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In the realm of social media, discussions about artificial intelligence (AI) often draw comments about its feasibility and accuracy, or strike fear surrounding the possibility of it taking our jobs. But, the truth is that AI has arrived and is quickly becoming the next significant wave of technological change. A recent Microsoft Partner Copilot training I attended summed it up as being the latest major transformation, starting with the move to the cloud, then digital transformation, and now finally AI transformation.

This transition isn’t just an add-on tool; it represents a comprehensive transformation. If you are in the IT or business project space, you’ll soon find yourself embarking on this journey. So, how will you be affected and what can you do to prepare?

  1. As AI tools evolve, you may need to adapt to technologies that you are not used to. For example, are you making the most of Microsoft Compass and Open AI?
  2. You may find yourself overseeing projects that involve AI implementation or solutions incorporating AI components. AI isn’t just a bolt on tool, but it changes the nature of how tools work and how we transform our organisation.
  3. Your typical project teams may begin to incorporate AI into their tasks, and understanding why they are doing this can become a challenge.

Here are some practical steps you can take right now to prepare yourself for this AI-driven future:

  • Leverage available tools: Take advantage of what is out there. Depending on where you are based, Microsoft Window Copilot or Microsoft 365 Copilot may already be available. This is a personal AI wizard in Windows and Office that harnesses the power of language and generative AI to help you articulate your needs and execute them. For example, in Excel, you can ask it to generate a cost report from financial data, categorized by open and capex, and segmented by month, while also working out the variances. You can learn more about it here.
  • Embrace generative AI: Learn how to use ChatGPT and generative AI. Instead of treating it as a search engine, you can take a course on generative AI for project managers, provided by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Access the course here.
  • Responsible AI principles: Understand the principles of responsible AI, as they serve a moral compass for your projects. You can explore Microsoft’s guidelines here, while Google and other companies offer similar principles. These guidelines will help you navigate the integration of AI into your project deliveries.

AI is already an integral part of the project management landscape, so while it is still in the early states, preparation is key. The above steps offer a practical roadmap for readying yourself for the transformation ahead.