The origin of Project management dates back 5000 years.
Astounding, isn’t it?
I’m going to pack all that time into the next 800 words. So sit back and hang on for one terrific roller coaster ride!
2570 B.C.: This year marks the completion of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Today, we continue to wonder how this task could have ever been done almost 5000 year ago. But there is no doubting the fact that it could never have been done with intense planning, explicit execution and effective control over the project.
208 B.C.: Leap frog 2000 years ahead and witness the completion of another mind-boggling project of architecture, the Great Wall of China. Build during the Qin Dynasty, this was a consolidated and organized project of epic proportion.
1917: Henry Gnatt, the forefather of project management, created the schedule diagram, famously known as the Gnatt Chart. This radical innovation of his was first used on the project to build the Hoover Dam in 1931. Till date the Gnatt charts are used as an integral part of the toolkit of a project manager.
1957: The Dupont Corporation developed the CPM (Critical Path Method) technique for predicting project duration. It analyzed the sequences of activities that had the least flexibility in scheduling. In the first year of its implementation it saved the company $ 1 million.
1969: The non-profit professional organization Project Management Institute (PMI) was founded by five volunteers. PMI is best known for one of the most essential tools used in project management till today, the PMBoK (Project Management Book of Knowledge).
1975: PROMPTII was developed to counter computer projects overrunning their delivery schedules and budgets many times over. It set guidelines for a stage-wise flow of the project to budget and timelines.
1984: Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt, in his book “The Goal”, unveiled the Theory of Constraints (TOC), which is an overall philosophy of management. It reveals the view that a system can be limited from achieving some of its goals due to a few constraints, and there always exists at least one constraint in any situation and environment.
1986: Scrum made its appearance as the agile software development model that was based on many small teams working in an interdependent structure.
1987: PMI published the first edition of the guide to PMBoK to establish standard project management practices and information.
1989: PRINCE (Projects IN Controlled Environment) was introduced by CCNTA, an agency of the UK government.
1996: PRINCE was upgraded to PRINCE2 and was accepted by 150 European organizations. This was generic to industries in comparison to the original PRINCE that was solely designed for software development projects.
1997: Based on his Theory of Constraints (TOC), Dr. Goldratt developed the CCPM (Critical Chain Project management). It is a method of planning projects and managing them with emphasis on resources, such as equipment, space and people, that are required for executing a project.
1998: The PMBoK standard was accepted by ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering) recognized it the following year.
2001: The turn of the century say the first edition of the Agile Software Development Manifesto being published.
2006: The Total Cost Management Framework was introduced by AACE International, as the first integrated process that included portfolio, program and project management.
2008: The PRINCE2 Revison had seven principles that contributed to the success of a project. The updated version gave project mangers better tools to deliver projects accurately and on time.
2012: The International Organization for Standards worked diligently for 5 years with 50 countries to finally published the ‘ISO 21500:2012, Guidance on Project Management’.
2012: The same year also saw the 5th edition of the PMBoK being published, which included ‘Project Stakeholders Management’, a new 10th knowledge area.
The Future: Projects are getting more complex as they increase in size and expanse with the globalization of industries and businesses. Multiple teams, working across geographies, with their individual economic situations and physical restraints and capabilities. This calls for changes in how business is being conducted and projects are being managed. Newer techniques, with relevant practices will be essential to the evolution of business practices.
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