AI-enabled software tool eases the burden on time-pressed project managers

Project Pal leverages generative AI and large language learning models to search existing data about a project, before extracting information requested by a project manager and collecting it in one place

Author, change management expert and former PwC consultant Declan Foster is the brains behind Project Pal AI, a soon-to-be-launched software tool designed to help project managers improve the quality of their communications, reduce the potential for mistakes and get projects across the line faster.

“In my experience, effective communication with all stakeholders is the most critical factor for project success. Yet, achieving this can still be challenging for project managers,” says Foster, whose solution is aimed at large enterprises with a team of project managers who may be handling multiple projects simultaneously.

Project management is complex, and managers can often face competing priorities when juggling different pieces of work. What makes the juggling particularly difficult is that the information they need to keep things on track is often sitting in numerous different folders and applications and it takes time to sift through to find what they need.

“Having worked globally in the project management space, I noticed that the most successful project managers were those who really focused on effective communication, in addition to the traditional project management metrics of scope, cost and time. Then when I began studying AI a few years ago, first in Dublin, then at MIT Sloan and most recently at the Said business school in Oxford, I realised that AI, and particularly generative AI, had the potential to ease the communication and reporting burden,” Foster says.


Project Pal leverages generative AI and large language learning models to search existing data about a project held in different parts of the system. It then extracts the information the project manager has asked for and collects it in one place.

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For example, a project manager could use the tool to find out the names of a project’s key stakeholders without wading through multiple documents to find them. Having pulled the required information together, Project Pal generates new content that sits on top of the most common applications used by project managers.

“Our tool is the first of its kind to focus on improving the consistency of project management communications while also providing significant productivity savings, raising the chances of project success and improving job satisfaction for project managers as they face less delays and more positive feedback about the quality of their communications from stakeholders,” says Foster, who worked in HR tech in London before moving to Australia, where he worked with PwC.

My experience in business has taught me the importance of putting the customer first, which is key when designing a new product

—  Declan Foster, Project Pal

Foster began thinking about Project Pal about three years ago, but only started developing the idea full-time in 2023. He has recently completed the second phase of the New Frontiers programme at TU Dublin Blanchardstown, and now has a demo prototype ready to go, with the full product launch to take place later this year.

Foster estimates investment in the business to date at about €100,000 between cash and sweat equity. The company’s revenue model is software-as-a-service (SaaS), with customers paying a yearly subscription based on user numbers. Over the coming months, Foster will begin the process of raising €250,000 to develop out the product and begin hiring staff, with the recruitment of a chief technology officer his top priority. The US is ultimately the company’s main target market, and Foster hopes to be there by 2026, having made inroads in the Irish and UK markets first.

“I’ve been in the corporate world for quite a while, but it’s always been my ambition to start my own business,” Foster says. “My experience in business has taught me the importance of putting the customer first, which is key when designing a new product. Also, having worked in project management, I know the ups and downs of it and how things don’t always go to plan. I think this has taught me resilience and that you just have to dust yourself off and start again, so, not unlike the setbacks you’re going to face with a start-up,” he says.