What Project Manager should Learn from Robots

With the rapid progress in AI, robotics and automation technologies, most jibs are being replaced by automated systems and robots. Be it a white collar job or a blue collar one, both are affected by the rise in automated technologies and machine learning. Growth in machine learning capabilities has allowed machines to become more independent by allowing them to react to real-time changes without being pre-programmed for such tasks. Also it doesn’t take long for them to analyze extremely large data sets and generate accurate reports. This has resulted in the disruption of current industrial practices.

Even the role of project managers is not safe from being replaced by AI robots. Projects managers, in this current climate need to go beyond traditional methods of working and processes to ensure that they don’t get replaced by robots and AI. Hence, project managers must ask themselves, what can they learn from these developments in current technology and what practices must be adopted to maintain relevancy. Mentioned below are 3 key learning that every project manager must cultivate in order to not only survive but also thrive in their jobs.

3 things every project manager should learn

  • Cultivate holistic thinking
    Having short-sighted thinking can be extremely detrimental to the role of project managers. AI’s and robots, as mentioned above now have the capability to adapt to changing circumstances and conditions. The human tendency to overanalyze by breaking down problems into smaller chunks is no longer a viable line of thinking. Consider the following case- when faced with a problem, most project managers rely on experience or on already existing sets of tools and solutions. Thinking outside the box is not an everyday practice for project managers. Project managers today, need to acquire a higher more holistic level of thinking. Just as AI analyzes patterns across data sets, project managers need to detach themselves from every tiny little detail or data and focus on the big picture to identify overall trends.


  • Influencing stakeholders
     Projects involve teams of humans that need to be mobilized across various levels. Every stakeholder must be kept informed about the status and latest developments of the ongoing project. AI’s achieve this by collecting real-time data and sending automated alert messages to the various stake holders. However, problem arises when AI tries to communicate this to the average stakeholder. Humans are different from robots and hence have different communication needs. Project managers need to connect with such stakeholders on an emotional level and get them as involved as possible. This requires learning to use intuition and motivation in order to take a collective action towards a common goal. Some key skills to cultivate here are:

    • Leadership
    • Diplomacy
    • Negotiation
    • Emotional Intelligence
    • Public speaking


  • Adapting quickly to changing circumstances- AI is perfect for generating predictive models based on past data. However, in completely new situations for which there is little to no historical data, AI is not effective at predictions. This is where project managers can take the initiative. By adopting agile project management methodologies, they must go beyond their routine work and inquire into the various ways by which the processes can be improved. Just as AI takes input from historical records, project managers must learn from the various practices in the industry and make a database of the best practices. 
2018-04-27T10:05:44+00:0027.4.2018|Tags: , , |
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