Improving PM productivity and lowering stress level with AI technology

May 1, 2022 - Reading time: 6 minutes

Project managers play critical role by making ultimate decision when assigning a linguist to a request. This decision affects corporate revenue, quality of service and many other aspects of operations. Organizations with high number of interpreting assignments and organizations working in the rapid response environment have practices of building large pools of professional linguists. This approach ensures high percentage fill rate and timely coverage. This also plays important role in building better customer experience and satisfaction.

The decision making process affects project managers key performance indicators (KPIs), and in some cases, may elevate the stress levels. ScheduleInterpreter® plays important role in driving the process of identifying and recommending list of individuals who may provide interpreting services.  The process starts with basic requirements requester may indicate while scheduling the service. Once the request information is handed over to ScheduleInterpreter® selection of the interpreters begins.  It relies on several dozens of parameters, from language skills and qualifications to compliance requirements and specific restrictions. The process, often referred as interpreter screening, can be very basic or can include hundreds of parameters and options.  When all interpreters’ profiles are processed, ScheduleInterpreter® sends notifications about upcoming assignment to selected individuals. Linguists have option to respond with their availability in real time. That information is constantly being added to the entire pool of qualified interpreters. After request for services is created, project managers may face the data flood, a term describing vast amount of information arriving within short period of time or information that is constantly being updated. The data flood affects decision making process and may reduce performance levels and increase the unnecessary stress levels of the project managers. Without getting deeper into discussion of complexities, on average, one project manager can handle anywhere between 20 and 50 requests per day.

The Yerkes-Dodson curve demonstrates how performance of a person decreases with elevated stress level. Using labels, we can apply every day terms to the curve.

Image © Copyright 2022, Inc.

An example of how common scenario might unfold would be to look at a request for a Spanish language interpreter. Spanish is the most requested language, reaching over 60% of the total volume of interpreting assignments in some parts of the continental US. Reviewing some highly populated US cities or areas, such as New York, Los Angeles, or Washington DC can help to understand better how the data flood happens. An organization providing interpreting services in such locations would easily amass high number of linguists capable of providing Spanish interpretations. While their specialties may vary and requests for legal or medical services will reduce the overall pool, request for community interpreting will allow the pool remain large. It is common to see ScheduleInterpreter® producing the list of qualified interpreters that exceeds 1,500 linguists for Spanish services requests in highly populated areas.  It is worth mentioning that some interpreters are not active or only partially compliant with the requirements, yet that list is overwhelming and requires extended time to review and process it.

In April 2022, ScheduleInterpreter® introduced AI-powered vendor analysis. It is working as optional addition to the assignment control center. AI analysis presents an opportunity to transform decision making process into more focused, faster and efficient. At its core, the AI component is analyzing all patterns of the decision processes for the entire team of project managers within a single organization or branch. It takes in consideration many other parameters, for example newly added resources, that may not have been available previously. When layered over already established interpreters' profile screening, ScheduleInterpreter® is capable to offer greatly improved dataset. This dataset is then presented to the project manager as a list of qualified linguists. AI analysis offers dramatic pivot from requiring project managers to process data towards acting upon provided information.

ScheduleInterpreter® map of interpreters before and after AI analysis.Image and animation © Copyright 2022, Inc.

The above example demonstrates how using AI analysis underlying data is transformed and presented to the project manager in simplified format. Before AI analysis there are 936 interpreters offering services in the specific language in the area defined by the orange circle. The group includes interpreters who are outside of the area, they also were selected using parameters defined by the organization requesting the services. This number includes qualified (yellow) and inactive (white) interpreters, and those who already responded (red and green). AI analysis reduces the number of prospective candidates to only 12. Selecting qualified candidate from 936 people is a lot more complex than 12. Project manager does not need to analyze hundreds of profiles. AI analysis produces highly focused content and enables human to make the final selection quickly. Ability to fill the request and move onto the next assignment should help to reduce stress levels and make improve responsiveness of project manager.

Decision making process is complex and requires time. AI should allow to speed up allocation of the resources and improve quality of services as well as overall operations. It may help to eliminate stress and fatigue, so often associated with working as a project manager.

AI vendor analysis is part of ScheduleInterpreter® platform and is available as an option for assignment control center.  All subscribers of ScheduleInterpreter®  can activate the option on demand.