<img alt="" src="https://secure.coup7cold.com/202326.png" style="display:none;">

Project Management Scholarship Winning Essay Article 1 of 3

Posted by Pinnacle Management Systems, Inc. on Monday, April 15, 2024

Thank you to all of the students who submitted essays for our 2023/2024 Project Management Scholarship. The topic this year was

"How do you think artificial intelligence will best benefit the project management industry in the next 5 years? What risks do you see with artificial intelligence for project management?"

Congratulations to our 3 winners, whose essays we are excited to showcase in a three-part article series. First up is Arjun Ramesh. Please enjoy Arjun's essay below.

     Unraveling the Risks in the AI Tapestry: Enhanced Project Management

In the next 5 years, I believe that artificial intelligence will streamline some of the
repetitive tasks that are often consistent across projects. Project management tools in terms of scheduling activities, realizing risks, outlining paths, and escalating issues as needed are fairly standardized once the project idea has been delineated. This field benefits immeasurably from AI acting as a copilot because it can advise the team on items that are not progressing as they are expected to. Therefore, corrective actions can be taken and implemented earlier where they have the best chance of positive impact. AI can assist in managing complexity and distribute it across teams more efficiently than a PM might be able to do alone. While PMs create the plan and track the project while providing communication on the status and what needs to happen to get tasks completed, AI might not be as empathetic at communicating and may hallucinate its responses.

The risk is that if you depend too much on AI, you miss out on the human element
completely. Trusting AI blindly is extremely dangerous because it can produce nonsensical
results. Having a PM filter through its results and determine what is appropriate to proceed with is paramount. AI is only as good as the input models it has, while human beings are much better at recognizing patterns and being able to find issues that a language model or an automated set of processes may or may not be able to discover. You can over-rely on artificial intelligence to point out risks, or you could get complacent where if the model does not show you any risks, you believe that all is fine. Consequently, you are not looking at the plan critically to determine if more risks exist outside the ones that the AI showed. Thus, the human oversight element in the project lifecycle is integral. If a PM's job was fully automatable, there would not be a need to hire humans. This is not the case, because not all projects execute the same way. One project that benefits from Atlassian's JIRA tool may be vastly different from one that simply requires a series of conversations with business executives.

A successful PM strives to meet the organization's wants and needs while leaving them
with a mindset that they would return to your team to complete tasks and recommend them to others should the opportunity arise. Human connection is essential, and the empathy and
emotional relationship that a human PM brings to a customer may never be able to be replicated by generative AI chatbots that are becoming more commonplace. Successful management is measured by how satisfied the customer is with their task after having it seen through to completion. Although the customer may not have gained what they are looking for, giving them peace of mind and a detailed explanation as to why their want or need cannot be met is paramount. Always keeping the customer informed and displaying a positive attitude are the PM's key activities to maintaining a strong reputation for the business and attracting more customers to your team.

Technology is at the crux of my daily work as a computer scientist, and daily, I work
alongside PMs who are responsible for knowing my strengths and placing my skills in areas to
which I can contribute best. Currently, and in the future, I believe that generative AI will heavily
influence the field. Generative AI, including chatbots, can quickly find solutions to difficult
problems, streamlining the programming process for software developers. As technology adapts, software engineering must always be one step ahead to ensure that systems can best meet the needs of our customers. My career mission is to empower individuals and businesses to stretch their potential and have easier lives, and technology will enable cutting-edge products to reach consumers' hands faster than ever before. I need PMs to outline the work that is necessary to complete to empower organizations to reach their full potential.

The ability to express yourself is one of the most important elements of human thought.
PMs need to be able to convey thoughts and opinions and share them with others. It is a critical form of communication and determines whether the project will come to fruition. At every time in history, especially now, communication is key because that generates new ideas and methods and debates about current and future conditions. They also produce momentum to detect, describe, and solve problems to enable the organization to reach new horizons. As AI continues to progress, some jobs may be lost as AI can complete tasks more effectively and at a lower cost. If PMs lose their jobs to AI, though, a risk on the horizon is that the team is less motivated to complete their work. Apart from ensuring that the project is on track, PMs can help boost team morale. An individual dedicated to both the project's success and each team member's well-being is invaluable. An ethical decision must be made on how widespread the implementation of AI becomes because it is easier for a human to learn from past mistakes, comprehend every single detail of the project, and constantly improve their skills to deliver business value.

What generative AI immensely lacks is creativity. As a PM, creativity allows me to brainstorm unique approaches to complex issues that I might not have considered previously. I believe that creativity is most effective in collaborative settings that PMs often find themselves in, as multiple individuals with diverse perspectives on issues can come together and debate about what might be the best path forward. While they manage the roadmap and finish administrative tasks, they rely upon my creativity to progress the project to completion. Although at times they may face blockers, they draw inspiration from my surroundings to
overcome obstacles. For the past couple of years, I have held internships as a software engineer, and in this role, I often use creativity as I design interfaces for web pages and determine what is the most user-friendly and efficient method to display important data. Additionally, when constructing algorithms, I utilize creativity to find the option that is effective both in the dimensions of time and space, with the ultimate goal being to make the user's experience as seamless as possible. Because AI has been seamlessly integrated into the software engineering field, I believe that it can do the same for PMs without replacing their jobs entirely.

Although AI technologies will heavily influence PM, the essence of human ingenuity can
never be completely replaced. When we allow AI to supplement PMs' work, their ever-evolving
creativity allows them and the teams they work with to continue pursuing excellence and sharing their perspectives with their colleagues to obtain the best results.


Arjun Ramesh

Arjun Ramesh

Arjun Ramesh - LinkedIn


As an aspiring software engineer majoring in Computer Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Raikes School, Arjun is passionate about using technology, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to make people’s lives better and committed to excellence in and out of the classroom.

Now a college sophomore, he has been involved in the inclusive Business Leadership Program to improve DEIAB practices in local Nebraska companies and Student Government, both of which gave him leadership skills that taught him to consider different perspectives when tackling complex problems. His intellectual curiosity propels him to always ask the “why” behind the “what”, and he cherishes the opportunity to gain invaluable insight from industry professionals.

Though he enjoys both front-end and back-end development, the aspect of computer science that interests him the most is utilizing problem-solving skills. Each line of code is like solving a puzzle. As a project manager, his goal is to collaborate on technical projects that aim to empower individuals and businesses to reach their full potential.


Topics: Aerospace & Defense, Energy, Utilities, Oil & Gas, Engineering & Construction, Earned Value Management (EVM), Integrated Program Management (IPM), Technology, Project Portfolio Management (PPM), Government & Public Sector, Microsoft EPM, Enterprise Project Management (EPM), Recent Articles

Pinnacle Management Systems, Inc.

By Pinnacle Management Systems, Inc.

Founded in 1993, Pinnacle provides a wide range of professional services through 4 primary service lines: Management Consulting, Technology Systems Implementation, Training & Education, Functional Fulfillment. Pinnacle has extensive experience implementing and optimizing enterprise-wide capabilities in all Project Management related practices.

More articles by Pinnacle Management Systems, Inc.