Project Management Should Encourage Diversity, Networking, Collaboration
By Martin McKern
After 5 years involvement I’ve recently taken a board position in my local Project Management Institute (PMI) chapter. I’ve become curious why and how the profession started and what results we are achieving. It’s an interesting success story; with some foundation elements that remain important.
How Did PMI Start?
Post the 2nd World War the atomic and aerospace races along with computers were all spawning rapidly larger and more complex initiatives. With management only recognised as a profession since the 1940′s, by the 1950′s and 1960′s a new type of manager was starting to emerge. These managers needed to bring together (usually) multi-disciplinary teams to achieve (often) ambitious goals of importance to their organisations. Sometimes these had to be achieved in secrecy from rivals. Innovation and creativity were usually pre-requisites for success. The teams could be large and complex, with limited time and finite funding. Read the Complete Article
The History of Project Management
By Timber Chinn, Northwest University
The specific discipline of project management began in the 20th Century, but project management has existed since the beginning of time. At its most basic, a project is something done once to accomplish a particular task in a specific period of time. People have always managed projects in order to build a home, launch a war, or move supplies from one place to another—all tasks done once in a set period of time. Mankind’s most awe-inspiring achievements throughout history were built using some form of the five standard project management process groups (initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing).
One of the first examples of such a project is the Giza Pyramid, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Egyptians built this massive structure in about 20 years, from approximately 2580-2560 B.C. Archeologists believe that the Egyptians used highly-developed project management tools and concepts to achieve this success (Kozak-Holland, 2012, n. Read the Complete Article
History of Project Management
By Merrie Barron and Andrew R. Barron
Could the Great Wall of China, the pyramids, or Stonehenge have been built 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 labor within a designated time frame.
In late 19th century, in the United States, large-scale government projects were the impetus for making important decisions that became the basis for project management methodology such as the transcontinental railroad, which began construction in the 1860s. Suddenly, business leaders found themselves faced with the daunting task of organizing the manual labor of thousands of workers and the processing and assembly of unprecedented quantities of raw material.
Figure 1: This is what can happen without effective project management.
Near the turn of the century, Frederick Taylor (Figure 2) began his detailed studies of work. Read the Complete Article
A Short History of Project Management
By Brian Rabon
We hear about “project management” and we even use the processes in our businesses, but where did all this stuff get started, anyway? Well, from the great pyramids of Egypt to modern nautical warfare tactics, the history of project management extends farther than you might think.
In fact, many scholars consider the Great Pyramid of Giza (2550 BC–that’s over 3000 years ago!) to be the genesis of the classic project management process. The scale to which the pyramids were built and the amazing accuracy of measurement achieved there is still astounding today. Projects of this scale are a testament to great leaders using skilled organization, planning, and effective communication to accomplish a large endeavor. All of these skills form the foundation of “project management” today.
Historical accounts of effective implementation of PM skills include the pyramids, the coliseum, and even the cathedrals in Europe. Read the Complete Article
The Past, the Present, and the Future of Project Management
By Paul Naybour
What will future hold for project management? Take a look at what history has to reveal to us to try and predict the trends for the future and then vote in our poll.
The 1950’s were the start of project management with the application of Taylor’s scientific management. Based on the marriage of the Henry Gantt time based chart and Fayol’s five principles of management planning organising, commanding, coordinating and controlling. These principles still form the foundation of our modern bodies of knowledge.
60’s: Learning to walk
The value of project management was demonstrated on major projects. Many of these projects have attained mythical status including the Polaris missile programme, the DuPont Corporation and Remington Rand Corporation development of the critical path (I bet they wish they had patented that!) The decade finished with the formation of the International Project Management Association (IPMA) in 1967, the PMI in 1969, forerunner of the APM, called Internet (another good name) in 1972. Read the Complete Article
When Did “A Certain Project Management Practice” Start?
By Johanna Rothman
On mailing lists, when I speak, in email, people ask, “When did ’some principle, approach, or whatever’ start?”
A long time ago.
Timeboxes have been around forever. I’m pretty sure that when the Pharoahs told their architects to build a pyramid, they said, “And do it by this-date! Or else!” I know that military projects used timeboxes. We used them in the mid-70’s and I heard that they were used when my managers were young engineers.
Inch-pebbles were first defined by some Air Force guy in the 40’s. (That’s the first published date that I know of.) The Software Program Manager’s Network (and I!) publicized the concept more in the 80’s and 90’s.
Non-waterfall lifecycles, such as iterative and incremental have been used for years. Any of those projects where you had to show a demo partway through the project was either an iterative or incremental lifecycle. Read the Complete Article
History of Project Management – How Did We Get Here?
By Daiv Russell
Project management in its present form began to take root a few decades ago. In the early 1960s, industrial and business organizations began to understand the benefits of organizing work around projects. They understood the critical need to communicate and integrate work across multiple departments and professions. That was how the project management really took off.
In late 19th century, due to the rising complexities of the business world, it evolved more effectively from management principles. Large-scale government projects played a big role in major decision making. They were called as management decisions. Big projects involved thousands of workers, huge quantity of materials and bulk quantity of machinery and equipment.
Business organizations wanted to apply some powerful techniques so that the labor, material, and machinery were effectively used to give maximum results. In early 20th century, Frederick Taylor analyzed work patterns and behavior and found out that better methods can increase the productivity considerably. Read the Complete Article
The Evolution of Project Management – Part 2 (#2 in the series The Evolution of Project Management)
By Sandro Azzopardi
Four periods in the development of modern project management.
 Prior to 1958: Craft system to human relations. During this time, the evolution of technology, such as, automobiles and telecommunications shortened the project schedule. For instance, automobiles allowed effective resource allocation and mobility, whilst the telecommunication system increased the speed of communication. Furthermore, the job specification which later became the basis of developing the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) was widely used and Henry Gantt invented the Gantt chart. Examples of projects undertaken during this period as supported by documented evidence include: (a) Building the Pacific Railroad in 1850’s; (b) Construction of the Hoover Dam in 1931-1936, that employed approximately 5,200 workers and is still one of the highest gravity dams in the U.S. generating about four billion kilowatt hours a year; and (c) The Manhattan Project in 1942-1945 that was the pioneer research and development project for producing the atomic bomb, involving 125,000 workers and costing nearly $2 billion. Read the Complete Article
Project Management: Effectiveness and Assessment
By Verena Veneeva
The principles of effective project management are potentially applicable to any project type across different industries. It has been established that the basis of these principles have been designed so as to accommodate variety of tasks and industries but still fine tuning is required during the course of certain projects (Papers4you.com, 2006). According to Davidson (2002), the origin of project management can be traced back to the post World War II era in which new efficient developments started taking place across the triad i.e. the US, Europe and Japan.
Projects are formally defined by Cleland and Gareis (1994), as the process that transforms and unsatisfactory state of affairs into better state within certain time and resources limit. The literature within the domain of this subject has accepted the fact that orientation towards project based approach is concentrated within few industries due to their inherent characteristics. Read the Complete Article
Bits and Pieces: How Project Management Developed
By Carol Meyer
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 pf 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 labor within a designated time frame. What leaders from the distant past managed to accomplish is amazing and without the project management tools available today.
During the industrial revolution business and industry grew and expanded rapidly across continents. With the coming of automation, everything was done on a larger scale. The ability to manage projects in the way of budgets, supplies and labor at various or secondary locations was crucial and motivated the investigation of new ideas to streamline methods. Read the Complete Article