Thursday, May 23, 2024

Boosting Value Performance Per Day (VPD) with AI

In project management, timely and effective decisions are critical to success. However, the traditional approach is filled with time-consuming tasks that prevent project managers from focusing on what truly matters—creating value. This is where the concept of Value Performance per Day (VPD) comes into play. VPD measures the amount of value a project manager can deliver in a day, directly impacting the project's success.

Typically, a project manager spends too much time on manual tasks to understand what happened in the previous week. This includes compiling status reports from team members, attending numerous status meetings, updating project plans, and manually entering data into various systems. After gathering all the necessary information, the project manager must then analyze it to identify variances and deviations from the plan. Only then can they begin to make informed decisions on how to realign the project and mitigate risks. As Albert Einstein once said, "The only source of knowledge is experience." In this context, the experience comes from meticulously sifting through data, a process that can consume 75-85% of a typical work week.

The true value of project management lies in the ability to identify issues, anticipate risks, and implement corrective actions swiftly. However, with most of the project manager's time spent gathering and reporting data, only a few hours are left for making meaningful decisions. This imbalance delays critical decisions and limits the project manager's ability to add value proactively. Winston Churchill aptly noted, "To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often." The current state of project management demands a change that allows project managers to spend more time on decision-making and less on administrative tasks.

This is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) can significantly enhance VPD. By automating routine tasks such as data collection, report generation, and status updates, AI frees up a substantial amount of the project manager's time. For example, AI can integrate data from multiple systems like Jira, time-tracking tools, and project management software, providing a real-time, unified view of the project's status. This automation can reduce the time spent on status and reporting tasks to just 15-25% of the week, allowing project managers to devote 75-85% of their time to anticipating issues, mitigating risks, and creating value for the project.

Consider the story of Sarah, a project manager at a large tech firm. Before implementing AI, Sarah spent 65% of her week gathering data from Jira, updating her project plans in Microsoft Project, and preparing detailed status reports for her team and stakeholders. This left her with only 35% of her time to make critical decisions. After integrating an AI solution, Sarah's project management tools were seamlessly connected, and she received real-time updates. The AI analyzed project data, flagged potential risks, and even suggested corrective actions. With these tasks automated, Sarah now spends only 15% of her week on administrative duties. This allows her to dedicate 85% of her time to strategic decision-making, greatly increasing her VPD. As a result, Sarah identified and mitigated a significant risk early in the project, preventing a major delay and saving her company substantial resources.

Another example is John, a project manager in the healthcare industry. John used to spend 50% of every week manually tracking project progress and consolidating data from different departments, such as patient care, IT, and logistics. This left him with limited time to focus on high-value activities. After implementing AI, John's project management system automatically pulled data from various sources, provided real-time progress updates, and generated comprehensive reports. With these tasks automated, John now spends just 15% of his week on data gathering and reporting. The remaining 85% is spent optimizing patient care processes and improving resource allocation. This increased VPD resulted in faster project delivery and better patient outcomes.

To calculate VPD, consider the total value-added activities completed by the project manager in a day. This can be quantified by evaluating the impact of decisions made, issues resolved, and improvements implemented. For instance, if a project manager resolves three critical issues, makes two strategic decisions, and implements one process improvement in a day, each with a quantifiable value, these can be summed up to measure the total value delivered per day. By tracking this metric over time, organizations can gauge the effectiveness of their project managers and the impact of AI in enhancing their performance.

In conclusion, AI has the potential to revolutionize project management by maximizing VPD. By automating the time-consuming tasks of data gathering and reporting, AI allows project managers to focus on strategic decision-making. This shift not only improves project outcomes but also enables project managers to add greater value through proactive risk management and issue resolution. As we embrace this technology, we move closer to achieving the perfect balance in project management, where value is delivered swiftly and effectively.