Back behind a desk, what happened with AI & the PMO?

Just before Easter 2024 me and the family got the keys to our new house. And as mentioned back then in blogs and YouTube video’s, I’d be away for a while to settle in and do final adjustments to the house.

To be honnest, I’m still not behind a real desk but more at the kitchen table, and there are still things that need attention. But let’s dig in to some of the things I picked up at the European Power Platform Conference in Belgium and recent changes to Planner Premium (the “old” Project for the web).

A generative AI image of a blogger / YouTuber working from a construction site.
Initial prompt: Create an image of a blogger/youtuber working with projects.
Follow up prompt: Now put this person on a construction site and age him a little bit (40 years old).

The EPPC 2024 and AI

It’s starting to sound like a bad joke right? “How many Copilots does it take to get the message across that you have the hots for Generative AI?”. Well, I heard at the Belgium conference last week that there are more than 150 versions of Copilot already! I couldn’t name them all, I couldn’t even name 100 Microsoft applications if I try 樂.

But, jokes aside, Generative AI took center stage at the Power Platform conference this month in Belgium.

Power Automate has 2 new features (coming)

AI Flow and AI Recorder, will change the way flows are created for some people.

Especially the AI Recorder made an impression on me. I haven’t had the chance to play around with Power Automate Desktop. I would describe it as the tool to automate non-cloud scenario’s. The example was provided where a user has an excel sheet, that needs to update a legacy system row by row.

With the AI Recording feature, in Power Automate Desktop, you would do this action once, while talking your way through the steps you do.

The Generative AI behind the recorder will then pick up any actions you want it to do and formulate that in a nice Power Automate Desktop flow.

I know demo’s might be misleading, but there was a life demonstration of the AI Recorder. With just a couple of clicks and talking through the process in the style “first I open up the excelfile and navigate to the sales tab. Now I open up legacy system x, next I copy each value from the sales table row into the legacy system data entry form”. After a short wait, this recording of around 4 minutes procuced the total flow of automation.

And here’s a nice promo video of the AI Flow, describing what it can do in under a minute. I’ve seen it on stage last week and it is impressive.

AI Flows in Power Automate

Things get personal again!

The second day key-note, by the amazing Dona Sarkar, had an eye opening sidestep from all the tech focus.

Sure, she mentioned Copilot and GenAI and hailed it as a good thing in general. But there was also time to talk about the darker side of AI.

With Deepfakes, and complete articles and even voice being scripted and shared by people with bad intentions, it becomes very difficult to trust what you see on screen or hear through a podcast or phonecall.

This is when Dona mentioned that things will get more personal again. Having a “human tailored (or human curated) experience” becomes a premium product.

Lucky for me, because I love being on stage and in front of a class to talk about xPM and the Microsoft exosystem .

I agreed with Dona’s mindset, things are moving really fast, please be careful everyone while browsing the internet or doomscrolling Facebook.

And the rise of Agents

While generating images and text is amazing, it would be even more so if an AI can operate on the workfloor (partially) autonomous. That is the goal of agents. Have an AI optimize your schedule. Have an AI take care of mailinglists. Have an AI clean up the data before we push it towards an executive Power BI report.

Now, there are tons of red flags related to this topic. I’m reading Super Intelligence by Bostrom right now, and I think he would be frowning on this topic.

I think, as long as the AI is boxed, grounded on company data, and narrow, we will limit risks.

But on the other hand, we are handing over the keys to the car, the house, and the job to a machine intelligence more and more.

Chat GPT 4o, bigger, better, faster, more

That’s it for the EPPC 2024. Let’s take a look at Chat GPT 4o. Just for fun… I asked Chat GPT 4o what the o stands for:

Which is wrong 
Good old search has it right.

So, Chat GPT 4 Omni is a thing now. And it is a massive improvement compared to previous versions. There are some really cool demo videos online that you should really take a look at.

Planner Premium and Copilot

To Do, Planner, and Project for the web are combined in the new planner. In my last video I already mentioned that this would happen.

Well, time passed quickly, and 104 days have gone by since the release of that video.

Planner has changed, especially on the Teams interface. The biggest change (appart from a working assigned to me feature) I would say is the inclusion of Copilot.

But, I will do a video on that topic soon, so stay tuned.

Final notes

And then… disaster struck, and I spilled water over my laptop! 

So I’m finishing this article on my phone. I’m currently without a high-end machine to do video recording and editing.

A new machine is on its way, and maybe I will record a shorts video from the phone to pass the time. But I’m sadly going to have to keep you waiting for a good video on the Planner Premium Copilot feature.

There are more videos on TPC that you might enjoy though, take a look here.