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How to wield the tools of AI in Agile project management

In addition to  augmenting low-value work and boosting client relations, Natalie Vinitsky, chief Agilist at State Street, has found success applying AI in Agile project management.

At the recent MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, Vinitsky described her approach to using AI to successfully sustain Agile culture in one of the oldest financial institutions in America.

Have you invested or worked with AI in Agile project management?

Natalie Vinitsky: In the past couple of years we have seen great benefits utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning, in the sense that you can definitely automate the work that's repetitive. It's not necessarily value add, so that you can take the valuable resources that you have -- employees -- and you help them augment some of this repetitive work so they can be more creative and innovative in the way they operate.

Some of the areas of focus for artificial intelligence have to do with client experience, for example. Being able to easily get information from clients about what they need, but at the same time allow them to see proactive reporting on where they are and what can be improved, operational efficiencies, education and learning.

We just finished a project where, from my team's perspective, there is a lot of information about Agile. Any time you type in Google 'Agile' you get a lot of results. Similar to that, inside of State Street, people who search information a lot of times get [wrong] information. So we use artificial intelligence to make sure that we are providing good results, and hopefully [soon] in a speech recognition voice.

It would be nice to have an 'Alexa' in the workplace to say 'Alexa, tell me about scrum master role' or 'Alexa, tell me about the iteration duration for this team' or 'Alexa, explain to me the concept of such and such.'

So this is where education, operational efficiencies, client experience, risk excellence -- in the sense of trying to quickly determine what regulatory requirements we need to implement in projects through artificial intelligence search capabilities -- [come together]. There are a lot of projects and initiatives we have today in that area.

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