentation.

These marathon sessions exist because everyone involved in the project wants to give as detailed an update as possible. Conscientious, yes. But it’s usually overkill. Time-consuming, budget-sapping overkill.

With a data-driven project management platform, the most important issues of the day can be identified before the meeting, not during it. A few things need to be addressed? OK, let’s get the right people in the room to address them. The rest of the team can carry on with what they do best.

Intelligent project management removes the need for lengthy person-to-person meetings

2. Up-to-date data

Strange in a way that AI stands for Artificial Intelligence. When we’re talking about project data, often it’s the manual reporting that’s actually ‘artificial’ — especially if the PM started collating it a fortnight ago and it has been filtered through several reporting layers (on average, 30% of project management effort is spent on reporting and meetings).

When you need to make changes or decisions quickly, you need to see the most relevant data in real time. For that, you need a project management platform that uses AI to draw all that data into one place, prioritise and flag the most pressing issues, and spot the risks before the proverbial sh*t hits the fan.

Tiles depicting charts and indicators on project health and slippage
Sharktower’s project health score tool gives an objective status update

3. Foresight > insight > hindsight

Because, let’s face it, if the data’s out of date, the insights are too. What was happening in a project five days ago often bares little or no resemblance to what’s happening today, let alone what’ll change in five days — or often five hours! — from now.

Now, obviously, nobody’s yet written code that can predict the future. But we already know that software is better than people at identifying trends, factoring in dependencies and calculating expected outcomes.

Like the banking app that can warn when a customer is spending too much too quickly; data-driven project management software can use predictive analytics to generate a picture based on the past, the present and the future.

And when the software has the benefit of hindsight, your team gets the benefit of foresight.

4. Give projects a mind of their own

Even the most experienced project managers can’t be objective all the time, and they’re programmed to remain optimistic, even in the face of an impending crisis. (Crisis? What crisis?!)

AI project management software requires neither of these qualities we generally value in a human. It gives projects their own brain, and the ability to ‘score’ operational efficiency. Where the project team might see things as “on track”, the software takes a tougher stance — showing the true state of play as a truly objective stat.

It can even analyse text to determine team sentiment and morale. Are we talking mind-reading here? Yes, yes we are. Well, sort of.

Machine learning models show trends in team sentiment

OK, great. So how do we do it?

How do you create a project management platform that could work this much harder to save time and budget, and help avoid potential pitfalls?

We’ve already built it.

Let’s talk about how Sharktower could power-up your projects. Hit the ‘TALK TO US’ button or email info@sharktower.com