AI and machine learning technologies are transforming the way organizations streamline their business processes and operations. Across industries, companies are realizing the benefits of AI technology like data-driven outcomes, automated processes, and faster implementation. A recent TechRepublic survey found that 90% of organizations are currently working on AI projects. However, only one in three AI projects is proving to be successful. To leverage maximum benefits, project managers must plan their strategy before executing their AI project. Here are 10 things for project managers to consider before starting their next AI project.
High-quality data is the most important resource for the successful implementation of your AI project. Data is integral to making your AI model effective for your business case.
Ensure that in your AI project planning, you set aside sufficient time and resources to obtain good-quality data.
Before choosing AI technology for your next project, you must ensure that AI is the plausible solution for your business problem. With the help of a qualified AI consulting partner, you can determine if your AI project is a feasible solution to a specific business challenge.
What should be the expected outcome of a successful AI project? Without clearly defined expectations, it is difficult for project managers to quantify the output of their AI projects.
To deal with this situation, always treat the first version of your AI implementation as as base case to judge if the quality of the solution is good enough to solve the initial problem. If the initial accuracy is much lower than the human average, then that means you have issues with the quantity or quality of data, or the methodology you are using for your classification scheme needs to be adjusted to what can be expressed in the data.
Once you establish a base case, and identify what solutions are viable given the initial accuracy numbers, use the later versions and iterations to improve its business value and ROI.
Many project managers and companies implement AI projects without a clear understanding of the business problem or objective they are trying to address. The overall "hype" about AI technology makes it seem that it can address every type of problem. In reality, it does not work that way.
Define the business problem – and find out if it is too complex to be solved by any AI-based solution.
Based on their previous experience and learning, stakeholders including project managers, team leads, and developers have a different understanding of AI technology.
An AI solution is typically limited by the data available for training and the expertise to make solutions work with the data that you have. Often there is no code or available data to recreate the latest research. Because of this AI is not a solution that you buy and forget, it is a process and takes constant inputs and stakeholders need to reset their expectations from other software solutions.
Before implementing any AI project, develop a consistent approach towards implementing the AI solution.
Despite its numerous benefits, AI projects are just like any other IT and development projects, and typically have a project deadline and budget. Based on your allocated resources, define the overall scope of your AI project – or what you plan to achieve. Map out a timeline for gathering and cleaning the data to power the project and identify data needs that could hold up a project and who will be responsible for delivering such data.
Evaluate the scope of your project for its costs, available resources, and return on investment.
Before selecting the right AI algorithm, project teams must select, clean and filter training data to match the task at hand. By preparing and gathering the right data sets for model training, project engineers can accelerate future AI development and experiments. For proper training, project management teams require skilled experts who are proficient in Data Science to understand what is significant in the data and results, and programming languages like Python, but understanding how to use Java does help with building some client side applications that can run on an individual machine.
Be it for supervised or unsupervised learning, project managers must choose the right AI algorithm for their projects. The important consideration is that depending on the project requirements, there are different types of AI algorithms for each task including for classification tasks, entity recognition, recommendation, generative text, generative visual content, clustering, anomaly detection, and random forest to choose from.
Like any software solution, an AI-based solution must also fulfill all security-related requirements. As a project manager, you must take appropriate measures to protect any AI system from potential attackers. Additionally, make sure you comply with data security regulations when working on an AI development project.
No AI-based software is a “one-size-fits-all” type of solution, mostly because the data you are working with and solutions that are unique to your business and industry require niche data or personalized-to-your-company data. Solutions need to be customized according to unique business requirements. If your organization is working with a technology partner, check if they can deliver customized AI solutions and how their models can be tuned to your data..
In addition to customization, build your AI product to easily integrate with third-party systems your organization uses.
Just like other technologies, AI is not a “silver bullet” that can solve business problems on its own.Project managers must approach an AI differently than other IT projects by starting with what the data shows with your base case solution. Among other considerations, project management teams must clearly define the business problem that they are trying to address using AI technology.