Adaptive project portfolio management (PPM) is a crucial approach for organizations to effectively manage their complex and dynamic projects. The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into adaptive PPM has opened new possibilities for businesses. The benefits of using AI in adaptive PPM include enhanced forecasting, project selection, real-time monitoring and collaboration. AI brings opportunities to drive efficiency and success in modern project management, revolutionizing adaptive PPM and empowering organizations to achieve their strategic goals.
Research indicates that by 2030, 80% of project management tasks will be run by AI, powered by big data, machine learning (ML) and natural language processing.1 The wide adoption of this next generation of tools will bring about radical changes. Our aim is to help you prepare for this transformation.
AI-driven project selection and prioritization
Many senior leaders focus on individual projects rather than considering the overall portfolio. This can lead to biased decision-making. AI tools can address this by processing large volumes of data, eliminating biases and enabling management teams to make more informed decisions. Instead of evaluating single project efficacy, AI analyzes all available data for active, completed and canceled projects, including proposals and ideas. This provides valuable insight for project selection, proposal value and likelihood of success.
Moreover, one of the key challenges for senior leaders is prioritizing projects and understanding resource capacity. Overlooking this can lead to managers initiating more projects than feasible and overwhelming employees. The work intake process, a crucial step in project portfolio management, can be revolutionized by utilizing AI. It automatically prioritizes projects based on predefined criteria, saving time, reducing bias and ensuring focus on the most valuable projects.
Realizing portfolio optimization through AI
Project portfolio optimization, a once complex and highly sophisticated concept in PPM, has now become tangible with AI. By considering various factors like value scores, risk assessment, project timelines, scope complexity, team size and resource allocations, AI’s progressive capabilities can complement the project management office’s (PMO) efforts to generate more optimal portfolios. These technologies are bridging gaps in data and skills for portfolio optimization. With AI, organizations can now incorporate more advanced portfolio management practices.
AI’s role in adaptive PPM decision-making
AI brings data-driven decision-making to adaptive PPM. By analyzing historical data, market trends, and various variables, AI algorithms offer valuable insight for informed project management.
AI can significantly help with project forecasting. By analyzing past project performance, resource availability and external factors, AI-powered predictive analytics provide project managers with a glimpse into the future.
Portfolio performance indicators
Project managers, PMOs, portfolio managers and project sponsors can receive advance notice of project performance through AI, resulting in significant improvements to project execution. During ongoing projects, certain keywords in status reports or risk logs can trigger early warnings about potential issues. With sufficient data and learning, it may even be possible to predict different success rates based on the project manager's abilities and experience.
AI can analyze historical project performance, along with data on risks, resources, priorities and schedules to predict future project performance. This is valuable for assessing the likelihood of project success and can alert the projects team if additional resources or adjustments are needed.
The potential for AI and ML in chatbots is significant. Future chatbots will engage in more natural conversations, going beyond gathering data or offering articles as responses. In PPM, chatbots will effectively address queries about software utilization and guide users through procedures.
Integrating chatbots in PPM can automate routine tasks, ensuring efficiency and accuracy. They provide instant access to real-time information, from checking project status to reviewing task assignments and tracking resource availability.
Chatbots with predictive analytics also offer decision-making support, analyzing historical data for establishing smart choices, reducing risks and maximizing project success.
Enhanced monitoring and risk management
AI-based adaptive PPM enables real-time monitoring and proactive risk mitigation. It integrates data from multiple sources, applies advanced analytics for performance assessment and offers adaptive decision-making support. AI-based adaptive PPM ensures optimal resource allocation, alignment with organizational goals, and swift resolution of issues.
Streamlined stakeholder management
AI tools and algorithms can sift through data to identify key stakeholders, understand their needs and recommend tailored engagement. This encompasses personalized communication, targeted outreach and proactive issue resolution for positive stakeholder relationships. Additionally, AI can predict stakeholder behavior and sentiment trends, allowing organizations to adjust their engagement strategies.
Navigating AI implementation in adaptive PPM
Implementing AI in adaptive PPM requires accurate and reliable data. Ensuring data quality and addressing privacy concerns is therefore crucial for optimal AI performance. Additionally, implementing robust data governance and security measures is essential for protecting sensitive project and stakeholder information. To overcome the lack of understanding and resistance from stakeholders, educating them about the benefits and limitations of AI is also important as some may fear AI’s role or mistrust the technology.
The key skills and competencies for AI implementation include data analysis. While not every team member needs to be an AI expert, organizations should follow a balanced approach to identifying AI champions and providing basic AI training to the broader PPM team. Building a change management strategy can help organizations navigate the challenges that arise during AI implementation. This involves clear communication channels, stakeholder engagement, addressing concerns and managing expectations.
OnePlan, a reputable PPM software company specializing in adaptive PPM solutions, encountered challenges in helping organizations make data-driven project decisions, optimize resource allocation, and adapt quickly to changing project priorities.
In response, the company pursued large-scale transformation to integrate AI capabilities into their PPM software. This integration yielded significant results, including:
- Improved decision-making: OnePlan’s AI-supported prioritization model introduced data-driven project selection, leading to projects with higher ROI and strategic alignment
- Resource efficiency: AI-driven resource distribution reduced overallocation and underutilization, leading to cost savings and improved project timelines
- Predictive insight: the AI system provided predictive insight into project risks, allowing proactive risk mitigation strategies
- Strategic alignment: projects became better aligned with the company's strategic goals, enhancing overall business performance
The metrics supported the value of this transformation:
Company A: reduced project delays by 20% and improved resource utilization by 15% within the first year of implementing OnePlan's adaptive PPM with AI.
Company B: increased ROI by 18% and reduced project risks by 25% using AI-driven risk assessment and mitigation strategies.
How AI Will Transform Project Management (hbr.org)