How ChatGPT can help in project management
More efficient project work and higher chances of success thanks to AI
Everyone is talking about the artificial intelligence ChatGPT right now. There are reports in almost every media outlet about what AI can do and whether it can even replace employees in the future. We have tested how ChatGPT can help in project management and whether jobs in project management are actually endangered by it.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is an artificial intelligence-based speech generator developed by OpenAI. The AI uses deep learning to understand and generate natural language. ChatGPT can be used to automatically write texts, answer questions and even perform processes that are normally done by humans.
What impact does ChatGPT have on project management?
Let’s first ask the AI itself what impact it thinks it has on project management:
ChatGPT has several impacts on project management:
- Automation of tasks: ChatGPT can automate project management tasks such as creating project plans, monitoring progress and budget, and creating documentation.
- Increasing efficiency: By automating tasks, ChatGPT can help to execute processes faster and more accurately and manage resources more effectively.
- Minimising risk: ChatGPT can help project managers identify risks early and propose solutions, which helps minimise project risk.
- Support communication and collaboration: ChatGPT can help project teams develop communication plans and share project data.
- Increase transparency: By automating reporting and documentation, ChatGPT can help make the project more transparent for all stakeholders.
How can ChatGPT help in project management?
Of course, we also want to know exactly how artificial intelligence can help, and we want to test it right away. ChatGPT explains:
I can help with project management in different ways, depending on the specific requirements and goals of the project. Some examples can be:
- Creating project plans: I can be used to create project plans by automatically generating tasks, schedules and dependencies.
- Creation of project status reports: I can be used to automatically generate project status reports by analysing data from project management tools and converting them into readable reports.
- Meeting support: I can be used to automatically generate minutes of project meetings by transcribing the spoken words and converting them into written notes.
- Creating training materials: I can be used to automatically create training materials for project teams by extracting relevant information from project documents and data and converting it into easily understandable materials.
However, it is important to note that I am an automated tool and therefore will not always be able to fully meet the complex needs and requirements of project management. It is therefore important to use me as a support and not as a substitute for human decision-making and judgement.
Support for the creation of documents
ChatGPT can thus be used to automatically create project status reports, for example, by analysing data from project management tools and converting them into readable reports. Asked more closely, the artificial intelligence explains that several steps are taken to do this:
- Collecting project data: I can be used to collect relevant project data such as task progress, resource usage and budget from various sources such as project management tools, emails and other documents.
- Analysis of project data: I can analyse the collected project data to identify important trends, challenges and successes in the project.
- Generating project status reports: By converting the analysed data into a readable form such as tables or charts and summarising the key findings, I can automatically generate project status reports.
- Customise and review: As I am an automated tool, it is important that generated project status reports are reviewed and adjusted by a project manager or an experienced team member to ensure that they meet the requirements and objectives of the project and are up-to-date.
Support for the creation of project plans
Since ChatGPT states that it can also be used to create project plans, we ask more specifically about this as well and get the answer that it can automatically generate tasks, schedules and dependencies. The AI states that it can do the following tasks:
- Collect project data: I can be used to automatically collect relevant project data such as goals, requirements, resources and budget from various sources such as project documents, emails and other tools.
- Analysing project data: Based on this data, I identify the most important tasks, dependencies and schedules.
- Generating project plans: I automatically generate project plans by converting the analysed data into a suitable form such as Gantt charts or tables.
- Customise and review: As I am an automated tool, it is important that generated project plans are reviewed and adjusted by a project manager or an experienced team member to ensure that they meet the requirements and objectives of the project. As I am an automated tool, it is important that generated project plans are reviewed and adjusted by a project manager or an experienced team member to ensure that they meet the requirements and objectives of the project.
Since the AI claims to be able to create Gantt charts, we now ask for more details and ask to create a Gantt chart for a sample project. Unfortunately, ChatGPT has to disappoint us here:
I apologise, but I am a text-only generator and have no way to create a Gantt chart. But I can help you to create a table that contains the necessary information for a Gantt chart, such as the tasks, the schedule, the dependencies and the responsible persons. As I am an automated tool, it is important that generated project plans are reviewed and adjusted by a project manager or an experienced team member to ensure that they meet the requirements and objectives of the project. As I am an automated tool, it is important that generated project plans are reviewed and adjusted by a project manager or an experienced team member to ensure that they meet the requirements and objectives of the project.
The artificial intelligence additionally explains to us that the Gantt chart can be created with a special tool or software that supports Gantt charts, and the table it creates can be imported there or entered manually. Furthermore, it immediately suggests some tools that can be used for this purpose.
We ask for such a table and it actually works very well:
|Task||Start date||End date||Duration||Dependencies||Responsible|
|Creation of a project order||01.01.2022||02.01.2022||2 days||Project Manager|
|Compilation of the project team||03.01.2022||04.01.2022||2 days||Project Manager|
|Creation of a work breakdown structure||05.01.2022||08.01.2022||4 days||Project Manager|
|Preparation of a specification||09.01.2022||12.01.2022||4 days||Project Manager|
|Preparation of time and cost planning||13.01.2022||16.01.2022||4 days||Project Manager|
|Creation of a risk management||17.01.2022||22.01.2022||6 days||Project Manager|
|Implementation of project work||23.01.2022||28.02.2022||35 days||Project team members|
|Carrying out acceptance tests||01.03.2022||06.03.2022||6 days||Project team members|
|Preparation of documentation||01.03.2022||06.03.2022||6 days||Project team members|
|Acceptance of the project||08.03.2022||12.03.2022||5 days||Project Manager|
|Preparation of final report||13.03.2022||14.03.2022||2 days||Project Manager|
|Archiving of project documents||15.03.2022||15.03.2022||1 day||Project Manager|
In fact, the AI cannot create Gantt charts, but it can provide a good basis for them, which can be imported into project management software. In this way, it does not replace the project manager or the corresponding software, but it does provide support in gathering the necessary information and designing a project plan.
The strengths of ChatGPT
We continue to test and find that the AI proves its strengths especially in summarising information and in research work. Used in this way, artificial intelligence can help project managers and team members to write project reports, create presentations or compile information on a specific topic. For example, you can get a quick overview of different project methods or ask specific questions about possible approaches or problems. The AI can, for example, answer in which order you should approach tasks, how you can optimise the use of your resources, or give you a suggestion on how to solve a problem that arises.
The limitations of ChatGPT
Despite the strengths of artificial intelligence, it should be used with care and consideration, because it also has its limitations:
- Dependence on the quality of the training data: ChatGPT is only as good as the data on which the AI has been trained. If the training data is not representative or incomplete, ChatGPT may have errors or shortcomings.
- Difficulty dealing with complex problems: ChatGPT may have difficulty understanding and solving complex problems or deviations from standard processes.
- Inability to empathise: The AI cannot understand and take into account team members’ emotions or needs, which may lead to misunderstandings or conflicts.
- Lack of decision-making ability: ChatGPT can only make decisions based on the data available to it and its training. This prevents the AI from making autonomous and flexible decisions.
- Security risks: If ChatGPT has access to sensitive data and project information, there is always a risk of data leaks or cyber attacks.
ChatGPT as a replacement for employees?
We noticed that the AI itself always emphasises that it is only meant to provide support and that it is not a substitute for human decision-making or judgement. It also always points out that project leaders and team members should check and adapt the texts, plans and tables produced by the AI to ensure that they also meet all the requirements of the project in question.
We asked the AI whether it believes it can replace project management staff in the future and received this answer:
I can automate and facilitate certain tasks in project management, such as creating project plans, monitoring progress and budget, and creating documentation. Furthermore, I can also help project managers manage resources more effectively and identify risks at an early stage.
However, it is unlikely that I will be able to completely replace project management staff in the near future. Project management requires not only the execution of tasks, but also the ability to make decisions, solve problems, communicate and lead people. I can automate certain tasks, but I cannot replace the social and emotional skills of people. Therefore, I am a tool that supports project managers but does not replace them.
In addition, our test shows that although AI can produce very good texts, they occasionally have errors or are based on data that is not entirely correct. Furthermore, the AI only has knowledge up to the year 2021. Thich means it has no information about more recent developments in project management. At this point in time, an artificial intelligence like ChatGPT cannot replace the experience of a good project manager. Let’s stay tuned for further developments!
ChatGPT can be a useful tool for project managers as it can help them to do certain project management tasks automatically and manage resources more effectively. AI can create project plans, monitor progress, identify risks, create documentation or provide answers to specific questions.
However, it is important to note that ChatGPT is not a substitute for experienced project managers and that the AI also has its limitations, such as difficulties in dealing with complex problems or the missing ability to empathise. ChatGPT should therefore be used as a support and not as a replacement for human decisions and interactions.
We recommend you to simply try out how artificial intelligence can support you in your projects. Especially in combination with project management software such as myPARM, AI can help you manage your projects more efficiently and precisely.
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