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Artificial Intelligence Specialists Share Thoughts on Recent Community-Led AI Survey

In the AI and Project Management report, we had the unique opportunity to examine AI adoption in Sweden for 2022 versus 2023. This opportunity arose as we established a baseline in the original reportto compare AI adoption before and after the revolutionary release of generative AI in 2023. This baseline offers a unique perspective on how the paradigm-changing event may have altered professionals' perception of the role of AI in project management.

A Noticeable Improvement in Perception and Proficiency

Our dual surveys, pre and post the revolutionary release of generative AI, paint a vivid picture of evolving professional perspectives (Nilsson & Santos 2022, Nilsson et al., 2024). We observed a rise in AI proficiency, with advanced knowledge increasing from 4% in 2022 to 7% in 2023, accompanied by a notable shift of basic and beginner level from 47% to 57%; while those reporting no knowledge decreased from 26% to 16% from 2022 to 2023.

The landscape of project management is reshaping as respondents forecast a surge in AI's impact, particularly in skills like innovation and data-driven decision-making, as well as areas like data collection and performance monitoring. Noteworthy shifts include the surge in the importance of an innovative mindset, rising from 42% to 72%, and the increased recognition of the importance of data-driven decisions, up from no ratings of 7 and above in 2022 to 62% in 2023 (Nilsson & Santos 2022, Nilsson et al., 2024). Beyond the individual skills, there is also a seismic change in AI's impact on project management areas, with data collection and performance monitoring taking center stage.

The state of organizational adoption of AI is in stark contrast to this enthusiasm displayed by respondents. Despite heightened awareness among professionals, organizational advances seem restrained. Fewer projects reported to be in production in 2023, coupled with an increase in negatives, echo the global trends of low organizational maturity in AI implementation. More details are availablein the report by Nilsson et al., (2024). 

We invited three distinguished and highly esteemed AI specialists to provide their expert opinions on the survey results and analysis, drawing from their extensive knowledge and experience in artificial intelligence, market developments in AI, and research in academia and organizations.

Their analyses promise context, depth and real-world implications, shedding light on the reasons behind the observed trends.

A Balanced View of AI Transformation

Insights from AI specialists at AI Sweden, Mobile Heights, and Eghed, collectively highlight a transformation in the perception and integration of AI within project management. They affirm a shift from theoretical discussions to tangible implementation, emphasizing the transformative role of AI. 

Despite increased awareness, a recognized gap in actual AI integration exists, attributed to complexity and organizational resistance. Ethical considerations and the call for accelerated integration emerge as common themes. While nuances in their perspectives enrich the discourse, a unified message prevails, emphasizing the imperative for proactive, responsible adoption of AI tools in the evolving technological landscape of project management.

Conny Svensson, Director of AI Adoption
AI Sweden
: With a focus on creating value with AI in Swedish organizations, I’m taking a systematic but curious and explorative approach to adopting AI into existing structures and processes. I’ve been working with emerging technologies for more than 25 years in the intersection of people, business and technology.

Thanks to ChatGPT and the rise of LLMs, we have passed the phase of convincing people of why we should care about AI and into the phase of how we should start using it, and where. A recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report (Candelon et al, 2023) showed how consultants in 18 different tasks were both more effective and delivered higher quality when using ChatGPT as a tool when solving their tasks. 

ChatGPT and other generative AI tools should be in every project manager's toolbox, and you could even argue that you’re not doing your job as good as you could if you’re not using them. As the PMI report shows less PMs have no knowledge of AI, this can be due to many having either tried ChatGPT or other generative AI tools, or at least read about them. It’s pretty hard not to read any AI-related news these days, even in regular public media.

It’s interesting to see how an innovative mindset was rated as having the highest impact. This could show that you’re aware you need to be innovative in the way you perform your work as a PM, but also that more mundane tasks can now be handed off to AI (meaning you need to hone some of your other skills that are not yet replaced by AI). Having said that, AI is a great tool to challenge your creative and innovative work, something that many people don’t know about (and might come as a surprise to them).

It’s good to see that many rate AI ethics high up to make sure we integrate it in a responsible way in the organizations and how it affects customers, partners and employees.

Organizational maturity takes time as it requires bigger changes from leadership, starting with your strategy and culture, and should probably show a greater trend next year. I have not met any leadership team or board that is not discussing how AI is affecting their business and how they need to react to it. What we see now is a big focus on raising the awareness and competence on a broader organizational scale for all employees.

Becoming data driven is a trend that has accelerated with recent advancements, but it’s important for PMs to not focus too much on the data. Even more important are the actual insights delivered from the data and how to act on them, and what questions we need to ask ourselves in our role so that we create insights that are aligned with the project and the work.

Britta Duve Hansen, Senior project manager in tech, innovation and digitalization
Mobile Heights
: Curious problem solver with strong analytical skills. Open data advocate.I am convinced that collaboration and co-creation are fundamental to foster innovation and create a sustainable digital future.

Despite limitations in the underlying data, the survey reflects that project management professionals have significantly revised their projections about the impact of AI on project management over the next three years. This shift mirrors the broader adoption and understanding of AI technologies in general.

Although the comparative survey data on implementation isn’t comparable between the years (due to change of method), a clear trend can nonetheless be observed. In my opinion, lack of skill and strategy as well as non-solved juridical and ethical aspects are causing the slow implementation pace.

Being aware of the future impact, it is important for project managers to take the next step and study and use AI tools in their work. Personally, I make use of generative AI and LLMs daily, and it significantly increases my productivity by solving repetitive tasks and making it possible to digest larger quantities of information in less time. Given the speed of recent developments in AI technologies, I anticipate the introduction of more innovative tools and methods that leverage AI in project management soon.

Fredrik Hofflander, CTO

Bio: I've worked in AI for over 16 years as a developer, leader, and entrepreneur. I aim to help businesses smoothly adopt AI technology. At Eghed, I work towards this, and also share my knowledge about AI and Analytics at conferences worldwide, focusing on helping organizations grow in a sustainable way.

The report, focusing on AI and project management in Sweden, reflects a significant trend in business intelligence. While it shows increased AI awareness among professionals, there is a notable lag in actual AI implementation compared to the rapid pace of technological advancements. This gap is critical for businesses, as AI offers substantial benefits such as enhanced efficiency, improved decision-making, and a competitive edge in the market. 

The slow integration pace can be attributed to the complexity of AI systems, a lack of practical implementation strategies, and organizational resistance to change. Overcoming these challenges is essential for businesses to fully leverage AI's potential. 

As data volume increases, utilizing AI for effective data management becomes not just advantageous, but necessary. Businesses must accelerate AI integration, investing in training and development to embrace this transformative technology. Successfully navigating this transition is key for businesses to thrive in the digital, data-driven landscape.

In Closing

We want to extend our sincere gratitude to our esteemed experts, Conny Svensson, Britta Duve Hansen, and Fredrik Hofflander, for providing invaluable insights that have placed our findings into a meaningful context. 

Their collective perspectives have illuminated the transformative trajectory of AI in project management, emphasizing a vital shift from theoretical discussions to practical implementation. As we navigate this evolving landscape, their analyses underscore the urgent need for responsible and accelerated integration of AI tools, recognizing the transformative potential while addressing challenges.




By: Marly Nilsson, PMP