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Project planning by generative artificial intelligence and human project managers: A comparative study Academic Paper Alert!

Written by André Barcaui, André Monat

Category: AI Strategy & Governance

Article Section: AI Applications; Customer Relationship Management Applications

Publication Date: 2023

SEO Description: Novel study comparing generative AI & human project planning, revealing complementary strengths & need for collaboration to optimize AI-assisted project management.

Barcaui, André, and André Monat. “Project Planning by Generative Artificial Intelligence and Human Project Managers: A Comparative Study.” Project Leadership and Society, 2023, p. 100101.

AI-Generated Paper Summary

Based on my review, here are some key points about the novelty and potential commercial applications of this academic paper:


  • The paper presents a novel comparative study between generative AI (GPT-4) and a human project manager in developing a project plan. To my knowledge, this is the first in-depth analysis comparing AI and human project management capabilities through examination of actual project artifacts.
  • The study provides unique insights into the respective strengths and limitations of AI versus human project planning. It reveals them as complementary, with AI offering efficiency and novelty while human expertise provides validation, refinement and industry/contextual knowledge.
  • Prompt engineering is highlighted as an important technique to optimize AI outputs for project management. The paper demonstrates how iterative prompt refinement can steer the AI to produce more customized, relevant and comprehensive project plans.
  • The choice of project type (mobile app development) is relevant given the growth of the digital sector. Findings could inform AI adoption in tech project management.
  • The project management knowledge areas framework provides a systematic lens to thoroughly evaluate and compare AI and human project plans.

Commercial Applications:

  • The findings suggest AI could be leveraged to rapidly generate initial draft project plans to accelerate and enhance planning efficiency.
  • AI project management assistants like ChatGPT could help automate repetitive planning tasks, freeing project managers to focus on high-level strategic oversight.
  • Consulting firms could leverage AI to provide clients with project plan drafting services, with human consultants validating and enhancing the final plans.
  • Software could integrate AI to recommend project management best practices, resources allocation, and risk assessment for enhanced decision support.
  • Training programs could be developed to teach project managers how to effectively collaborate with and refine outputs from AI systems.
  • The study provides insights useful for developing robust AI project management systems, addressing key issues like ethics, data privacy, transparency and human-AI collaboration.

In summary, the paper makes both theoretical and practical contributions to the emerging domain of AI in project management, highlighting opportunities while underscoring the continued importance of human expertise. The findings have implications for the integration of AI in project planning across various industries.


prompt engineering, generative AI, human-AI collaboration, AI project planning, AI strengths and limitations

Author’s Abstract

This paper presents a comparative study of generative artificial intelligence (AI), specifically the GPT-4 model, and a human project manager in the context of a project plan development. The study’s objective was to analyze the content and structure of a project plan prepared by this disruptive new technology and its human counterpart, focusing on the digital technology sector. Through a primarily qualitative methodology, the study scrutinizes critical aspects of each part of the project plan, including scope preparation, schedule development, cost estimation, resources evaluation, quality planning, stakeholder mapping, communication planning, and risk analysis. The results indicate unique strengths and weaknesses for both AI-generated and human-generated project plans, revealing them as complementary in the project planning process. It also emphasizes the continued importance of human expertise in refining AI outputs and harnessing the full potential of AI through the process known as prompt engineering. In conclusion, this study illustrates the potential synergy between human experience and AI in project planning, suggesting the careful integration of human and AI capabilities is key to developing robust and trustworthy project plans.

Read the full paper here

Last updated on November 9th, 2023.