Project Manager Perspective: Automation And AI Empowering Utilities

Project Manager Perspective: Automation And AI Empowering Utilities

In our Project Manager Perspective series, we share insights from our team of project managers on trends they're witnessing in the utilities/analytics space.

Amir Khalid, HEXstream project manager  (PMP, PMI-ACP)

Having worked as a project manager in the analytics space, and currently working with four clients on a diverse collection of projects, I am attuned to trends in our space. One such trend is the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence and automation among utilities. For example, led by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the industry’s premier research organization, a broad swath of utilities has been investigating the use of drones and AI to improve the inspection of transmission and distribution assets. This trend will only continue to grow as early wins prompt scaled efforts and the understanding of these approaches mainstreams.  

Automation and AI boost the capabilities, speed and effectiveness of project management and, thus, of projects as a whole. The use of AI for automating tasks, for resource allocation, predictive analysis and modeling can make life easier for a project manager and, thus, the clients with whom he works. 

Smarter management always leads to smarter outcomes. 

I am also recognizing the trend of greater appreciation and understanding of emotional intelligence as it relates to data-driven initiatives. While our tools are digital, our partners in all projects are human beings with different personalities, different needs, and different styles of working. As a project manager, I must customize my approach to suit each person and each project in order to reach our maximum potential. 

This is a good thing. 

Project managers are expected to have a deep understanding of the technical aspects of projects, of course, but we’re also expected to know how to work with people. Maintaining that balance is critical to happy partners and productive outcomes. 

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