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Key AI topics discussed during AI webinar with Scott Ambler on 23 November

AI is on everyone's agenda and our community of Project Managers is no different, evident by the good turnout for our first AI-specific event with speaker Scott Ambler on 23 November. Scott has already been involved in a number of AI projects and bases some of his recommendations, concerns and conclusions on those experiences. Scott's view on the approach to dealing with AI was also very relevant for Project Managers as he made some conclusions on "predictive", "pure agile" and "pure lean" vs his claim that a "disciplined hybrid strategy" will provide the highest chance of success. 
Agenda for Scott's 50-minute long session, which included multiple examples and practical insights throughout:
  1. What is(n't) AI?
  2. Are you ready for AI?
  3. The lifecycle of an AI/ML initiative
  4. Overcoming the data quality challenge
  5. Ethical considerations with AI
  6. Business implications of AI
  7. Success and failure factors for AI inititives

To read more about these topics, check out Scott's blog.


The Q&A session towards the end was not long enough to answer all the great questions posed by the audience questions, so Scott kindly provided answers in writing for us to share in this blog post:

Q: What project management traits are most valued in AI projects?

Scott: Great question! I would say flexibility, knowledge of the AI process, domain knowledge, and a great working relationship with stakeholders is critical.

Q: What would you say is the basic AI skill set in a proficient AI project manager?

Scott: Understanding of the AI/ML process is critical. You can’t manage effectively if you don’t understand what you’re managing. An understanding of AI technology also helps so that you can have meaningful conversations with the team members.  Finally, a good grasp of your organizations data sources, at least at a high level, is also critical.  

Q: What would be your first question to ask before taking on the management of an AI project?

Scott: What are we trying to achieve and what do we believe will be the impact on our stakeholders?

Q: Are there any "off the shelf" AI models/engines that one could procure and train with one's own data?

Scott: Yes, those are called foundation models. Depending on your domain, you should be able to find several offerings of such models.  My guess is that we’re going to see a healthy market for such models for quite some time to come given the expense and complexity of training such models from scratch.


Faciliators Joe Aloka K'Odingo, PMIEF Representative at PMI Norway Chapter and Kari Mørkesdal, Finance Manager and Web Manager at PMI Norway Chapter would like to thank Scott for an engaging session and very efficient collaboration during the planning of this event. We highly recommend Scott as a speaker and he can be contacted via scottambler.com

Two books recommended during the session:

  • Project to Product: How to Survive and Thrive in the Age of Digital Disruption with the Flow Framework - by Mik Kersten (2018)
  • Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy - by Cathy O'Neil (2017)

Material from the session


Note! PMI-certified members can log one PDU under Ways of Working by going to pmi.org and logging into your PMI profile. Use the category "Organization Meetings" and enter the basic event details from the event description.





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