The PMO And Artificial Intelligence (AI)!

A PMO is not a single entity. It can be a Project Management Office, Program Management Office, Enterprise Project Management Office, and the list continues. For artificial intelligence, it does not matter what type of PMO you lead.

Artificial Intelligence is computer learning. Depending on the industry, it may be known as something different. There are over 50 terms, and most relate to an enterprise. Some terms are as follows: neural networks, algorithms, deep learning, natural language processing, etc.

Some individuals envision AI as the Terminator, HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, or the somewhat life-like robots from the movie AI. Today, AI is closer to HAL or the movie AI. Fortunately, we won’t see anything like the Terminator, but if we do, it is up to the programmers and scientists to encourage ethics within all the Ais created.

To see where we are on life-like robots, google Sofia, the life-like robot. For now, AI can assist the PMO leader with mundane/routine activities. By having AI do the typical tasks, the PMO leader becomes a value-add to their company. You may ask how?

The Project Management Institute (PMI) did an Artificial Intelligence study in 2019 (AI @ Work: New Projects, New Thinking (2019). The study, which included a survey with senior executives, showed the need for Artificial Intelligence throughout the company. It also expected AI to grow in companies.

What does this mean for you? You need to become a project professional who demonstrates value-add. When you understand artificial intelligence, and what it can do for you and your team, you are providing value to your company. You are increasing the Return on Investment for your project/program/portfolio.

All projects have data. The PMO would even have more. As the PMO lead, you need towork with the information technology (IT) department to understand what AI tools are available and what they do. If the tools are not available to the PMO, this is your opportunity to shine as a leader. Prepare a business case/plan. The most criticalinformation is demonstrating savings to the company.

Before you send it for approval, make sure that you share it with your boss and other executives. Incorporate their suggested changes. Remember, you need to have executives on your side. You also need to understand those that are opposed to the business case. It would be best to develop a relationship with those individuals. Truly listen and understand their perspective. Work with executives that support the business case. Let them know who objects and what the objections are. Those that support your business case can help you develop responses to those that oppose your initiative. 

The business case may or may not be accepted. If it is not, think of it as a learning experience. Don’t give up. Try again in a couple of years. Or use the learning to apply for another job. Think about all you learned about AI. Add this to your CV or resume.

To lead a PMO with AI, you must understand what it does. Artificial intelligence is software that does what it is programmed to do. Not all AI is the same. Develop a relationship with the IT organization. The IT team can help you use AI efficiently. It is crucial to have AI that can search project data, past and present, develop schedule what-if scenarios, help you develop and monitor risks, review status, and cost versus risk-benefit. As AI develops, it can do more with everyday tasks. Chatbots are another AI that is quite useful for a PMO if your company uses them

Chatbots can help you put together meetings. The chatbot can check everyone’s schedule without the PMO team having to call everyone. Are you having trouble finding someone to ask a quick question, or do you need the individual to enter their time or update a schedule? Chatbots can do this in seconds, whereas the PMO team may take days.

There is AI that can help you write status reports, write memos, and even white papers. Eventually, AI will get to know you and be able to tell you that you are overlooking risks, develop responses to emails you receive, and put together presentations based on the audience. In other words, AI does the mundane while you can add value.

As a project professional, you need to stay relevant. AI is one way to do it and increase your value-add. So, will you be an innovator for your company, or will you be laggard?

And in case you want to create your own PMO Strategy you can learn all about it by clicking here.

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