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Julie Yakunich for Leading EDJE

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The Future of Project Management: Leveraging AI to Streamline Operations and Enhance Communication

In the realm of software development, developers have long been leveraging specialized tools designed to make their lives easier. From integrated development environments (IDEs) to version control systems, the focus has been on streamlining the development process. But what about the other key players in the project lifecycle, such as project managers, business analysts, and scrum masters? As a seasoned project manager, I've been researching tools that can make the often complex and multifaceted role of project management more manageable.

The Art and Science of Project Management

Project management is both an art and a science. It requires a delicate balance of technical skills, such as resource allocation and timeline management, and soft skills like communication and team leadership. In fact, communication alone constitutes about 90% of a project manager's job. This is where technology, and more specifically Artificial Intelligence (AI), can play a pivotal role.

Focusing on the Mundane Yet Critical Tasks

My research has primarily focused on tools that can alleviate the mundane, time-consuming, and downright annoying aspects of my day-to-day responsibilities. For instance, taking meeting notes is a task that, while necessary, can be incredibly tedious. This is an area where AI can offer significant advantages.

Cost and Data Privacy Concerns

As a consultant, two of the most critical factors I consider when evaluating new tools are cost and data privacy. It's imperative to ensure that any tool we implement is both cost-effective and compliant with data privacy regulations, especially when dealing with client data. We've been able to implement a private Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) that doesn't send our data back to the model, known as a Local Language Model (LLM). While it doesn't have all the features of OpenAI's ChatGPT, such as useful plug-ins like the JIRA plug-in, it serves its purpose well.

The Current State of AI in Project Management

As of now, AI hasn't drastically altered the way we manage software development projects. However, it's not something that I see as a threat to my job security either. Rather, AI can be a valuable assistant that makes my days smoother, easier, and faster.

How I Use AI in My Role

  1. Meeting Notes: AI assists in transcribing and summarizing discussions.
  2. Status Reports: AI helps in automating the generation of comprehensive status updates, even if I have to copy the outputs into existing templates.
  3. Project Charters: AI can help draft initial project charters based on predefined parameters.
  4. Technical Language Interpretation: Complex jargon is simplified for better comprehension.
  5. Document Summarization: AI condenses lengthy documents into digestible summaries, and with AI, I have the ability to tell it exactly what format I want.
  6. Idea Validation: AI serves as a sounding board for brainstorming sessions.
  7. Gap Analysis: AI reviews my work to identify any missing elements or areas needing more detail.
  8. Content Creation: Even this article was facilitated by AI.

While AI may not have revolutionized project management yet, it's making steady inroads into making the lives of project managers more efficient. From automating mundane tasks to acting as a reliable assistant for complex responsibilities, AI is set to play an increasingly significant role in the future of project management.

By embracing these technological advancements, we can look forward to a future where project managers can focus more on strategic decision-making and creative problem-solving, thereby elevating the art and science of project management to new heights.

Top comments (2)

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Matt Eland

You mention you used AI for this article. Can you elaborate a bit more on that writing process? Did you use LLMs for editing / fact checking or was it something else?

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Julie Yakunich

I wrote the outline of the article with key points I wanted to make and then used that as a prompt in ChatGPT along with a description of the format I wanted to generate the first draft. I then updated that draft my tone and personality, then used ChatGPT again to check for grammar, spelling, and flow.