Sometime in the near future, the CEO of a large telecom provider will be using a smartphone app to check on her organization’s seven strategic initiatives. Within a few taps, she knows the status of every project and what percentage of expected benefits each one has delivered. Project charters and key performance indicators are available in a few seconds, as are each team member’s morale level and the overall buy-in of critical stakeholders.
She drills down on the “rebranding” initiative. A few months earlier, a significant competitor launched a new green brand, prompting her company to accelerate its sustainability rollout. Many AI-driven self-adjustments have already occurred based on parameters chosen by the project manager and the project team at the initiative’s outset. The app informs the CEO of every change that needs her attention — as well as potential risks — and prioritizes decisions that she must make, providing potential solutions to each.
Before making any choices, the CEO calls the project manager, who now spends most of his time coaching and supporting the team, maintaining regular conversations with key stakeholders, and cultivating a high-performing culture. A few weeks earlier, the project had been slightly behind, and the app recommended that the team apply agile techniques to speed up one project stream.
During the meeting, they simulate possible solutions and agree on a path forward. The project plan is automatically updated and messages are sent informing affected team members and stakeholders of the changes and a projection of the expected results.
Thanks to new technologies and ways of working, a strategic project that could have drifted out of control — perhaps even to failure — is again in line to succeed and deliver the expected results.
In the present, project management doesn’t always move along quite smoothly, but this future is probably less than a decade away. To get there sooner, innovators and organizations should invest in project management technology now…..
This is how my last Harvard Business Review article, written jointly with my good friend Ricardo Viana Vargas, Ph.D. starts.
Read our full article here, which has been featured on the front page of hbr.org!
Please let us know your views about the future of project management and artificial intelligence.