Over the years, we’ve slowly started to witness how artificial intelligence is changing the way we conduct business. From making positive waves in social media and marketing, down to even changing how banking and financial institutions operate and serve customers, we’re seeing AI as one of the most powerful allies we’ll have with us as we face a digital future.
One ubiquitous use of AI in business? Chatbots.
Chatbots have become part of almost every SaaS website, but the software industry isn’t the only industry that stands to benefit from these amazing tools. You probably come across a website or company profile page with a chatbot at least once a day.
But did you know there are other ways a chatbot can help your business, and not just in answering customer queries? Yes, we’re here to show you that chatbots have their own role to play in other aspects of business, particularly in project management.
Want to see how to use chatbots across more places in your company? We name 7 ways you might see a chatbot’s role in your project management strategy.
What are the Roles Chatbots Play in a Project Management Strategy?
Project Collaboration with Clients
Let’s start with how chatbots can be a key part of your collaboration efforts with your clients. Many businesses keep their project collaborations with clients as a manual effort when many parts of it can easily be automated.
Let’s zoom in on a specific use case of integrating chatbots as part of your project collaborations.
With a chatbot, it can be possible to take different tasks across different departments in your company and assign each task to team managers and their members. This is made possible because of a chatbot’s ability to add context to different messages and commands that anyone might give, and even base it off existing data it carries about your team or clients, such as workload.
Because you can finetune a chatbot to do a lot of heavy lifting for you, you’ll be able to automate repetitive tasks, including scheduling meetings between your client and your team. Imagine allowing your client to type in a command like “Set meeting with marketing team,” then immediately get a list of recommended dates and times when both parties are available.
Is someone unavailable for a meeting all of a sudden? Chatbots can easily reschedule and alert all participants about any changes. The best part is you eliminate any unnecessary back and forth.
Another amazing way chatbots can fit into your project collaboration with clients is in assigning and checking the status of different tasks.
You can type out commands like “Assign Alex M. slide designs for Client X,” and your chatbot carries out the command like a virtual assistant. The task can populate in your team member’s to-dos, and you can check the status of tasks using the same contextual, conversational way you interact with a chatbot.
The best part is you can do all this right from your chosen project management and productivity tools, especially through seamless integrations.
Data Collection and Consistency
Managing and collecting data is an everyday task for all businesses, but a very important one. Data collection and consistency trickles into teams’ everyday deliverables and deadlines, the way they handle client or customer inquiries and, later on, follow ups, and even in handling submissions (such as feedback) from clients or customers.
The pro of putting your chatbot to use for this task is being able to ensure you’re getting accurate data each time. Human error can lead to mistakes in the quality or accuracy of the data you collect from team members, clients, and customers, but AI and chatbots have the ability to make sure you’re getting the most accurate data possible.
One powerful way you can use a chatbot in data collection is through gathering customer information. Say a customer has a complaint or feedback they want to send to your business. Without ever interacting with a live human behind the screen, they can immediately interact with your chatbot with their desired goal or requests.
The chatbot then takes them through their request, including asking them what their message, feedback, or complaint is. It then proceeds to seamlessly gather any customer data like their name and email to accompany the request, which is later on forwarded to your team for processing.
Another interesting use case for data collection is sending a notification or message to your company members to fill out either timesheets, progress reports, and task updates. A prompt can gently remind your employees to answer a few questions that are later uploaded or reflected in your project-specific applications.
All this can happen seamlessly every day without skipping a beat. And you can keep improving your chatbot’s metadata and AI engine to make sure the data being collected is accurate and meaningful. Over time, you’ll be able to prompt employees to include more details if the AI thinks more information is needed.
Later, these entries can be published in a single dashboard that reports which tasks have been checked off and which team members may be experiencing roadblocks.
Task Management and Automation
Imagine if chatbots were an excellent source of managing and checking not just the quantity of your tasks but even the quality of them. Now you don’t have to imagine because advancements in AI make it possible to improve the project management techniques.
Here’s an example of what we mean. You can configure certain chatbots to act like the equivalent of a collaborative Google document, and even spell checker or grammar checker. In the case of a team of programmers, for example, a bot is able to track each change to a source code and attribute it to the developer who made the change.
Chatbots can report bugs and errors that arise, much like how a spell check tool notifies you right away when you’ve misspelled a word or used the wrong one. This helps your team work faster, eliminate mistakes quicker, and focus on the most important parts of their jobs instead of worrying about trivial tasks.
Certain chatbots can even go the extra mile by immediately showing team members any materials like knowledge base topics, reference videos, and training content that supports its findings. This way, teams are more efficient at not only eliminating errors right away but even preventing them — but more on that in the next section.
Predict Potential Roadblocks and Risks
We briefly mentioned how chatbots and AI can help teams stay ahead of errors and roadblocks by calculating ahead. The benefits of this can’t be overstated: less time spent fixing problems, less chances of stalling projects, and generally less things to worry about overall.
This works with a combination of machine learning and tweaking AI to aggregate the right data in order to make these accurate predictions. Of course, the best case scenario is being able to foresee huge roadblocks that might arise because of certain decisions, tasks, or events, but there are simpler, day to day applications of this.
Has your team ever fallen behind on a project because tasks were often underestimated? A task you assumed that would have taken only two weeks actually required double that time, let’s say.
AI can help. You can monitor how much time is being spent on a particular task in your project, and based on your rate of working, the chatbot can tell you whether or not you’ll be able to hit the deadline or if you require some adjustment.
We even see this AI applied in places like calculating a company’s DEI, or diversity, equality, and inclusion rating, or in predicting team behaviors that may be affected by personal issues, low morale, and more.
Seamless Integration with Other Tools
Chatbots can easily fit into your project management strategy because of their ability to integrate and work with other productivity tools you might already have in your work suite.
For example, you’ll be able to send data gathered by chatbots into customer relationship management tools, spreadsheets, and the like.
You can integrate bots into your bookkeeping software like Freshbooks, which can then help you create budget forecasts and reports without doing this manually yourself, all based on data it’s collected over the past fiscal year.
We’ve already mentioned a few use cases of this integration happening, such as when team members can report their daily finished tasks via a chatbot that is collated into apps like project management tools.
But there are countless ways you’ll be able to integrate your chatbots to standardize your project workflows and tasks in ways like never before — you just have to imagine it to find a way to make it happen.
And even if you aren’t sure if your tools can integrate with your chatbot software of choice, check if you can find a Zap that might bridge the gap for you.
In any project management strategy, you often wish you could have data that shows you if your projects are actually hitting their desired goals and objectives, based on your deliverables and finished milestones.
Luckily, the prevalence of predictive analysis and machine learning in AI means that this kind of data can be collected and turned into an indicator of how well your project is doing.
You can create estimates for your project completion rates, which can later on be used to make better, more informed decisions when setting future deadlines.
Project analysis might also include identifying bottlenecks and areas for improvement. You’ll be able to spot trends that are calculated based on patterns instead of relying on manual labor and calculations.
Support and Assistance
Finally, we can see some of the biggest benefits of having chatbots in a project management strategy in the form of support and assistance. As AI gets smarter and better to interact with for day to day support, these bots can one day become the best virtual assistants to your project.
You can interact with these systems via text or voice, such as instructing them to organize your schedule, send messages or follow ups to clients or employees, and even make reminders ahead of time.
Instead of consulting a large project management board, you might ask a chatbot to tell you what your whole team is working on for the day or week and get data instantly. This then allows your team members to focus on high level tasks and projects instead of having to conduct menial day to day activities that could take away productive hours in their day.
Chatbots have quickly evolved from being amazing tools for customer service and sales into essential, intelligent tools for assisting in your project management. Next time you’re looking for inspiration on how to make the most of this robust AI, refer back to this post.
Looking to get started with your own chatbot to put on your website, Facebook Messenger, or even SMS or WhatsApp? Check out Botsify today and see how it’ll help you deliver excellent chatbot experiences across any platform.