Project managers believe AI will reduce stress in workplace

Project managers feel that advancements in tech have led to unrealistic expectations from stakeholders who do not understand its capabilities.

Nearly half (46%) of project managers feel that artificial intelligence (AI) will help to reduce stress in the workplace.

A survey from the Ireland Chapter of Project Management Institute (PMI) of 122 project managers was carried out ahead of its annual conference, the Work Smart Summit 2024, in association with EY, which takes place on 23 April next.

“Emerging technologies like AI can streamline projects and boost success”

While many project managers believe AI will help to reduce stress in the workplace, 72% feel that advancements in technology have led to unrealistic expectations from stakeholders who do not understand its capabilities.

Project completion success and failure

70% say AI would have a permanent transformative effect on the industry, and 74% say it is driving innovation.

Three-quarters (75%) agree that AI has already had a significant positive impact on the profession, with 41% saying that the technology is improving project completion rates and delivery times.

“Project management can of course be a high-pressure profession, but it is clear that – as well as adequate training and effective ways of working – emerging technologies like AI can streamline projects and boost success,” said Peter Glynne, Ireland Chapter of PMI president.

In terms of project completion, the survey found that the average cost of failed projects in the last 12 months was €710,896.23, and only 11% of project managers’ ten most recent projects met all project success metrics of schedule, cost, project benefits and resources.

On the topic of resources, constraints in this area were cited as the top cause of stress by 52% of project managers. The other leading causes of stress were competing priorities (50%), and frequent scope changes (45%).

However, the survey did find that nearly two thirds (63%) of respondents feel their workplace has open channels of communication to discuss mental health issues such as stress, burnout, and fatigue.

EY Ireland Business Transformation partner Jennifer Ryan said that the opportunities of AI for project managers need to be explored.

“Project managers are at the heart of transformational change, and harnessing systems, technologies and strategies that simplify complex endeavours and enable people and organisations work smarter, comes naturally to them.

“Artificial intelligence, in particular Generative AI, offers project managers the opportunity to further embed innovation and efficiency into their projects, automating routine or process driven tasks and enabling people to focus on higher value tasks and most crucially, enabling more human interactions.”

Main image at top: Ciarán Hickey, Data Analytics AI Labs Lead EY Ireland; Peter Glynne, PMI Ireland Chapter President; and Jennifer Ryan, Business Transformation Partner, EY Ireland

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