For the execution of any project, organizations require resources such as people, material, equipment, time, knowledge and skill. But these come at a cost and so no firm has unlimited access to a range of resources. For maximizing profits, it is therefore important to share the available resources judiciously among projects such that all project deadlines are met while quality output is generated. That is why resource management is a critical aspect of any project, especially for efficient financial operations.
For optimal utilization of resources, a resource plan is prepared taking into account the resource requirement of each project and project schedules. If there are changes in the project timelines or scope, the plan will have to be fine-tuned accordingly. It is such a vital task for any company that a project manager will have to see to it that it is regularly updated. Manually changing and monitoring resource plans become difficult especially as a firm expands and the number of projects and resources under it also increases proportionally. It is in such a situation that Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes to our rescue.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Resource Management
AI is the intelligence displayed by machines or computers in performing tasks which normally require human intelligence. It can do repetitive tasks at a much faster pace than a human being and can also crunch a large amount of metadata give valuable analytical recommendations. In the field of resource management AI contributes in these ways.
- Cost Management – Accurate estimation of cost is critical for the budgeting, planning and tracking of a project. Depending on the type of project, different mathematical models can be used for cost estimation. AI can use any of these models and derive insights from past data to arrive at an accurate forecast of project cost. It can also track the project cost in real time by means of MIS dashboards.
- Time Management – AI can analyze past projects and resources to produce an optimal project schedule. If there is a change in project scope or if the resource plan is changed, AI can immediately provide a revised schedule at as well.
- Risk Management – AI enhances risk management capabilities of a project manager by understanding the risk factors and thresholds of a specific project. It supports simulation of risk factors and employs fuzzy logic to assess risk in infrastructure projects. AI can predict obstacles by means of real time analysis of data.
- Human capital management – AI can recommend the best suited employees for a project by matching project requirements with the skill sets of the employees registered in the database. If there are no suitable resources available, it can recommend the training that the employees need or in some cases, scan external databases and provide a list of suitable candidates who can be hired for the project.
With the application of AI in various day to day tasks of project management, project managers now have extra time to focus on other items which are critical for the success of transformation projects such as ensuring quality of deliverables, communication to stakeholders and change management.