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Jan 22, 2024

Starting an AI Project: Where to Begin?

by Vooban

Digital transformation, Artificial intelligence

When starting an artificial intelligence project, the mountain to cross can seem huge and steep. However, as with any complicated undertaking, there are steps to follow, established paths to take, and strategies to guarantee success. So, where should you begin when you want to start a 4.0 project?

The very first step is to identify a problem to solve, a specific area where the company is losing money or time. Before proceeding, it is essential to ensure that it is indeed required and that the solution cannot be found through other means. Once your project is defined and you have the necessary data, the adventure can begin!

Surround Yourself With Experts

Collaborating with experts in the field from the beginning of a project is essential. Their expertise will ensure you develop a feasible and robust solution to your problem and help minimize the risks associated with a digital transformation.

At Vooban, we have an expert team consisting of seven different types of professionals to provide you with the best possible support. Our project managers closely monitor the progress of your project and act as a valuable resource for you. The solution architect oversees technological development, while our developers design, program, test and maintain the application or system developed. Our AI scientists handle the data and select, prepare, and deploy artificial intelligence models.

The UX and UI designer creates a user-friendly interface, and the quality control specialist ensures that the solution meets quality standards and functional requirements. Lastly, the delivery manager supports internal and external teams and is a resource for all business issues. As you can see, more than hiring an AI scientist is needed to launch an artificial intelligence project successfully. There are many other variables to consider, which is why it's so important to surround yourself with experts in the field before you start.


Of course, our experts have to work with your experts! Artificial intelligence scientists may master their field but don't necessarily know yours. It's therefore crucial to share knowledge in order to find a solution to the initial problem that makes the most sense and meets your business needs while considering the particularities of each industry.

Mobilize the Entire Team

At the start of any project, it's essential to identify all the individuals who will be directly or indirectly impacted by its implementation and, most importantly, to choose a project leader. The project leader must be convinced of the plan's advantages, persuade their team, secure their commitment, and oversee the project's completion. It’s crucial to get everyone involved, from defining the problem to deploying the solution, and it's the project manager's job to mobilize and inform. Teams should be aware of what AI and the developed technology can do for them, how far it can go, how it operates, and why it necessitates such a significant investment - in summary, the basic knowledge.

Next, your team will include your processes experts as well as the end-users, i.e. those who will be using the AI model on a daily basis and checking that tasks have been completed to the expected level of accuracy. Last, there's the change management specialist, whose importance we'll discuss in the next paragraph.

Devise a Change Management Strategy

It's mind-blowing how a slight change in a company can turn everything upside down; now imagine an innovative artificial intelligence project that redesigns processes! We can't stress enough the importance and challenges of thinking about a change management strategy. Convincing everyone affected by the project of its merits is no small task because when it comes to discussing automation and digital transformation, many see it as an excessive expense and a pharaonic project. Nevertheless, if you want a team that is closely knit and motivated by innovation, you must make sure that everyone is on board. If you decide to undertake an AI project, it's your responsibility to make sure it runs smoothly.

Among the tested and effective strategies, we recommend creating a positive vision of the change and, above all, communicating it to the teams. Give them a glimpse of how things will be when the project is delivered. Reassure them of their place in the company and let them imagine how their days will be positively transformed thanks to AI! Also, surround yourself with several people who are convinced of the benefits of this technology, and ask them to share their enthusiasm! Create a sense of urgency about the situation by educating your teams about the risks of NOT adopting AI. Once confronted with the company's problems, they will likely want to hear about how to solve them! Another concrete way of convincing teams is the proof of concept, which is carried out before developing the complete solution. We'll look at this in more detail in the next paragraph.

Start With a Proof of Concept

Starting with a proof of concept is a crucial but frequently disregarded step. This involves testing the project's theory on a small scale to ensure that the proposed solution will have the desired impact. This test can either reveal flaws in the project within weeks or provide all the required positive signs to launch the project while minimizing risks.


At this point, evaluating whether your solution has all the necessary features to meet your objectives is important. Have you confirmed that the proof of concept demonstrates the project's feasibility? Do you possess all the essential data? Is the AI model appropriate for the situation? Can it be seamlessly integrated into the current technological infrastructure?

Once the proof of concept confirms that the solution is effective and will generate a high and quick return on investment, the full-scale work can begin. By this time, you'll probably have become an expert in digital transformation and eagerly anticipate your next project!

In Short

The first step is to identify a need in your organization, a problem that needs solving. Following that, you must surround yourself with experts on the subject, and don't forget to mobilize your team! Before jumping headfirst into a project, be sure to conduct a proof of concept to confirm the viability of your solution and remember to establish a robust change management strategy!

See, the mountain doesn't seem as insurmountable as it used to be, does it? The truth is, there are outstanding structures and expertise in Quebec that can assist you with your projects. Are you curious to learn more about the next steps, our methodology, data requirements, ROI or project duration? Stay tuned for future articles!

Do you have something in mind but aren't quite sure where to start? Would you like to talk to an expert to see how your ideas could come to life? That's what we're here for. Let's talk!