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Enhance Project Efficiency with the Best AI Tools

Enhance Project Efficiency with the Best AI Tools

Alyssa Towns
Writer
July 8, 2024
Updated on:

Enhance Project Efficiency with the Best AI Tools
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In their Pulse of the Profession 2024 report, the Project Management Institute (PMI) wrote:

“In today’s evolving world, project professionals need the right skills and support to continually adapt to new ways of working. They need the technical skills to use AI to manage projects more effectively, the power skills to lead virtual teams through complex projects and the business acumen to deliver results that align with organizational goals.” 

We agree that project managers need the skills to use artificial intelligence (AI) to manage projects more efficiently so they can focus on delivering impactful results. 

In this post, we’ll cover some of the key benefits of using AI for project management, pitfalls to watch out for, and some of our favorite tools to simplify the project life cycle. 

Benefits of AI for project management

According to the Project Management Institute’s online community (projectmanagement.com), artificial intelligence can significantly enhance project management across various facets of the project lifecycle. From smaller organizational tasks to ensuring projects deliver on time and within budget, AI can help. Below are some primary benefits of using AI tools to support project management. 

Automate meeting and task scheduling

AI-powered project management and productivity tools can help official and unofficial project managers automatically schedule meetings and tasks and reschedule them based on changing timelines and needs. By leveraging these tools to handle the repetitive nature of schedule coordination and task assignment, project managers will create more space in their day to focus on more strategic aspects of their work. 

Improve productivity and team collaboration 

Searching through endless emails, files, folders, sticky notes, and other random pieces of information makes it challenging for team members to stay on task and get the information they need from others to collaborate effectively. AI project management tools can help teams reduce the time spent reviewing information and tracking down the knowledge they need to do their work. (Read more about how Asana can summarize a project so you don’t have to spend time going through all of the details in a later section, for example.) 

Optimize resource allocation

AI algorithms enable quickly optimizing resource allocation by analyzing and reviewing data like timelines, calendars, availability, and team capabilities. Optimal resource allocation helps teams maximize their resources (while ensuring fairness and consistency across your team) and minimize duplicative efforts. 

Draft more transparent communications while saving time

Generative AI tools can help draft content, from project briefs to complete plans, emails to the project team, and status update reporting templates. These tools enable project team members to keep each other and stakeholders informed while saving time. 

Pitfalls to watch for in AI tools

On an episode of the Projectified® podcast by PMI (Tips for Using Generative AI Tools in Project Management), Higor Prado, PMP, said: 

“But no matter how advanced these tools become, they are just that—tools. They are here to assist us, not replace us. The human judgment and experience, it will always be at the heart of project management.”

Prado is right—AI tools, while helpful, aren’t perfect. Here are the pitfalls to watch for when using AI-driven apps to support project management efforts.

Data errors and misinformation 

AI tools rely on the information we provide them, which means incomplete or inaccurate information can lead to further data errors and misinformation. For example, if you have six months to complete a project and ask an AI tool to help you create a project timeline for seven months by mistake, the output it gives you will be past your actual deadline. If you don’t catch this mistake, you could lead the project team astray and unintentionally follow an incorrect timeline. (This is a simple example, but the point is data errors can and do happen and cause further issues!)

Lack of human touch

Project managers are the glue of project teams, and the best ones possess many soft skills (communication, relationship building, problem-solving, leadership, motivation, and adaptability, to name a few) that AI can’t replicate. An over-reliance on these tools can lead to a lack of personal touch and create gaps in areas where project managers are made to shine. It’s essential to balance using AI tools to streamline project management and manage the human elements and relationships that make project work successful. 

Privacy concerns and risks

Project managers must be careful when applying AI algorithms to an organization’s project-related data, especially when handling personal information. According to Paul Boudreau for projectmanagement.com, there are many ethical issues project managers should consider, including the need for informed consent, bias in the data, poor interpretation, and untraceable algorithms. 

Best AI tools for project management

There are many AI tools for project management, ranging from actual project management software to calendar assistants and content generators to collaborative apps. The best AI project management tools for you will vary based on your needs; however, here are a few tools we recommend to help you get started, listed alphabetically by name. 

Asana (for AI-powered project tracking)

Whether you’re an experienced project manager or a junior-level one, you might already be familiar with the magic of project management software tools. When it comes to AI-infused project management, Asana takes the cake.
Not only is Asana a robust and customizable project management tool that helps you track project data and deadlines from start to finish, but the Asana team is also rolling out AI capabilities that will make your job as a, dare we say it, professional cat herder even easier. 

Some of Asana’s impressive AI features include the following:

  • Smart status: AI-drafted project status updates that can help you identify roadblocks and blind spots throughout the project 
  • Smart answers: The ability to ask AI questions about your project and receive quick answers and insights about your work to help you solve problems and determine the best way forward
  • Smart digests: A quick and easy way to jump into a project and catch up to speed. The AI-powered digest summarizes recent activities (discussions, decisions, and completed tasks) in one place, so you don’t have to scour through email threads, Slack messages, and other random notes

There’s so much more! Check out Asana’s article, which provides an overview of its AI features and how to use them. 

Pricing

Asana AI features are available with paid packages ranging from $10.99 per user per month billed annually to enterprise pricing, which is available upon request. (Prices listed here are current as of May 2024. Check out the pricing page for current information.) 

Clockwise (for AI scheduling) 

When I think about those who experience the most scheduling woes regularly, two roles come to mind, one of them being a project manager (the other being an executive assistant). Fortunately, Clockwise can take the hassle out of meeting coordination so project managers can focus on keeping deliverables on track and within budget instead. 

Clockwise is AI scheduling and calendar automation that coordinates the way you, your team, and your company prefer to work. It can help you protect valuable project time (we call it Focus Time), quickly schedule internal meetings across time zones (while safeguarding everyone’s time and preferences), and make external scheduling seamless and pain-free with scheduling links. 

Project managers will love our new conversational AI calendar experience, which allows you to ask Clockwise to quickly schedule meetings with the necessary stakeholders (aka your project team) in a flash. You’ll be able to schedule the impossible and keep your project moving without hassle. 

AI Scheduling Assistant
Schedule the impossible with Clockwise's AI Scheduler

Pricing

Try Clockwise for free today. Teams pricing starts at $6.75 per user per month, billed annually as of May 2024. Reach out for more information about our enterprise pricing for your organization. 

Grammarly (for AI-driven content)

While tools like Asana have some generative AI content creation capabilities built in, you might benefit from content assistance outside of those tools for your email drafts, report documents, and other critical project information that ends up outside of your project management software. That’s where Grammarly comes into play. 

Grammarly is an AI writing partner that works across apps and sites like Slack, Gmail, Microsoft Office, and many more. Check your grammar, spelling, and punctuation so you can confidently communicate. Take advantage of the new AI features that can offer AI-powered suggestions in your voice, provide new versions of your draft to help you get your point across, and create outlines for your project meetings. 

AI content creation for project managers
Generate project progress reports and clear, well-written communications with Grammarly

Pricing

Premium plans start at $12 monthly, billed annually, as of writing. Business and Enterprise plan pricing and additional features for larger teams are also available. See Grammarly’s pricing options for more information. 

Loom (for AI-enhanced async collaboration)

Do you ever have one of those moments when you have essential project data to share but don’t want or have time to call a meeting (this is a status update; there is no need for discussion)? It happens all the time in projects: direction changes, a new piece of information impacts other deliverables, a team member leaves suddenly, and there are gaps the project team needs to fill—you get the drift. 

Tools like Loom, an AI-powered video messaging tool, help you share information asynchronously so your teammates and key stakeholders can review it at a time that works well for them. This is a fantastic way to share updates without doing the meeting schedule runaround (but remember, if you need to do that, Clockwise can help). 

With Loom, you can record a video. AI magically refines your video with features like summaries and chapters, removes filler words and moments of silence, and automatically generates written documents to help you improve your workflows. If, for example, you need to quickly implement a new process for obtaining task updates in Asana, you can record a video explaining how to do that. Loom AI will generate a step-by-step process document you can share with your video. 

Pricing

Loom AI add-on pricing is $4/creator/month (annually) or $5/creator/month (billed monthly) at the time of writing. Review Loom’s pricing information for the most up-to-date plan options. 

Successful project completions are on the way

AI project management tools automate mundane tasks, make it easier for project teams to track their progress, and enhance collaboration. While these tools boast many benefits for project managers, it’s important to be aware of their pitfalls, which include misinformation, a lack of human touch or voice, and privacy concerns. Asana, Clockwise, Grammarly, and Loom are AI-powered tools project managers should explore today. 

About the author

Alyssa Towns

Alyssa Towns has written productivity and time management content for Clockwise for several years. Early in her career, she dove into time management strategies to effectively manage her workday calendar and 10+ C-Suite officers' calendars across various organizations. She uses her training in change management to write time management, the future of work, and career content that helps people change their behaviors and habits. In addition, she writes about artificial intelligence (AI) and other technology for G2's Learn Hub. When she isn't writing, Alyssa enjoys trying new restaurants with her husband, playing with her Bengal cats, adventuring outdoors, or reading a book from her TBR list.

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