3D printing Aerodynamic engineering Aeronautical engineering Aeronautical engineering books Airports Architecture Artificial intelligence Automobiles Blast Resistant Design Books Bridges Building Codes Cabin Systems Civil Engineering Codes Concrete Conferences Construction Management Construction Materials Cooling Cryptocurrency Dams Do it Yourself Docks and Harbours Downloads Earthquake Engineering Electronics Engineering Engines Environmental Design & Construction Environmental Engineering Estimation Fluid Mechanics Fluid Mechanics Books Formwork design foundation engineering General Geotech Books Geotechnical Engineering Global Positioning System HVAC Hydraulics Hydraulics Books Hydro Power Hydrology Irrigation Engineering Machinery Magazines Management Books Masonry Mechanical Engineering Mechanics Mechanics Books Miscellaneous Books Modern Steel Construction Nanotechnology Natural Hazards Network Security Engineer Networking Systems News Noise and Attenuation Nuclear Engineering Nuclear Hazards to Buildings Pavement Design Prestressed Concrete Project Management Project Management Books Quantity Survey Quantity Survey Books railways RCC Structural Designing Remote Sensing Remote Sensing and GIS Books Renewable Energy Reports Resume Roads scholarships Smart devices Software Software Engineering Soil Mechanics Solar Energy Special Concrete Spreadsheets Steel Steel Spreadsheets Structural Analyses structures Structures Books Surveying Surveying Books Testing Thermodynamics Thesis Transportation Books Transportation Engineering Tunnel Engineering Wind Energy Zero Energy Buildings

History of Project Management

Project management has existed in some form for thousands of years. After all anything that requires an approach where humans organize effectively to a plan and achieve specific objectives can be loosely defined as a project. How else would have humans achieved some of stunning wonders and achievements, e.g. the Great Pyramid of Giza (2,550 B.C.) or the Great Wall of China (221 B.C. - 206 B.C.). These projects were made possible with the development of simple tools like wheels and levers, and wedges, around 3000 BC. The pace of development continued in and around the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Asia Minor, and the harnessing of animal labor in carrying materials. This led to projects like those that created the Roman Coliseum, 80 A.D. 

1.     The 16th Century and Modern Age of Engineering:-
This marked the beginning of modern engineering with the formation of professional societies, printing of treatise on engineering subjects in quantity, engineering schools, and specialization within the profession, and engineers began to take advantage of the brilliant scientific discoveries of the time.

The Scientific Revolution:-
"The first phase of modern engineering emerged in the Scientific Revolution. Galileo’s Two New Sciences, which seeks systematic explanations and adopts a scientific approach to practical problems, is a landmark regarded by many engineer historians as the beginning of structural analysis, the mathematical representation and design of building structures."

2.     The 18th and 19th Century and the Industrial Revolutions:-
The end of the 18th and 19th century witnessed colossal changes in the Western World with  industrial revolutions and with this the birth of management principles in the business world,  to become the backbone of project management.

The First Industrial Revolution and Steam:-
The monumentous changes brought about by the first industrial revolution and its repercussions required new thinking and solutions at a more macro level. For example, this new industrialized world with mass production required a system to supply large quantities of raw materials, resources, man power, equipment and organization. It needed more sophisticated systems of transportation, storage, manufacturing, assembly, and distribution. Further a rapidly expanding workforce of thousands needed to be taken care of in terms of housing, health, welfare, and education. All this brought in new institutions, establishments, and organizations. It also brought a more disciplined approach to business and management based on scientific research and principles.
The Factory System:-
This was a system of manufacturing introduced by the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries. Goods were made by workers gathered in a factory rather than handcrafted by craftsmen in their homes. The principals of the system lay in breaking the overall process into smaller activities and creating cells were tasks would be repeated. The first factories manufactured products like pulleys for sailing ship rigs, and firearms like muskets, and later textiles in mills. 

Transportation Networks:-
The industrial revolution required an advanced system for transportation and distribution. This was first brought about by canal networks, 18th century, and then the railway systems, 19th century. As trade expanded globally so did the development of ocean going steamship liners. From all this evolved some of the largest projects ever sponsored by governments namely, the transcontinental railroads of the US (1869), Canada (1870), Russia (1917), and the super-liner and dreadnought races of the early 20th century.

Transportation Networks:-
The industrial revolution required an advanced system for transportation and distribution. This was first brought about by canal networks, 18th century, and then the railway systems, 19th century. As trade expanded globally so did the development of ocean going steamship liners. From all this evolved some of the largest projects ever sponsored by governments namely, the transcontinental railroads of the US (1869), Canada (1870), Russia (1917), and the super-liner and dreadnought races of the early 20th century.

3.     The 20th Century:-
The 20th century witnessed colossal changes across the world with two industrial revolutions which required a far more structured approach to business and management as the scale of objectives changed.

The Second Industrial Revolution Electricity and Combustion Engines:-
The very late part of the 19th century saw the second industrial revolution emerge with a host of new emerging technologies. The second, dominated by electricity and chemicals, lasted 1890-1930, and brought telephones,  electrical devices, the internal combustion engine, and transportation by land (automobiles), sea (ocean going liners), and air. Epitomized by mass production of consumer goods and the mechanization of manufacture it served the needs of an increasing population.

The First World War:-
The world war mobilized continents with huge armies and resources into a global conflict which proved to be a prolonged war of stalemate. It manifested the industrialization of war and leveraged mass production, mass transportation, and mobilization of vast armies. By 1918 the logistical operation supplying the British Expeditionary Force was the largest the world had ever seen. This further accelerated work in planning and supplying.

Between the World Wars and Business Management:-
Between the two wars new disciplines were added to the study of business management notably, human relationships (between employer and employee), an evolution in marketing (and its importance) and industrial human relations school of management arose to deal with the practical problems caused by Taylorism and the grind less repetition of tasks.
Project engineers developed or adapted coordination techniques that gave the managers control over the progress of the project but did not attempt to dictate to specialized experts how to do their work. MIT professor Erwin Schell articulated this philosophy, telling students in the 1930's, "The work of the engineers in most departments is not sufficiently routinized to allow process control. The most satisfactory policy appears to be that of employing competent men and then holding them [responsible] for results in terms of the erection schedule, leaving ways and means largely to their individual discretion."

The Third Industrial Revolution and Computers:-
The third, from 1930 to today, has been dominated by computers both electro-mechanical and electronic, information, and the Internet. It also saw the institutionalization of management practices into business.

The Second World War:-
The world war reflected the manifestation of the second industrial revolution through the mechanization of warfare or "Blitzkrieg." It was dependent on advanced machinery swiftly moving huge armies and resources, whether by land or air. The shrinking war-time labor supply demanded new organizational structures. The conflict also brought massive projects to the fore front. For example, the adaptive system created for the Battle of Britain (1940), the Collossus computers at Bletchley Park (1943), the Normandy Invasion (1944), the Manhatten project (1945). The latter was the first evidence of modern project management, displaying principles of organization and planning. It separated the project manager (General Groves) and the technical leader (Robert Oppenheimer).

The Cold War:-
This war reflected the manifestation of the third industrial revolution and the advances made in the use of information/intelligence in the Second World War. It also saw the development of a large number of planes and rockets projects by the US Air Force and Navy based on experiments and prototypes in the Second World War.

The 1950s:-
The development of both CPM and PERT gave project managers much greater control over massively engineered and extremely complex projects. This was vital for the military weapon systems evolving and the space race which began in 1957, one of the most complex and difficult projects undertaken by humans.

The 1960s:-
US Defense introduced some core project tools like earned value, and work breakdown structures. An intellectual interest in project management emerges. The construction industry begins to widely use modern project management tools and methods.

The 1970s:-
Project-based firms use project management as a permanent function. The Project Management Institute (PMI) and the Internet (IPMA) are established to focus on project techniques. Project Management starts to incorporate Time, Cost and Quality (TCQ), and triangulating the relationship between these with regard to the expected value to be received from the project output. There is also a focus on the growth in the importance of external factors.

The 1980s:-
The discipline matures and broadens to include risk management, Total Quality Management (TQM), partnering, and defining project success. The PM book of knowledge PMBOK is published and business begins to adopt the approach of “Management by Projects.”

The 1990s:-
The discipline pays more attention to business benefits (business case) of projects, not just production of outputs, standardization of project methodologies, and the introduction of certification. It also focuses on enterprise project management, the need to manage networks of projects, and improving project management in organizations through a maturity model.

4.     Renowned  Project Management Integrators
Frederick Taylor (1856–1915), also known as the father of "scientific management", applied scientific reasoning to the industrial system in how labor can be studied and analyzed. By breaking down the work into its elementary parts he could improve productivity. This was applied across all tasks found in a factory system and industrial mills. Prior to this productivity improvements could be made only through longer hours from the work force. The approach relied upon time and motion studies to find the best method shorn of unrequited extra movements.
Henry Gantt (1861–1919), was an associate of Taylor, and studied in great detail the order of operations in work. He studied management techniques specifically in the field of the construction of naval ship in the First World War. As a result, he created the Gantt chart, a system of outlining the sequence and duration of all tasks in a process, reflected by task bars and milestone markers. For the past hundred years Gantt charts have remained little unchanged and are a proven analytical tool for managers. The advent of project management software has increased the popularity and usefulness of Gantt charts by adding links to task bars providing more precise dependencies between tasks.   Gantt charts were used on major infrastructure projects including the Hoover Dam (1931-36) and Interstate highway system (1956).
Charles Bedaux (1886-1945) was a contributor to the field of scientific management and worked out ideas about measuring human energy which led to startling improvements in productivity. These were based on the concept of rating assessment in timing work.
Bernard Schriever (1910-2005), the architect of the US Air Force's ballistic missile and military space program coins the term Project Management in 1954, later known as the “Father of Modern Project Management.”
Complex network diagrams called PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) charts were invented as part of the Polaris missile submarine program in 1955. Booz-Allen Hamilton worked with the U.S. Navy to create these charts and schedules.
The Critical Path Method (CPM) was developed by the DuPont Corporation in 1957, to deal with a variety of tasks and numerous interactions at many points in time.

About the Author

Faisal Aman He is B.Sc in Mechanical Engineering from "University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, Pakistan"

Author Name


Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.