منح دراسية

DEVELOP AN ACCURATE SCOPE, SCHEDULE, AND BUDGET

The scope statement for a project must be accurate and complete,

something that AI tools can help ensure. The goal is to instill honesty

in the scope statement, which results in reduced changes during the

project as well as the creation of a more accurate budget and

schedule. Discovering deficiencies in scope and the eventual added

cost is a positive development, and yet some customers may be

mesmerized by vendors with the lowest-cost bid. Have vendors ever

bid low to win a project and then used change orders to bring the cost

back to what it should have been originally? While AI tools provide a

better scope statement, the PMO needs to sell the fact that accuracy

is more effective at the start of the project. Research confirms that

there is significant value in catching errors early for software

development projects.

12 Most project managers know that this is true

for all projects.

This highlights a concern that is a frequent problem for project

management: integrity. In an effort to please a customer, approval

may be given for what is known to be an incomplete scope statement.

This results in an aggressive schedule and an accompanying

optimistic budget in order to be selected to perform the project. The

overseeing entity that must address this is the PMO. Starting a project

with inaccurate or incomplete documents and a poor execution

strategy will drive a low project success rate with unavoidable

increased cost. Customers need integrity in project management, and

achieving project success will build confidence in the process and in

the credibility of the organization.

For managing the customer, tools are available that make this

much more efficient, albeit possibly more frightening. Organizations

such as Facebook and Amazon collect significant amounts of data on

people, and it has been said that they know us better than we know

ourselves. They know what we purchase, what we search for, who our

friends are, and how we react to certain events. Facial recognition

software is used at airports to match our face to our passport photo,

and similar software is used elsewhere to detect emotions displayed

on a face, such as happiness, sadness, and disappointment.

Organizations capture the information for vast numbers of people and

use it to build a personal profile of individuals. These profiles are used

to identify the most effective method of interacting with each person.

This capability will soon be available for managing projects, and the

challenge is to use it properly to increase customer satisfaction and to

build a bond of trust. There are tools available that capture personal

sentiment, likes, dislikes, behavior patterns, and many other

characteristics. The PMO can become the bridge that delivers specific

information to the project manager about how to properly interact with

the customer or project sponsor in order to start the project with

accurate documents, commit to an achievable strategy, and deliver

the project objectives.

REDUCE PROJECT COSTS

There are many costs in the project budget, and it is normally

resources that incur the greatest expense. There are AI tools that

assess the resource efficiency per task and suggest alternate

resources to maintain the project schedule. Similar tools can be used

to minimize the resource costs. It starts with the project schedule and

assigning resources. There is an option to use internal resources or

external contracted resources. The trade-off is made by determining

the skills, ability, and efficiency of other resources, although

sometimes it is strictly based on availability. An AI tool can help make

the correct determination by analyzing historical data for the efficiency

of task completion as well as by incorporating current resource cost

data and variances based on skills. The objective is to optimize

resources to achieve a lower cost for completing the activities.

As AI tools advance, there is an opportunity to reduce the amount

of time required by a project manager to oversee each project, which

is another cost-savings opportunity. A prediction tool based on

machine learning algorithms helps keep the project on schedule and

within the project’s budget. A virtual assistant with an intelligent agent

keeps the project team and stakeholders informed. The plan is to start

the project with a clear and complete scope statement and a solid

project schedule, with minimal changes required along the way. This

not only increases the probability of project success but also reduces

the constant oversight required by a project manager or the PMO. In a

self-directed team approach, the project team members work on and

complete tasks that are assigned according to the project schedule

and highlighted by workflow reminders.

One of the most problematic concerns for a budget is risk. Each

project has a list of risks that are assigned a probability and an impact,

and normally the impact has a cost and schedule implication,

especially if there is a financial penalty for missing a milestone.

Therefore, both of these are budget concerns. With AI tools, the risks

can be identified before the project begins and allow an opportunity to

reduce the probability and the impact. This not only offers the chance

to reduce project costs but also brings greater stability to the project

budget. Imagine a budget contingency amount that can be kept as low

as possible and still be accurate throughout the project. Another

alternative that can be evaluated by an AI tool is whether it is more

effective and less costly to outsource the risk to a vendor.

Delivering quality incurs a cost, but the benefit from a reduction in

nonconformance is greater than the cost incurred. This is mainly

directed at projects that create a product, although it has an internal

perspective as well. Adherence to the new project methodology is

essential to maintain the integrity of the AI-infused process. Deviation

from the project processes can result in loss and increased waste, and

both of these create a negative financial impact.

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