Interview with Lloyd Skinner about AI in Project Management

Lloyd SkinnerWhere does artificial intelligence impact project management? Over the past few years, AI has been a prominent topic in project management trends articles and it is now very likely to stay.
Greyfly is a consulting firm that specializes in improving project outcomes using AI tools and experienced professionals. I met Lloyd Skinner, the CEO of Greyfly to discuss how AI is changing how we lead projects.
This article:
Artificial intelligence and project management: The impact of artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence and project management:
What makes AI different from relying on project managers and how does it differ?
How can artificial intelligence be used to help project managers?
Greyfly’s story: How it all began
How AI can help solve the real problem of a project
FAQCan AI replace project managers
What are the benefits to AI in project management?
How can you use AI in project managing?
What impact will AI have upon the field of project management?
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Artificial intelligence and project management: The impact of artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence has a wide range of impacts on project managers. AI can automate many repetitive tasks involved with managing projects like data collection and reporting.
PWC predicts that by 2030, 80% of project management work would be eliminated. They refer to 80% of the project management discipline, not the actual work of project managers. That’s something I personally don’t worry about – it will allow us to spend more time on project leadership and stakeholder engagement, the things computers can’t (yet).
However, I don’t believe 2030 is a realistic goal, given the maturity of project management and willingness to adopt new technology that I see every day.
Lloyd seems to feel exactly the same. He says that project management is a human process. “It’s unique for each individual and client in terms of how mature or inept they are regarding project delivery.”
In other words, while it is possible to see the theory of AI at 1000 feet and realize that it is possible, it is difficult to implement at the individual level.
Artificial intelligence and project management:
You must know your purpose and how AI can help you. This means convincing management to start using the tools.
Lloyd, who has experience in large-scale change management and project delivery, says that “you hit the conversations about data right away.” “We don’t have all the data, but the data we do have comes in many different sizes and shapes.” Before we can begin to apply it, there’s the discovery phase.
The data quality perspective is a key lens through which to view the applications of AI. Lloyd states that while some large companies may have PPM standards, others might not. It is easy to see it as a quality data problem, and it immediately links the people, processes, maturity, and capability. Every company is unique.
After you have sorted out the data issues, there are many very useful applications of AI for projects such as:
Scheduling: Estimating task duration and resource needs
Automated sequencing: Automatically sequencing activities, collecting data, summarizing status
Machine learning: Using past performance to predict costs and schedule overruns, and resource needs
Forecasting: Using predictive analytics to identify future risks and performance trends

What makes AI different from relying on project managers and how does it differ?
Lloyd says, “If you have a PM with experience, you would expect them forecast their outcomes very accurately.” “This is not the case.”
Data shows that even the most skilled project managers can’t predict success with the same accuracy as they used to.