AI to eliminate 80% of project management tasks

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By 2030, an estimated 80% of today's project management (PM) tasks will be replaced by automation, as artificial intelligence (AI) takes on traditional PM functions.

This is according to a report by Gartner, which predicts in the next decade, key project management tasks, such as data collection, tracking and reporting, will be replaced by AI-enabled programme and portfolio management (PPM) software.

While providers in today's PPM software market are behind in enabling a fully digital project management office (PMO), Gartner predicts AI-enabled PPM will begin to surface in the market sometime this year.

The market will focus first on providing incremental user experience benefits to individual PM professionals, and later will help them to become better planners and managers.

"AI is going to revolutionise how PPM leaders leverage technology to support their business goals," says Daniel Stang, research VP at Gartner.

"Right now, the tools available to them do not meet the requirements of digital business."

By 2023, technology providers focused on AI, virtual reality and digital platforms will disrupt the PPM market and cause a clear response by traditional providers, Gartner predicts.

According to the "Future Project Management Professional" report conducted by PM firm Axelos, future project managers will need a much stronger strategic vision that aligns with the goals of the business, as technology takes over their menial tasks.

While almost 60% of survey respondents agreed automation and AI would take over routine project management tasks, the report noted the importance of the "human factor" in project management could not be underestimated, as PMs focus on taking a more strategic approach to the business.

AI-enabled discipline

Data collection, analysis and reporting make up a large proportion of the PPM discipline.

Garner notes AI will improve the outcomes of these tasks, including the ability to analyse data faster than humans and use those results to improve overall performance.

As these standard tasks start to get replaced, the report forecasts PPM leaders will look to staff their teams with those who can manage the demands of AI and smart machines as new stakeholders.

"Using conversational AI and chatbots, PPM and PMO leaders can begin to use their voices to query a PPM software system and issue commands, rather than using their keyboard and mouse," says Stang.

"As AI begins to take root in the PPM software market, those PMOs that choose to embrace the technology will see a reduction in the occurrence of unforeseen project issues and risks associated with human error."

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