This post makes an initial attempt to describe what Artificial Intelligence is, where it might apply in the world, and the impacts to organizational strategy and project management. It follows up this initial attempt with actual Artificial Intelligence responses from ChatGPT.
The Basics: Artificial Intelligence – What Is (AI)?
At its core, Artificial Intelligence, commonly referenced with the acronym “AI”, is all about data. It has great potential where there are lots of data, the data is good, and the data has inherent value.
Let’s look at each of these three and dig a little deeper:
- Lots of data – AI is applicable where there is, or can be, lots of data. Machine learning requires data to rapidly identify patterns and process output. Of course there will be learning from many sources…
- The data is good – In order for AI continuous learning to be effective, the data must be good! As with anything else, it’s “garbage in, garbage out”.
- The data has inherent value – There are lots of areas that have value – if we just use our imaginations. This can include things such as scientific research, sales, manufacturing, security, and logistics. But I’m just touching the surface…
The above is from me alone – my initial, neophyte, limited thinking. So let’s go right to the source!
I signed up for ChatGPT and asked:
“Explain artificial intelligence in simple terms”
To which it replied:
“Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the ability of machines or computer programs to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as recognizing speech, understanding natural language, making decisions, and solving problems. AI systems can be designed to learn from data and improve their performance over time, a process known as machine learning.”
That was the first of the three paragraph response that ChatGPT provided. Let’s explore a little further.
Where Does AI Apply In the World?
Here were my thoughts before getting to the response from ChatGPT.
AI is likely to disrupt many things as we know them today. Here are some thoughts on a few:
- Products – I’m thinking here of sales and product management. A tremendous amount of data can be generated continuously and analyzed using AI – and hopefully people can make more rapid, relevant and effective adjustments.
- Jobs – Many people fear that their jobs will be replaced by AI applications. It is likely that some will. Many more jobs will surely be altered. I expect that many more jobs – new, different, and non-existent today – will be created.
- News – Access to data will be the key. Will AI be able to provide accurate information and distinguish itself as being fact-driven? Can it separate the factual data from opinion? Can it provide a well-rounded, balanced view of the data?
- Design – The process of design is very data-intensive. Perhaps AI will increase the velocity of design cycles. Maybe initial design cycles, or part of a cycle, can be almost automatic, and others more human designer-driven.
- Education – As internet search enables us to find answers rapidly to almost anything, AI would seem likely to take that up a level. But where will the line be drawn between machine learning and human critical thinking skills?
These are only the first few things that come to my mind. And as I thought about it, I began to scratch at some challenges ahead in the management and use of AI. But that will be the subject of a future post…
Back to asking ChatGPT, here is the second paragraph of the answer to my query to “Explain artificial intelligence in simple terms”:
“AI is used in a variety of applications, including personal assistants like Siri and Alexa, self-driving cars, medical diagnosis, and fraud detection. AI technologies can automate repetitive or dangerous tasks, help people make better decisions, and provide insights that would be difficult for humans to discover on their own.”
Now that’s quite a different response to the inquiry than I concocted myself! For example, how did ChatGPT choose “personal assistants like Siri and Alexa, self-driving cars, medical diagnosis, and fraud detection” from among the myriad of applications?
Let’s turn now to the impact of AI on strategy and project management.
Impact of AI on Strategy
There is such a huge amount of data out there on so many topics. The challenge, I think, is in applying the Pareto Principle: which 20% of the data can provide 80% of the valuable insights?
But before I go any further, let’s see what ChatGPT has to say.
“What is the impact of artificial intelligence on organizational strategy?”
To which ChatGPT replied:
“Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a significant impact on organizational strategy, both in terms of how organizations operate internally and how they interact with their customers and stakeholders.
Here are some specific ways AI impacts organizational strategy:
- Improved Decision Making: AI can analyze large volumes of data and identify patterns and insights that humans might not be able to discern. This allows organizations to make more informed and data-driven decisions, which can lead to better outcomes.
- Automation: AI can automate routine tasks and processes, freeing up human resources to focus on more strategic activities. This can result in cost savings, increased efficiency, and higher productivity.
- Customer Experience: AI-powered chatbots, virtual assistants, and personalized recommendations can improve the customer experience by providing quick and accurate responses to inquiries, predicting and meeting customer needs, and creating a more personalized experience.
- Predictive Analytics: AI can help organizations identify emerging trends and patterns that might impact their industry or business. This can enable them to take proactive measures to stay ahead of the competition and be more agile in responding to market changes.
- Risk Management: AI can identify potential risks and threats to an organization, such as cyberattacks or supply chain disruptions. This can help organizations take preemptive action to minimize the impact of such events.
- Talent Management: AI can help organizations identify the skills and characteristics that make a good employee, enabling them to make more informed hiring decisions and create more effective training and development programs.
In summary, AI is transforming how organizations approach strategy, from improving decision-making to optimizing the customer experience and identifying emerging trends and risks. As AI continues to evolve, it is likely that it will play an increasingly central role in organizational strategy.”
Wow! That’s a great response. It’s very organized and uses excellent grammar. It provides some detail without going too deep, and offers some valid ideas for consideration. It certainly addresses key areas – but not necessarily all areas.
On the other hand, I cannot help but think that a deeper human element is missing…
Let’s see what it says about project management.
Impact of AI on Project Management
Before asking ChatGPT, I think AI will further blur the line between strategy and project management. I also think it will impact how projects are managed by evolving the tools used to manage projects – for excellent insights on this, see “How AI Will Transform Project Management” by Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez and Ricardo Viana Vargas.
Now, lets see what ChatGPT has to say.
“What impact will artificial intelligence have on project management?”
To which ChatGPT replied:
“Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to significantly impact project management in a variety of ways. Here are a few potential impacts:
- Project Planning: AI algorithms can help project managers to analyze large volumes of data, identify patterns, and make more accurate predictions about project outcomes. This can lead to better project planning and more accurate forecasting of project timelines, budgets, and resource needs.
- Task Automation: AI can automate routine and repetitive tasks such as data entry, scheduling, and resource allocation. This can free up project managers to focus on more strategic work, such as risk management, stakeholder engagement, and decision-making.
- Resource Allocation: AI can help project managers to allocate resources more effectively by analyzing historical data, assessing skillsets, and predicting future needs. This can lead to more efficient resource utilization, reduced project costs, and better overall project performance.
- Real-Time Monitoring: AI can enable project managers to monitor project progress in real-time, identify potential roadblocks, and adjust project plans accordingly. This can help to minimize risks and ensure that project milestones are achieved on time.
- Team Management: AI can help project managers to optimize team performance by analyzing data on individual performance, identifying skill gaps, and recommending training and development opportunities. This can lead to more engaged and productive teams, and better project outcomes overall.
Overall, AI has the potential to significantly enhance project management by enabling project managers to make more data-driven decisions, automate routine tasks, optimize resource utilization, and improve team performance.”
Wow – that’s impressive! This offers a viewpoint – and at a minimum, a great starting point for thinking about the impact of AI on project management.
Conclusion and Other Resources
This post has surveyed what AI is, where it might apply in the world, and the strategic and project management impacts. It does it first from my point of view, and then from actual results from ChatGPT!
What do you think the impact will be of AI on strategy and project management?
What is the ChatGPT summary – the third and final paragraph of the response to my request to “explain artificial intelligence in simple terms”?
“Overall, AI is a field of study focused on creating machines that can perform intelligent tasks without explicit programming, by using algorithms and statistical models to learn from data and experience.”
Flevypro offers some great resources hat can provide shortcuts to presentations or just enhance your overall understanding of AI. Here are four relevant and recommended resources (pictures above):
- Artificial Intelligence in Digital Marketing – 25-page pdf
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): Machine Learning (ML) – 22-slide ppt
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy: Top Priorities – 26-slide ppt
- Digital Transformation: Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy – 27-slide ppt
To learn more from a project management perspective, I recommend the Harvard Business Review (HBR) article, “How AI Will Transform Project Management” by Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez and Ricardo Viana Vargas.
I also encourage you to sign up and try out ChatGPT for yourself. Here’s a short video to help you get started:
3 thoughts on “The Basics: Artificial Intelligence for Strategic PM’s”
Thanks, John. I’m on the waiting list for ChatGPT. – Craig
Craig, I got the same thing and waited for a day, receiving no notifications. I just tried again, and it worked for me. I suggest trying again, and if that does not work, maybe ick a less popular time of day or week.
Thanks, John, I’ll give that a shot next time I’m inclined to “Ask Chat GPT”.