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When we think of project management tools, many of us immediately think of Microsoft Project—arguably the market leader for specialized PPM software. However, in the Software as a Service (SaaS) era, there is more choice than ever regarding project management tools, with more specific solutions targeted at different industries and use cases.

There are project tools out there dedicated to task management. There are solutions that are more focused on analyzing project data and presenting it in a visually appealing way. There are project management tools which are focused more on resource planning than task management. And, there are communication tools that provide instant messaging capabilities that project team members use to collaborate with each other. 

And, as artificial intelligence (AI) technology continues to improve, we can expect project management tools to incorporate AI into how they work. A report from Gartner suggests that within the next five years, AI will likely be more important to your business apps than cloud or mobile capabilities. And this is especially true for project management. Why? Because AI is built to tackle many of the problems that projects often face.

The reasons projects falter

Successful projects can combine multiple strands of information, people, data, schedules and other elements that must work in harmony to be successful. Because of this complexity, many projects fail. The reason why usually comes down to specific issues like:

Gaps in communication

Most teams use email to communicate once a project has trundled out of the blocks and is rambling down the track. Email is used to communicate over tasks and other aspects of projects. The issue with this is that these communications are held in individual inboxes, resulting in inevitable information silos. Additionally, users have to locate specific information buried in long and multilayered threads.

And email is no longer the only way project teams communicate. The emergence of other apps like Microsoft Teams, Yammer, Slack, and Skype for Business mean that your teams are exchanging information across different mediums and this can cause gaps in communication and misinformation which can disrupt your projects. 

Information chaos

Information chaos happens when there is too much information and content and no organized means to keep up with it all. As we know, projects are often made up of hundreds of tasks and sub tasks, most of which require document generation and communication. Add to this the continued growth in enterprise data, and the ability to separate specific pieces of valuable information from the rest is made that much more difficult. The search for information is a major time-killer and source of frustration for a lot of project teams.

It becomes clear, then, that even if you’ve planned your tasks with the best project management tools in the world, this doesn’t fit around how people work. The meticulously planned project seems almost like a distant memory, completely abstract from how people communicate and collaborate.

AI for project management tools

This is where AI can really make a mark in the managing of projects and the tools used to manage them. Artificial intelligence allows project managers to reduce the amount of admin work they must do and instead spend that time more creatively and on tasks of higher value.

By automatically highlighting or selecting data that is relevant and separating it from trivial or insignificant information makes sure project teams don’t have to waste their time sifting through high volumes of data looking for what they need. AI will be able to bring project-related data to them automatically, allowing them to get on the with the task at hand—rather than hunting for information.

With harmon.ie AI is already here

AI is already being used for projects that make use of harmon.ie’s Collage, which is designed to solve the information management and document chaos issues that lead to projects failing.

harmon.ie uses AI to cut through the high volume of information that builds up in projects, by highlighting only the most relevant communication threads and documents workers need to complete their tasks. Bringing together communication and document management tools across projects, like Yammer, Teams and SharePoint into Outlook, will enable your employees to be more productive and give your projects greater chance of success.

harmon.ie aims to bring together project information in a way that fits around how project workers think and behave. By putting the human at the center – and not the technology – we believe AI can help enhance your project management tools and boost your chances of project success. 

You can find out more about harmon.ie Collage and see how it can help your organization’s project management as well as many other processes here. Or get in contact with us here.

 

David Lavenda
Vice President of Product Strategy