Who’s new at the meeting?

Puedes leer el artículo en español: «¿Quién es el nuevo de la reunión»,  publicado en Stakeholders.news

We have recently been able to analyze the results of PMI‘s global survey on the use of Artificial Intelligence in Project Management, and some of the results are striking. For example, many respondents still do not have experience or understand the scope of AI in project management. Of those who have implemented a utility, they have not gone beyond the use of generative chats such as ChatGPT, Bard (now upgraded to Gemini), or Copilot, without adopting applications with specific functions for our projects.

In this context, the comment arose in social networks about where to start using AI in our projects. Inviting AI to your next meeting may be a good option.

AI Tools for Project Management


AI Meeting Minutes: The Starting Point for Project Enhancement

Integrating generative chats, or tools like Claap, Fireflies, Otter, TL;DV, and Fathom into our work meetings is a sure step towards efficiency. It helps attendees with note-taking, follow-up actions, questions after the meeting, etc. The list of plus points is endless unless you have copied the meeting transcript into ChatGPT and asked for some insight!

However, how do we introduce this new team member to the meeting without disrupting the usual team flow? How does the intrusion of this strange algorithm affect our work: the human connection?

When I started testing different assistants for meetings, I had to explain that I was testing new tools, how to handle the conversation, and even turn off the assistant when I saw some attendees’ strange and distrustful faces.

How do we introduce this new team member to the meeting without disrupting the usual team flow?

Imagine yourself for a moment in a meeting where there is a silent but omnipresent participant in addition to your colleagues: an AI tool dedicated to capturing every word, every idea. While designed to assist, this digital presence introduces psychological complexity. The question «Who’s new at the meeting?» is not just rhetorical; it reflects a deep concern about privacy, the security of our data, and how our communication may be altered under the relentless gaze of AI. A silent listener who asses all of our humanity (the good stuff and the stuff we’d like to be less public).

Privacy, bias, and data security in our meetings

The AI Challenge in Project Management

From my personal experience, integrating AI tools to improve meeting minutes has been a journey of trial and error. Adopting these technologies requires more than just a technical decision; it involves a cultural adaptation process with the team, especially difficult if meetings include stakeholders external to the internal team. Resistance to change is a well-documented phenomenon. In the context of AI, this resistance is fueled by valid concerns about privacy, bias, and data security, which are part of the most noted risks of AI. Concerns about conversational privacy and data security are prominent, exacerbated by the possibility of automated recordings and transcripts.

Other aspects to consider when testing between different tools have to do with the quality of the transcription in the face of different accents and background noise. And especially the question of language and accuracy of transcription since most are designed exclusively in English. For example, Otter.ai, one of the ones I like best, will recognize the Southern-accented American English of your Atlanta client, but it won’t help if you finish your week with a «Friday tapas lunch.»

Cost limitations can be a barrier to adoption in small companies or startups. However, we can always analyze the transcript via ChatGPT or invite Copilot to our Friday’s tapas. (This new partner will understand the jokes 😉)

I invite you to try these prompts for using ChatGPT with your transcripts and meeting minutes.

Overcoming these challenges requires a multifaceted approach that includes training, demonstrations of the benefits of these tools, gathering feedback for ongoing adjustments, and clear and transparent communication with stakeholders about security and privacy measures.

Start integrating AI with your project management software

To integrate AI tools into day-to-day project management, identify the integration capabilities of the AI tool and the project management software. Collaborative project management tools are of particular importance in this field.

The key to overcoming these barriers lies in transparency, training, and a commitment to security. When integrating AI tools such as Otter.ai, which offers direct integration with platforms such as Zoom and Asana, or Fireflies, known for its ability to connect with Slack, starting with a trial-and-error phase is crucial. Using intermediary platforms such as Zapier or IFTTT can be a good tool to connect applications without direct integrations, facilitating a workflow between video conferencing tools and project management software.


Case Study: Slack’s AI Integration in Project Management

To illustrate this future, let’s consider Slack’s recent advancements, which have been meticulously integrating AI to serve not just as a tool but as a team member contributing to the project management process. With features like Slack AI  and the new Workflow Builder, Slack is at the forefront of this transformation, showcasing the seamless integration of AI capabilities into day-to-day operations, facilitating real-time decision-making, and enhancing team collaboration.

Test and adjust the integration as needed, train your team in its use, and monitor performance to optimize continually.

The most significant change is not in our tools but ourselves.

But beyond the technical logistics, the biggest challenge is cultural. Training our team on the «how» and the «why» is critical. Demonstrating the tangible value of these tools through pilot testing and real-world use cases can transform the perception of AI from an intruder to an ally. And herein lies the heart of our question: the most significant change is not in our tools but ourselves. Embracing the new «digital teammate» in the meeting.


Conclusion: The Cultural Shift Towards AI in Project Teams

At the end of the day, «Who’s new at the meeting?» becomes a more profound question about how we balance technological innovation with our human essence. AI tools promise efficiency and clarity, but their successful adoption depends on our ability to integrate them in a way that enriches rather than eclipses, silences, or hides our humanity.

Our future as project managers in this emerging technology landscape is not just about adopting new tools but redefining our relationship with technology. It’s a future where AI becomes an extension of our teams, a silent partner that helps us capture moments of genius, clarify our ideas, and, most importantly, keep us connected in an increasingly digital world. The real challenge is ensuring that, as we welcome the «new» into our meetings, we don’t lose sight of what matters: our ability to communicate, collaborate, and connect as human beings.