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How AI can help manage multiple projects with competing deadlines
Learn how AI can be an asset when managing multiple projects with competing deadlines. Let the algorithm do the work for you.
Managing multiple projects with competing deadlines is a struggle for most, if not all, project managers. Sometimes, managing one complex project is hard enough!
The reason why the field of project management came to life, is exactly for this reason.
Project managers not only have to manage the never-ending projects that come their way, but also their team. Combining both brings even more complexity to the table as there are several variables and moving parts that need to be taken into account.
Artificial Intelligent is slowly finding its place in project management tools. It helps handle everything from planning, scheduling and forecasting by offering suggestions of the best path to take when reaching the end goal of efficiency.
How is AI used in project management?
Artificial intelligence can be found in many areas including project management. AI algorithms are used to successfully manage schedules, workload optimization, task assign and replace many other human inputs.
By using AI in project management, teams are capable of saving time on planning and tracking the progress of projects. While, at the same time, making sure that nothing is overlooked.
As we all know, as much as we humans find ourselves perfect, we do come with many limitations. For example, we can never actually know the impact of a decision or even ensure that our plans are 100% bulletproof. By using AI within project management software we fill in these gaps.
Helps prioritise urgent and important tasks
Being able to adapt to the ever-growing fast-paced environments is essential for businesses who wish to be in the lead of their industry. It’s shown that 86% of high performing organizations consider themselves adaptable. While for lower-performing ones, only less than 50% felt the same.
Being able to be flexible in regards to the changing of priorities on projects or general changes to plans is an important part of being a successful business. However, it seems like most companies are not prepared to handle such switches.
Prioritization is all about keeping track of unexpected changes and understanding how it affects the urgency of what has to be done. Practising prioritisation improves how you manage your team, their workload and your companies resources. This unfortunately is not easy to execute solely through discussions and team meetings.
The issue is that we humans have a limited capacity for planning, making it pretty much impossible for us to think about all the variables and constraints that are present in every single project or task.
By adopting AI-driven algorithms, all of these issues are dealt with for you. You’d be able to calculate millions of different possibilities in just seconds. Meaning that you would be shown the best paths to take for completing tasks on time as well as who in your team would be responsible for them.
By just adding the deadline and the effort necessary to complete each task or project, a smart planning tool will find individuals who have the availability to hit deadlines for you. All this without overloading your team with work.
Helps prevent multitasking
Contrary to popular belief (hopefully not so popular anymore), multitasking is an inefficient way of managing tasks. It not only tampers with your productivity but also mental wellbeing. To the extent that some studies have shown that multitasking can reduce productivity by 40%!
Multitasking can be defined as both doing multiple tasks at once as well as, alternating between different tasks instead of completing one at a time. Multitasking has become a growing issue as technology improves the way we communicate. Not only are we splitting our time between higher priority tasks and the constant interruptions from lower-priority ones but also meetings, emails, helping team members and so forth.
It also affects your cognitive abilities. Constant interruptions and switching behaviour not only brings higher levels of stress but can also cause cognitive overload. One study found that constant multitasking can even cause damage to your brain, causing lower density in the region related to empathy, cognitive control and emotional control.
With the use of Artificial Intelligence in tools, you and your team will know what to work on and when. It will distribute your responsibilities by your availability, forcing you to work on each task at specific times until they are completed. A main cause of multitasking is a lack of time management skills. Artificial Intelligence optimizes your time for you and all you have to do is follow the schedule customised for your tasks and projects.
Optimizes your teams' workload for you
When dealing with a startup that is just getting off its feet, it might not be difficult to know what exactly everyone on your team is doing. But as your company skyrockets and your team grows, it will slowly become harder and harder.
Delegation is an essential but difficult skill for managers to master. There’s the often-quoted statistic that 30% of managers believe they are good delegators when in reality only one-third of them meet the standard.
Workload optimization is crucial not only for your overall teams' productivity but also to maintain job satisfaction between members. One study found that 79% of employees quit due to a lack of appreciation. This involves, feeling like there is a lack of opportunity to grow, the absence of space to voice their opinions and feeling like their potential is disregarded by superiors.
This is why it's important to know your team and their strengths. Understanding exactly what each member brings of value will help in distributing the workload in the most efficient way possible.
With AI, you can add the skillsets of each team member to the platform. By doing so, every time you have to add a new task, the algorithm will allocate it to someone who has the desired skill.
Also, it will take into consideration each person's workload. This means that only people who have the time to complete the task for the desired deadline will be assigned. This will ensure that everyone on your team is working to 100% of their capacity, no more, no less.
Track teams progress in project completions
Although project failure is dreaded by all types of teams, it occurs a lot more frequently than we think. A report from TeamStage stated that 70% of all projects fail to deliver what was promised to customers. A lot higher than you thought, right?
Also on average organizations waste around 11% of their total investments because of poor project performance. Projects involve several variables and moving parts. This includes your team, timelines, budgets, risks, stakeholders and many more. A project manager alone would not be able to keep track of all these variables, without slipping up at some point.
This is why it's important to have an established project tracking process. The goal is to monitor how the project is going compared to how it was planned. When there are slight deviations to the plan you can quickly spot them and make the necessary changes to get back on track.
By using AI project management software, you can keep track of all variables, constraints and ever-changing parts. This will then empower your team to always stay on schedule. Regardless of how many unexpected challenges you face, the tool will adjust your teams schedule to never miss a deadline.
Not only can you keep track of the present projects that are being completed but also of every past project. This will provide you with essential information on how well your team is doing compared to their performance in the past. We should all learn from our experiences and project management is no different.
Provides predictive analytics for better future decisions
Already keeping track of your overall performance when managing projects is essential for your business success but what about making accurate predictions of the future? In most cases, project managers make educated guesses on future decisions based on historic data. However, as we have mentioned before, humans are limited, especially when making accurate decisions on what the future brings.
When considering these problems, you can see how AI becomes an obvious asset when dealing with complex analytics. By using AI algorithms the software is able to observe how projects are moving along and then make educated predictions about the future of the project. All variables and constraints related will be tracked simultaneously as well as monitoring of financials and scheduling. Then, over time, it can learn to identify potential impacts to these processes.
Not only will AI be able to track your project performance but also learn from your team behaviour. It’s capable of tracking every member's schedules and scheduling changes and then evaluate how it would impact important deadlines. For example, when employees call in sick, the software will suggest an alternative plan so that the missing tasks can be completed by someone else or at a different time.
The more data the AI algorithm collects the smarter it will be in predicting how projects progress and what type of impact changes in your plan can cause. At some point, it would have learned enough that it will turn into your own personal planner!