AI replacing jobs : Will Project Managers survive?

Since the day ChatGPT was first launched on 30th November, 2022, there has been a lot of speculation and anxiety about Artificial Intelligence taking over significant jobs throughout organizations. In this blog we will try to explore how project managers will adapt in this historic era of AI replacing jobs that had till now been taken for granted. One thing is most definitely inevitable, AI will play a significant role in the future of responsible project management. We must acknowledge that the way project managers used to work in the past decades is changing faster than ever before. Instead of resisting this historic change, this is the time when project managers must adapt and hone their skills or risk becoming redundant and obsolete.

Future of Project Management in the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI):

AI or artificial intelligence has undoubtedly exceeded humans’ ability to perform mundane computational tasks. However, the role of project managers is not limited to just crunching numbers. Project Management is more than science and technology. What we have often ignored is that project managers are also artists. After all, at the absolute core, projects are for people, by the people and for the people. Almost all projects begin to solve a people problem or to satisfy people’s requirements. A project cannot exist without people. Any scenario where human management is required, AI will be at loss due to its three inherent weaknesses:

  • Perception
  • Creativity
  • Social Skills
Perception:

Perception is an ability to be spontaneously aware and sensitive of another person’s mind and temperament. Perception is one of the most immensely significant yet underrated abilities. It is something that is developed through experience and self-awareness. In order to be perceptive, we need to have a sharp and nuanced understanding of society and people in general. Perception relies on our ability to understand and relate to people’s feelings, thoughts and behaviors. It is a quality that is fundamentally human. 

Since AI is not a human, it can never understand what it is like to be one. Although AI can calculate, collate and analyze massive amounts of data, it does not completely understand it like a human. For example, AI will be able to tell you that a project is likely to over-run with respect to time or money. But, it can never feel the anxiety that accompanies the realization that there is not enough money or time for successfully finishing the project. That anxiety can only be felt by project managers and their teams. These emotional responses and sense of responsibility in the realm of humanity gives us a tremendous edge over AI. Artificial intelligence cannot comprehend how to contextualize and convey information so that the stakeholders are emotionally comfortable in case of tough decisions, situations and unexpected events. It is only a project manager who can interpret, explain, contextualize and effectively convey information about projects. Thus, AI taking over and replacing jobs of project managers is an unlikely event. Instead, it can only be a very powerful and efficient tool to assist project managers, thereby making them even more competent than they are today.

Creativity:

Creativity is the application of innovative thought to perform original products, services, and ideas. Creativity means that you can solve problems and identify them to be solved. Today, AI generated music, paintings, and images are widely circulated on the internet. AI has also displayed highly complex problem solving skills. This might lead us to believe that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is creative. However we must always keep in mind that machines can only pretend that they are creative. However, this is not the case. They seem creative through exhaustive enumeration and evaluation of available resources and data. We must know that AI has no desire to create. Artificial intelligence cannot do, and will never be able to do what a human child can do. AI cannot find inspiration and use it to create. Creativity plays a significant role in project management. It is indispensable throughout a project life-cycle – its initiation, project definition, problem finding, creative application of project management processes, and its closing. AI can only assist project managers in the collection of relevant data. At present, it cannot define complicated issues in a project or generate brand new knowledge to resolve them.

Social Skills:

People are at the heart of all projects, and people are social creatures. Social skills include language, texts, gestures, subtle voice tones, patterns of speech and many other subtle skills that are used to communicate with people. Usually, social skills used in project management are referred to as soft skills. Soft-skills for a project manager is the key to: 

  • Create and convey vision effectively
  • Create a productive, and harmonious work environment
  • Manage personal agendas 
  • Simplify and effectively communicate complex information through various means such as visual media, storyboards, narratives, etc
  • Meaningful collaborations , etc

Studies have shown that a major factor that leads to project failures is the lack of soft skill competencies in project management professionals. In fact, soft skills are considered to be at least twice more critical than technical skills in successful projects. AI will never be able to acquire the soft skills that are honed in CAPM and PMI-PMP certified project managers. Any practical and successful project management will require people. The profound and human ability to interact with multiple and diverse stakeholders through commitment, teamwork, decision-making, conflict resolution, culture-awareness, etc will always be central to successful project management. AI replacing jobs will not be able to take over project managers with intuitive and hyper developed soft-skills.

Is AI replacing jobs of Project Managers?

It is humans who have created Artificial Intelligence. AI can only be an extension of the programming and specific training provided to it. It uses algorithms that are meant to replicate as much as possible, the way humans act and think. This also means that there are biases that are incorporated into AI. As Artificial Intelligence gains popularity and makes its way in shouldering project management tasks, there will always be risks and biases. No matter how dominant, effective, and practical AI becomes, a skilled and certified project manager will always be required to supervise the accuracy of the tasks being undertaken and performed either by team members or by AI. Additionally, Artificial Intelligence completely deals with statistical and data driven truth. It is completely severed from moral and emotionally constructed truth. For example, let us just take the example of the scarcity of water. It has been established that by 2050, 57% of the global population will suffer from water shortage. For an AI that is thinking from a completely statistical point of view, the easiest way to solve this problem will be to eliminate every second person before 2050. Only humans know that this is not an option. 
Experienced and certified Project Managers know that statistical truth is only a part of  successful project management and is not a deciding factor for producing valuable deliverables . However, what if it provides inaccurate information that costs unsuspecting organizations millions of dollars, and failure? It is not AI that can be held accountable, or responsible. It is humans where the sense of responsibility, accountability, and liability resides.In a world of AI replacing jobs, a project manager will always be required to oversee and regulate the truth, and supervise the tasks done by machines. It is true that AI will be exponentially faster and accurate in completing many complicated tasks.

How should Project Managers adapt in a world of AI?

Even though we might not like it, AI is bound to significantly impact project management in the upcoming years. This is an unavoidable future. We must understand and accept that progress and change are the only constant and actually required in the project management industry. Project managers must innovate to survive and thrive. In order to safeguard themselves from AI replacing their jobs, they must be willing to discard all inhibitions that hold them back.

Certifications such as PMI-PMP, PMI-ACP , and CAPM ensure that a project manager always stays ahead in terms of technological practices in their field. PMP training provided by Education Edge not only just mechanically prepares you for the exam, we also instill in you valuable insights that give you an edge over everyone else. Professionals trained with us would never have to worry about AI replacing jobs. We equip you to thrive in change. We will ensure that with AI you become even more powerful, efficient and irreplaceable.

Become certified and enroll with us now!

Share your love
Education Edge
Education Edge
Articles: 265

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *