Project managers as strategic enforcers of cost efficiency

PMO cost efficiency - iTalent Digital Blog

The role of project managers has traditionally centered around managing tasks, resources, and timelines. The current shift towards cost efficiency, however, is redefining this role significantly 

In this new paradigm, project managers take on a more strategic role and can contribute a lot of value by identifying opportunities for cost savings. This involves a proactive approach to identifying areas where they can reduce costs without compromising the quality or scope of the project.

In fact, 54% of the workforce believe automation (AI) would reduce 5-10 hours per week on routine tasks that require little to no creativity. 

In this article, we examine practical ways project managers can help their organizations bolster their bottom line through greater cost efficiency.The proximity of project managers to the nuts and bolts deployment of programs puts them in an ideal position for identifying opportunities for cost savings. 

The integration of technology, especially AI, has been a game changer to this end. For instance, AI can identify redundant processes that consume unnecessary resources or highlight areas where automation can replace manual labor, leading to significant cost reductions. 

As such, project managers are now expected to be adept at using technology to facilitate better decision-making. Tools like AI-driven analytics platforms can help them foresee potential cost overruns and adjust strategies in real-time.  

Identifying inefficiencies: the first step to cost savings 

The key to unlocking cost savings lies in accurately pinpointing and rectifying inefficiencies within project processes. This critical first step requires a keen eye for detail and an understanding of what constitutes value in each task. 

Cross-team communication and collaboration is often the fastest way of zeroing in on project inefficiencies. That’s because team members are often aware of the exact processes that are inefficient and their impact on overall outcomes. All they need is the right forum or opportunity to voice their insights.  

For example, the enterprise may have subscriptions to redundant software because different teams use different tools to accomplish the same thing – this could be an opportunity to consolidate tools and eliminate redundancies that would not be discovered without cross-organizational communication.  

Another example is siloed project management. A typical enterprise can have dozens of simultaneous programs in flight at any given time, but if the different organizations are not communicating their plans with each other, they don’t have insight into how all of these initiatives are impacting stakeholders at the individual level. You might have several distinct projects impacting the same group of people at the same time! 

As you can imagine, this causes change saturation and an inability to adopt the changes being implemented. This, in turn, generates costs that could be prevented through better collaboration across the enterprise, costs such as downtime, opportunity costs of people not having time to do their normal work, overtime paid to workers, and so forth.

project managers analyzing cost efficiency - iTalent Blog

Here are some common-sense ways to gather insights from your teams:  

  • Conduct a process audit: Review project workflows regularly to identify redundant steps or bottlenecks. This could involve mapping out processes and analyzing each step for its contribution to overall project goals. 

  • Leverage data analytics: Utilize data analytics tools to gather insights on time spent on various tasks. Look for patterns indicating inefficiencies, such as tasks that take longer than expected or consume disproportionate resources. 

  • Establish a feedback loop: Encourage feedback from team members. Those working on the ground often have firsthand knowledge of redundant tasks and inefficient procedures. 

  • Invest in change management software like ChaMa: Change management software enables you to gather and analyze vast amounts of project data across the enterprise for holistic, 360º views of what projects are in flight, how much they will impact stakeholders and who is being affected at any given time. This allows you to manage the timing and communications around projects more intelligently, as well as tailor messaging to individual stakeholders for optimal adoption. 

  • Benchmark against industry standards: Compare current processes against industry benchmarks to identify areas where the project lags and easy improvements are possible. 

Automate low-value tasks 

One of the fastest ways to cut down on costs is to automate low-value tasks. A recent review by Visier determined that employees who regularly use AI save an average of 1.75 hours of work per day, resulting in over a full day’s work saved each week.

If you have an engineer who is paid $200,000 per year to maintain network infrastructure, you don’t want a good chunk of her time spent on grunt work that technology can accomplish for her. 

 Let’s look at some of the low-hanging fruit in terms of automation opportunities.

project manager typing at a laptop - iTalent Digital Blog

  • Form filling and data entry: Automate data entry where possible. Utilize forms that auto-populate fields based on previous entries or integrate AI to extract information from documents and input it into systems. 

  • Email follow-ups: Use smart project management tools that automatically send reminders or follow-up messages based on impending task deadlines or milestones. 

  • Manual reporting: Implement automated reporting systems where data from various sources is compiled automatically into reports, reducing the manual effort and time spent on report generation. 

  • Routine decision-making: Leverage AI tools for everyday decision-making processes. AI can analyze past data to suggest the best action in recurring scenarios. 

  • Regular meetings: Evaluate the necessity of frequent meetings. Sometimes, asynchronous communication through project management tools can be more efficient.

AI for automating routine tasks 

Artificial Intelligence is becoming an indispensable tool in project management, driving efficiency and precision in project execution. 

The most immediate impact of AI on project management is seen in the automation of routine tasks. That includes: 

  • Task allocation: AI algorithms can automatically assign tasks to team members based on their availability, expertise, and workload, ensuring a balanced distribution of work. 

  • Schedule optimization: AI tools can analyze past project data to predict the most efficient timelines for task completion, helping create more accurate project schedules. 

  • Automated updates and notifications: AI systems can send automatic updates to stakeholders, keeping everyone informed about project progress without manual intervention. 

Watch the video 

Check out this 3.5-minute video where my colleagues and I discuss ways project managers can identify opportunities for cost savings 


Predictive analytics for project planning and risk management 

Predictive analytics powered by AI is another area where technology can be applied to save time and resources, as well as accelerate the time to insight. 

Predictive analytics is about harnessing historical data to forecast trends and potential outcomes. This level of analysis allows businesses to anticipate market movements, customer behavior, and operational efficiencies and transition from reactive decision-making to a proactive strategy. 

Here are some ways predictive analytics can help project managers: 

  • Risk prediction: AI can analyze historical project data to identify potential risks before they materialize. This foresight allows project managers to take proactive measures to mitigate risks.
  • Resource optimization: AI algorithms can predict the optimal allocation of resources, including workforce, equipment, and budget, to ensure resources are utilized efficiently and cost-effectively. 

  • Performance forecasting: AI tools can forecast project outcomes based on current performance metrics, allowing project managers to make informed adjustments to keep projects on track. 

Partner with iTalent Digital for advanced project management solutions 

Leveraging the latest in AI and technology is a strategic priority in the domain of project management. iTalent Digital offers advanced project management solutions that can transform your project management and execution. We harness the power of AI and ML to bring efficiency, accuracy, and predictive capabilities to your project management processes 

From automating routine tasks to providing deep insights through data analysis, our solutions are designed to optimize every aspect of project management.

They are also designed to seamlessly integrate with your existing workflows, minimizing disruptions and maximizing adoption rates. We focus on making the transition to advanced project management tools as smooth as possible for your team. 

Innovate, optimize, and lead in your industry with iTalent Digital by your side. Contact us at and let’s start cutting costs and freeing up resources together!  

For more information about our project management services, visit 

You may also like: 

Navigating the AI Revolution: the evolving role of project managers 

Change management for project managers: how to ensure better outcomes 

Toward global agility: 5 best practices for managing distributed agile teams 


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