Did you know that 45% of projects experience cost overruns? McKinsey did the research, and found that a whooping 66% of software projects go over budget, and a similar scary percentage of non-software projects, namely 43%. They also found that 7% of all projects experience a schedule overrun too. Less scary, but still a major risk for your deliverables, and not least your overall business performance.
So, what do you do to fix this problem? Well, there can be many potential solutions. You're probably already using a digital resource- and project management software package. This is often the first step in the right direction, but another question is whether it's the right solution for your business, and does the software in question leverage the newest technologies to assist and improve your management efforts?
You've probably already heard about the buzzword, Artificial Intelligence. Even if it may sound a bit futuristic, and scary at times as well, I encourage you to keep reading. Below, we will go through some of the main benefits of using an AI-Powered solution rather than just a regular software package.
Maybe you first want an introduction to what AI actually means. Well, here it is. Artificial Intelligence (AI), or machine-learning, is basically a mathematical algorithm altered and based on a growing data set fed to the system over time. This means based on this data set, success rates, and recognition of patterns, AI is able to give you a justified estimation and deliver it to you. AI is able to store and process huge amounts of data within seconds, more than any single human would be able to accommodate, and serve the results in a way that is actionable and makes sense to a human.
AI is just another word for a computer that's made able to store and process large amounts of data, and simply serve you the results of the numbers it has crunched in the form of text, suggestions, or actions. It's not magic.
The first key benefit of using AI in resource- and project management is improved estimations. Estimation of time needed to complete a task and the full project or milestone, estimation of budgets based on this time and other expenses, and the estimation of resources needed - again based on the time estimate. Time is the key here. We link everything up against time.
This means that when your time estimates are increasingly more accurate, in the case of AI, you have an increasingly higher possibility of predicting whether a certain project will be successful, whether it needs more hands, or just in general whether something needs to be changed to get it back on-track.
Did you know, a report from the Standish Group showed that fewer than 1/3 projects were successfully delivered on time and budget? In fact, a Geneca report suggests that up to 75% of projects are doomed to fail even before the initial phase. This is largely due to either an optimistic or pessimistic estimation practice. Humans are not made to process numbers and come up with a certain number that reflects the difficulty of implementing a task, whether points or hours. A computer, or AI, on the other hand is in fact made specifically to do this. A computer, or AI, doesn't have feelings and thus won't overestimate or underestimate. A computer is made to crunch numbers day after day, and will only base its results on previous experience learned from hard facts and stored data.
This one is linked to the previous. Better estimations means better predictability. Predicting something is based on previous experience and estimations. Since AI is able to store everything, remember everything, and process all the data in a matter of seconds, you have the best possible case to make a justified decision.
Of course how this all works, and how you use it in your daily work, is all depending on which systems you choose to use. Forecast is one example of a resource- and project management solution using AI to improve estimations. The estimations are continuously improved using previous from across projects, teams, people, and even organizations following an anonymous processing method. Nothing is shared across organizations, but everybody benefits from the improved algorithms. This means, that even if you have no data submitted to the system at all, it will still be able to do some justified estimations on your time estimates using factors such as labels, words used, and a high and low estimate.
Using this increased predictability can save you time, resources and money. In the end, your clients are probably only going to stick around if you're able to deliver the agreed projects on time, budget, and scope.
Time and costs are usually directly connected. Employees are paid by the amount of work in hours, and clients are billed by the number of hours it takes to complete the projects. That's why more accurate and more predictable time estimations have direct impact on defining the scope, or Statement of Work, together with the client, and put forward a proposal that is reliable for both parties and profitable for your business.
Likewise, having more accurate time estimations allows for a more accurate roadmap. You can more easily schedule the right resources to work on your project or milestone. People know what they're going to work on, and your clients know what they can expect from your work and when to expect it.
Utilizing your resources is paramount to running a stable and profitable business. Having everything linked in one single system gives you a one-truth hub for the information you need to take action. Forecast intelligently connects your time, budget, and scheduling to give you the broader perspective. Allocating and assigning your team members is easier when you know what is going on, what's coming up, and whether your projects are over- or under allocated. You can easier take action if a project might suddenly be heading towards a cliff.
Those are some of the benefits you can expect from combining AI and Project Management. As you may have noticed utilizing AI is all about connecting the dots between every data point to make the most out of your data. AI is especially useful for managing large amounts of data and make conclusions and suggestions based on this data. Then based on this, it's up to you to decide how to act on this new information.