How we can learn to work with AI

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I believe current and future project management professionals need to adapt to work together with artificial intelligence (AI) that is being or will be implemented in the coming future. 

For me this means keeping up with the new technologies by investing in our continuing professional development (CPD) to adapt to the changing workplace as AI develops.

Many of us have acquired skills by going to college and university. But increasingly project managers are encountering new challenges that require on-the-job learning to stay competitive. 

Three years ago, experts like Gartner Research predicted that 85 per cent of business interactions will be executed without human intervention by the year 2020.
Financial centres in major cities are now controlled by AI, affecting the share values of companies and the financial situation of the working population. AI, including automation and robotics, will touch organisations at every level and have far reaching consequences.

When this change comes, it will be adopted at the C-level and executed with striking speed. You probably won’t see it coming. So how can we, as project professionals, best prepare for this change? 

The first thing to bear in mind is that AI presents an opportunity to improve the way we go about the business of managing projects.

I have started learning about AI interaction in project management via e-learning tools and found that it will be supportive in all the project phases; it will help resolve project issues such as reporting, performance measurement, change management and progress monitoring and reduce routine works such invoicing and scheduling being tasked to the project managers.

I have started adopting these tools in my projects for routine tasks such as monthly reporting, where my organisation software collects the main topics of the projects from various reports, project documents, photos and emails and compiles it in a single report.

This synchronisation with AI will be crucial to optimise project management experiences in terms of resources allocation and decision making by relying on data analysis.

I have implemented data analysis of the material supply from projects within my organisation to predict issues in the supply such as delivery delays, quality issues, etc. My organisation software helped point to the main issues occurring and recommended resolution plan for me to adapt to ensure a smooth execution.

From this, we can use AI as the catalyst to improve our critical thinking – to understand projects from fresh perspectives and solve problems in new ways. With ever greater levels of data to inform our decision making, we have never been so well informed. But to make the most of this intelligence we will need to hone our critical thinking skills.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing the hyperbole that future artificial intelligence is a threat to our jobs – and there’s nothing we can do. But I believe synchronisation with AI is a huge benefit that will help project managers and ultimately lead to a better customer experience.

The future demands more project managers be critical thinkers at a world-class level; to solve problems for ourselves and the projects we’re working on. These skills can be learnt in the classroom and in the workplace – and with a little help from our robot friends.

Image: IR Stone/

Emile Fakhoury

Posted by Emile Fakhoury on 25th Jun 2019

About the Author

Emile Fakhoury is a Project Manager Professional working in oil and gas and power generation industries.

Emile has worked in the energy sectors in USA, Europe and Middle East and speaks 3 languages Arabic, French and English and is keen to use his knowledge and experience to enable organisations to succeed in achieving their desired change outcomes.

Emile has a Master’s Degree in Energy Conversion and a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and is a member of the Faculty of Engineering Advisory Group at The British University in Dubai and also APM panel member.

Emile's current work involves delivering projects to the best level of safety, quality and delivery to exceed customer requirements.

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