Practical AI for PMs | 04.25.24

Hi, there.

Ed here.

Complex vs. Complicated.

I was listening to an excellent podcast (You Made it Weird w/ Pete Holmes; Thanks for the recommendation, Adam R.) on a flight last week.

Comedian Jimmy Carr was the guest, and very near the end of the episode, Pete asked Jimmy what he thought about AI and how it would affect how we work.

Jimmy’s answer made me pause the episode and think deeply about how I believe AI fits into our work as project managers.

Here’s what Jimmy said:

“Intelligence isn’t that impressive. Consciousness is very impressive.

Because there are complex problems, and there are complicated problems. It’s complicated to put a man on the moon. Give me complicated all day. It’s just the next step. It’s the left brain; it’s lots and lots of things in a row. No matter how many things in a row, we know what comes next.

Complex is impossible to know. To know [if] is there a God, what happens after we die, which sports team will win, is complex, not complicated.

AI is very good at the complicated .

And I think [AI] will simplify our lives.”

Jimmy Carr, Comedian

What he said solidified for me what we’ve been talking about in this community.

AI will most certainly take up the heavy lifting in our day to day — completing complicated, mundane tasks (and aiding with some interesting ones , for sure) without complaining or tiring.

But when it comes to the skills that a successful, fulfilled project manager excels at, like empathy, reasoning, creativity, and relationship building, AI isn’t even close to competing with humans.

And I would bet a good portion of my salary that AI won’t for a very long time—maybe ever.

That’s why I’m focusing my efforts on using AI to fill in the gaps between traditional workflow automation and preparing information for the complex tasks humans do so well.

I believe the real gains will happen if we think of AI as a helper and not a technology that will replace project managers.

Value Added Resources: A reader sent me this over the weekend. It’s a fascinating list from Google Cloud Next ‘24 of how 101 influential companies are using AI in their businesses.

Many of you will remember when I first shared my AI Eisenhower Framework a few weeks back. After all the positive feedback I received, I expanded on it, and you can get a copy here.

A friend of mine, Andrea W., shared on LinkedIn a presentation she gave on Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and its importance for project managers. It is most excellent. You should read it.

This Week’s AI Use Case: Keeping all my instantaneous thoughts in order is challenging with multiple concurrent projects.

I recently found an app called Oasis that records voice notes, compiles them, and then can output them in a number of useful formats ready for the next steps. It even has an Apple Watch app!

Name:

Oasis AI

Pain Point:

Spending time compiling scattered notes taken on the fly.

Solution:

When an idea or note comes to mind, record a voice memo. Then, AI compiles and organizes the information, ready for action!

Tools:

Oasis AI

Prompt Tips:

That’s the great thing, just talk.

Main Hurdles:

1) It is a paid app.

2) As with any new tool, creating the habit of ACTUALLY using it consistently enough to be effective.

OK. That’s all. Talk to you next week.

-Ed

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AI Disclosures: The content of this email was written entirely by me, Ed, a human. This email contains NO AI-generated content.

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