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Project Management has the history of thousands years. The 1950s marked the beginning of the modern project management era, prior to then projects were managed on an ad-hoc basis using mostly informal techniques and tools. This post try to line out some milestones of Project Managent History.
The Evolution of Project Management
The importance of project management is an important topic because all organisations, be they small or large, at one time or other, are involved in implementing new undertakings. These undertakings may be diverse, such as, the development of a new product or service; the establishment of a new production line in a manufacturing enterprise; a public relations promotion campaign; or a major building programme. Whilst the 1980â€²s were about quality and the 1990â€²s were all about globalisation, the 2000â€²s are about velocity.
The Evolution of Project Management – Part 2
As a discipline project management developed from different fields of application including construction, engineering, telecommunications, and defence. The 1950s marked the beginning of the modern project management era. Prior to the 1950s, projects were managed on an ad-hoc basis using mostly Gantt charts, or with informal techniques and tools. This article looks at four periods in the development of modern project management.
How Project Management Developed
Could the Crusades have been launched and the soldiers armed and fed without effective project management? Could the Great Wall have been built with ingenious natural materials and a team of millions over a span of a thousand years without project management? It is possible to say that the concept of project management has been around since the beginning of history. It has enabled leaders to plan bold and massive projects and manage funding, materials and labour within a designated time frame. What leaders from the distant past managed to accomplish is amazing and without the project management tools available today.http://civilengineerlink.com/history-project-management/
The History of Project Management
Project management, in its modern form, began to take root only a few decades ago. Starting in the early
1960s, businesses and other organizations began to see the benefit of organizing work around projects and
to understand the critical need to communicate and integrate work across multiple departments and
The Early Years: Late 19th Century
We can travel back further, though, to the latter half of the 19th century and to the rising complexities of the
business world to see how project management evolved from management principles. Large-scale
government projects were the impetus for making important decisions that became management decisions.
In this country, the first large organization was the transcontinental railroad, which began construction in
the early 1870s. Suddenly, business leaders found themselves faced with the daunting task of organizing
the manual labor of thousands of workers and the manufacturing and assembly of unprecedented quantities
of raw material.
Early 20th Century Efforts
Near the turn of the century, Frederick Taylor (1856-1915) began his detailed studies of work. He applied
scientific reasoning to work by showing that labor can be analyzed and improved by focusing on its
elementary parts. He applied his thinking to tasks found in steel mills, such as shoveling sand and lifting
and moving parts. Before then, the only way to improve productivity was to demand harder and longer
hours from workers. The inscription on Taylor’s tomb in Philadelphia attests to his place in the history of
management: “the father of scientific management.”
Taylor’s associate, Henry Gantt (1861-1919), studied in great detail the order of operations in work. His
studies of management focused on Navy ship construction during WWI. His Gantt charts, complete with
task bars and milestone markers, outline the sequence and duration of all tasks in a process. Gantt chart
diagrams proved to be such a powerful analytical tool for managers that they remained virtually unchanged
for nearly a hundred years. It wasn’t until the early 1990s that link lines were added to these task bars
depicting more precise dependencies between tasks.
Taylor, Gantt, and others helped evolve management into a distinct business function that requires study
and discipline. In the decades leading up to WWII, marketing approaches, industrial psychology, and
human relations began to take hold as integral parts of business management.
Mid-20th Century Efforts
After WWII, the complexities of projects and a shrinking war-time labor supply demanded new
organizational structures. Complex network diagrams called PERT charts and the critical path method were
introduced, giving managers greater control over massively engineered and extremely complex projects
(such as military weapon systems with their huge variety of tasks and numerous interactions at many points
Soon these techniques spread to all types of industries as business leaders sought new management
strategies and tools to handle their growth in a quickly changing and competitive world. In the early 1960s,
general system theories of science began to be applied to business interactions. Richard Johnson, Fremont
Kast, and James Rosenzweig described in their book The Theory and Management of Systems how a
modern business is like a human organism, with a skeletal system, a muscular system, circulatory system,
nervous system, and so on.
This view of business as a human organism implies that in order for a business to survive and prosper, all
of its functional parts must work in concert toward specific goals, or projects. In the following decades, this
approach toward project management began to take root in its modern forms. While various business
historyThe History of Project Management3.doc
models evolved during this period, they all shared a common underlying structure (especially for larger
businesses): that the project is managed by a project manager, who puts together a team and ensures the
integration and communication of the workflow horizontally across different departments.
As a discipline, Project Management developed from different fields of application including construction, engineering and defense. In the United States, the forefather of project management is Henry Gantt, called the father of planning and control techniques, who is famously known for his use of the Gantt chart as a project management tool, for being an associate of Frederick Winslow Taylor’s theories of scientific management, and for his study of the work and management of Navy ship building. His work is the forerunner to many modern project management tools including the work breakdown structure (WBS) and resource allocation.
The 1950s marked the beginning of the modern Project Management era. Again, in the United States, prior to the 1950s, projects were managed on an ad hoc basis using mostly Gantt Charts, and informal techniques and tools. At that time, two mathematical project scheduling models were developed: (1) the “Program Evaluation and Review Technique” or PERT, developed by Booz-Allen & Hamilton as part of the United States Navy’s (in conjunction with the Lockheed Corporation) Polaris missile submarine program; and (2) the “Critical Path Method” (CPM) developed in a joint venture by both DuPont Corporation and Remington Rand Corporation for managing plant maintenance projects. These mathematical techniques quickly spread into many private enterprises.
At the same time, technology for project cost estimating, cost management, and engineering economics was evolving, with pioneering work by Hans Lang and others. In 1956, the American Association of Cost Engineers (now AACE International; the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering) was formed by early practitioners of project management and the associated specialties of planning and scheduling, cost estimating, and cost/schedule control (project control). AACE has continued its pioneering work and in 2006 released the first ever integrated process for portfolio, program and project management (Total Cost Management Framework).
In 1969, the Project Management Institute (PMI) was formed to serve the interests of the project management industry. The premise of PMI is that the tools and techniques of project management are common even among the widespread application of projects from the software industry to the construction industry. In 1981, the PMI Board of Directors authorized the development of what has become A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), containing the standards and guidelines of practice that are widely used throughout the profession. The International Project Management Association (IPMA), founded in Europe in 1967, has undergone a similar development and instituted the IPMA Competence Baseline (ICB). The focus of the ICB also begins with knowledge as a foundation, and adds considerations about relevant experience, interpersonal skills, and competence. Both organizations are now participating in the development of an ISO project management standard
Roman Soldiers Building a Fortress, Trajan’s Column 113 ADProject management has been practiced since early civilization. Until 1900 civil engineering projects were generally managed by creative architects and engineers themselves, among those for example Vitruvius (1st century BC), Christopher Wren (1632-1723) , Thomas Telford (1757-1834) and Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859)  It was in the 1950s that organizations started to systematically apply project management tools and techniques to complex projects.
Henry Gantt (1861-1919), the father of planning and control techniques.As a discipline, Project Management developed from several fields of application including construction, engineering, and defense activity. Two forefathers of project management are Henry Gantt, called the father of planning and control techniques, who is famous for his use of the Gantt chart as a project management tool; and Henri Fayol for his creation of the 5 management functions which form the foundation of the body of knowledge associated with project and program management. Both Gantt and Fayol were students of Frederick Winslow Taylor’s theories of scientific management. His work is the forerunner to modern project management tools including work breakdown structure (WBS) and resource allocation.
The 1950s marked the beginning of the modern Project Management era. Project management became recognized as a distinct discipline arising from the management discipline. In the United States, prior to the 1950s, projects were managed on an ad hoc basis using mostly Gantt Charts, and informal techniques and tools. At that time, two mathematical project-scheduling models were developed. The “Critical Path Method” (CPM) was developed as a joint venture between DuPont Corporation and Remington Rand Corporation for managing plant maintenance projects. And the “Program Evaluation and Review Technique” or PERT, was developed by Booz-Allen & Hamilton as part of the United States Navy’s (in conjunction with the Lockheed Corporation) Polaris missile submarine program; These mathematical techniques quickly spread into many private enterprises.
PERT network chart for a seven-month project with five milestonesAt the same time, as project-scheduling models were being developed, technology for project cost estimating, cost management, and engineering economics was evolving, with pioneering work by Hans Lang and others. In 1956, the American Association of Cost Engineers (now AACE International; the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering) was formed by early practitioners of project management and the associated specialties of planning and scheduling, cost estimating, and cost/schedule control (project control). AACE continued its pioneering work and in 2006 released the first integrated process for portfolio, program and project management (Total Cost Management Framework).
The International Project Management Association (IPMA) was founded in Europe in 1967, as a federation of several national project management associations. IPMA maintains its federal structure today and now includes member associations on every continent except Antarctica. IPMA offers a Four Level Certification program based on the IPMA Competence Baseline (ICB). The ICB covers technical competences, contextual competences, and behavioral competences.
In 1969, the Project Management Institute (PMI) was formed in the USA. PMI publishes A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), which describes project management practices that are common to “most projects, most of the time.” PMI also offers multiple certifications.
The AAPM American Academy of Project Management International Board of Standards 1996 was the first to institute post-graduate certifications such as the MPM Master Project Manager, PME Project Management E-Business, CEC Certified-Ecommerce Consultant, and CIPM Certified International project Manager. The AAPM also issues the post-graduate standards body of knowledge for executives.
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