Updated: Jun 10
The future of project management is coming, and it will be powered by artificial intelligence (AI), big data, machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP). A CEO of a large telecom provider will soon be able to use an app to check on her organization's seven strategic initiatives, knowing the status of every project and the percentage of expected benefits each one has delivered. The app will inform the CEO of every change that needs her attention and potential risks, and it will prioritize decisions she must make, providing possible solutions to each.
However, project management only sometimes moves along as smoothly as the future CEO's experience, as only 35% of projects are considered successful. One reason why project success rates could be better is the low level of maturity of technologies available for managing them. Most organizations and project leaders still use spreadsheets, slides, and other applications that have yet to evolve over the past few decades. These are adequate when measuring project success by deliverables and deadlines met, but they need to improve in an environment where projects and initiatives continuously change the business.
If applying AI and other technological innovations to project management could improve the success ratio of projects by just 25%, it would equate to trillions of dollars of value and benefits to organizations, societies, and individuals. The question is how soon these technologies will be effectively applied to project management. Gartner's research indicates that change is coming soon, predicting that by 2030, 80% of project management tasks will be run by AI, powered by big data, machine learning (ML), and natural language processing.
We can expect to see the disruption of six critical areas of project management: better selection and prioritization, support for the project management office, Revolutionizing project management with AI means improved and faster project definition, planning, and reporting, predictive analysis and risk management, project monitoring and real-time decision-making, and smart contracts and collaboration tools. Organizations and project leaders who are most prepared for this moment of disruption will stand to reap the most rewards.