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JUNE TOP READER PICK Artificial intelligence seen taking over most project management functions

While the full merits of artificial intelligence are still being debated, one area where AI will have a dramatic impact is with project management efforts.

Indeed, by 2030, 80 percent of the work of today’s project management discipline will be eliminated as artificial intelligence takes on traditional PM functions such as data collection, tracking and reporting, according to research firm Gartner, Inc.

“AI is going to revolutionize how program and portfolio management (PPM) leaders leverage technology to support their business goals,” according to Daniel Stang, research vice president at Gartner. “Right now, the tools available to them do not meet the requirements of digital business.”

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Data cables feed into a server inside a comms room at an office in London, U.K., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. A group of Russian hackers infiltrated the servers of Dow Jones & Co., owner of the Wall Street Journal and several other news publications, and stole information to trade on before it became public, according to four people familiar with the matter. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Most vendors in today’s PPM software market are behind in enabling a fully digital program management office (PMO), but 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.

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

PPM as an AI-Enabled Discipline

Data collection, analysis and reporting are a large proportion of the PPM discipline. AI will improve the outcomes of these tasks, including the ability to analyze data faster than humans and using those results to improve overall performance, Stang says. As these standard tasks start to get replaced, 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,” Stang explains. “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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