My Project Management Expert

History of Project Management

Well this certainly has been interested to research. Despite being an Interim Programme and Senior Project Manager with over 13 years experience, I really had little idea of the History of Project Management. I knew it probably had it's foundation in the defence or engineering industries but that was about it.

Well would you believe that in fact Project Management could be described as the "second oldest profession" in the world. And if you don't know what the oldest profession is, then you really don't have much chance of making it as a Project Manager!

You might think "huh?" but just think of all those ancient monuments around the world. Could the Pyramids or say The Acropolis actually have been built without a Project Manager? Yes I know that's a real cue for Project Manager knock knock jokes but we don't go in for that kind of low level joke. This is a completely serious site which only gets involved in high brow professional discussions.

Oh who am I kidding?

Knock Knock

Who's there?

A Project Manager?

A Project Manager to do what?

A Project Manager to write a PID, create a plan, devise a budget, motivate the team and make it all happen.

but we only wanted someone to change a light bulb...................

And that's why I'm a Project Manager and not a comedienne!

Anyway I digress, back to the History of Project Management. There have been a number of key periods of evolvement. The 1950's brought the advent of PERT, Critical Path and Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). The 1960's brought Earned Value Management whilst the 1970's and 1980's introduced Automation. By the 2000's Enterprise Project Management, Program Management and Portfolio Management surfaced.

The foundation was really laid by Henry Gantt who developed many of the planning and control techniques used today such as the Gantt chart. Also having an impact was Henri Fayol who developed the 5 management functions which is the foundation for the widely used Body of Knowledge.

By the 1950’s Project Management had been recognised as a profession in the US, and in 1969 the Project Management Institute (PMI) was formed to ensure that the key tools and techniques utilised in the profession were the same no matter what industry they are applied to.

Now there is of course much much more information on this subject but that is a brief overview of the History of Project Management. Now onto actually utilising the history and delivering the projects!

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Successful Project Management Ebook!

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Please check out our new Project Management Methodologies section. It has loads of great info on concepts such as the PMMM and Critical Path.


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