With AI on the rise, there’s a growing worry about how it may interfere with or replace existing roles. So how do we, as Project Managers, adapt?
I recently listened to Ricardo Vargas’ LinkedIn Learning module on the competencies we need to develop to incorporate generative AI technology into project management. It raises some interesting points.
Most importantly, he talks about AI being a friend. Not something to be afraid of.
It could completely transform project management for the better if we’re ready to embrace it.
- AI can help streamline project control documentation
- Automate routine jobs, and increase efficiencies and accuracies.
- Provide valuable insights
- Highlight potential challenges and concerns
- Identify risks from previous projects – enabling a Project Manager (PM) to intervene sooner, to prevent delays and cost implications.
We’re creatures of habit, but Vargas also highlights the need to accept change and unlearn in order to leverage AI properly.
Once we become adept at writing AI prompts – as Vargas says, the key to this is being specific about content, intent and format – the possibilities are endless for how far different tools could take us.
By integrating AI and data-driven decision-making into our workflows, we could automate processes and redefine the PM role to focus on skills that are vital to managing complex projects with multiple stakeholders. We can – and should – leverage these soft skills. Our ability to empathise, communicate, have difficult conversations, and negotiate are instrumental as a PM. AI could free us up to focus on this more ‘human side’ of the role – as well as give us more time to improve processes.
There’s no denying these are exciting times, full of potential. But we can’t ignore the ethical considerations of AI.
Vargas emphasises the need for us to become “guardians of ethical use” – placing humans at the centre. The workforce impact is yet unknown, but it may well be uneven and increase inequality. We can’t ignore the bias of technology – as Vargas says, if your data has a bias your AI does too. Or the issues with user privacy. What’s more, AI hallucinations – fabricated information presented as reality – are hard to spot. We must remember that mistakes are still possible, and each user should consider how the information applies to the specific circumstances and what factors may have impacted the implementation of AI.
These considerations aside, generative AI has lots of advantages. We just need to be willing to adapt.
I’ll leave you with some advice from Ricardo Vargas. Become anti-fragile – improve with stress and challenge. Leave your comfort zone – adapt and learn new things, unlearn old things. And manage your fears. Fear protects us but we can’t let it dominate us. Otherwise, we’ll never move forward.