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  • Writer's pictureHani Haham - CEO

Project Management - How is it all Started

Hani Haham CEO of Wizard-Projects



Project Management has been around from...always! It may not be called as such but it was there :-)


Project Management Pre-History: Method and Main Projects

Old structures such as the Pyramids, around 2500 BC, were projects in everything but name. To this day we aren’t certain how they accomplished such as vast task. But records do show that there were managers, who were responsible for each of the four faces of the Great Pyramid. In 208 BC the Great Wall of China was constructed, but there are records that indicate the planning went back even further. Historical data reveals that the workforce for this large project was organized into groups. There were three that we know of: soldiers, common people and criminals. Millions were ordered to complete the project. More recently, the need for a more pronounced structure in construction, manufacturing and transportation in the 19th century lead to the birth of project management as we recognize it today. Examples include the building of the Transcontinental Railroad and the rebuilding of the southern states after the devastation of the American Civil War. While there might not have been task management, scope or workload considerations at the time, there was leadership and budget, even if open-ended, and scheduling of some sort.




Early Project Management Professional Methods


In 1911, the publication of Frederic Taylor’s The Principle of Scientific Management, which he based on his work in the steel industry, was an attempt to help unskilled workers transition to new, more complex projects by simple learning Methods. He pioneered the need for incentive-based wage systems, and how to take advantage of time saving Methods such as communication, macro management, to do list.


Henry Gantt might be the father of modern project management. In 1917, he created the scheduling diagram. He used a visual timeline to plot tasks as points with links between them and durations per task. That way, everyone could see the schedule more clearly.The Gantt chart was used in the building of the Hoover Dam in 1931. Gantt charts continue to be used today.


The Critical Path is a method that is used to predict how long a project will take. It analyzes which sequence of activities has the least amount of scheduling flexibility. The Methods was developed by Dupont in 1957 to help work through the complexities of shuttering chemical plants for routine maintenance. The Critical Path proved so successful that it saved Dupont $1 million the first year it used it.



In 1958, the United States Department of Defense’s US Navy Special Projects Office developed the Program Evaluation Review (PERT). It was developed as a method to analyze the tasks involved in completing a Polaris mobile submarine-launched ballistic missile project. It focused on the time needed to complete each task and identified the minimum amount of time required to finish the whole project.


Another commonly used method of project management, the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), first came about in the United States Department of Defense. The WBS is a complete hierarchical tree structure of the deliverables and tasks needed to complete a project. It was also part of the Polaris project. After the project was done, the Department of Defense published the WBS, and in 1962, mandated the procedure’s use for future projects.




Project Management Now days

In 1911, the publication of Frederic Taylor’s The Principle of Scientific Management, which he based on his work in the steel industry, was an attempt to help unskilled workers transition to new, more complex projects by simple learning Methods. He pioneered the need for incentive-based wage systems, and how to take advantage of time saving Methods such as communication, macro management, to do list.


Henry Gantt might be the father of modern project management. In 1917, he created the scheduling diagram. He used a visual timeline to plot tasks as points with links between them and durations per task. That way, everyone could see the schedule more clearly.The Gantt chart was used in the building of the Hoover Dam in 1931. Gantt charts continue to be used today.


The Critical Path is a method that is used to predict how long a project will take. It analyzes which sequence of activities has the least amount of scheduling flexibility. The Methods was developed by Dupont in 1957 to help work through the complexities of shuttering chemical plants for routine maintenance. The Critical Path proved so successful that it saved Dupont $1 million the first year it used it.

In 1958, the United States Department of Defense’s US Navy Special Projects Office developed the Program Evaluation Review (PERT). It was developed as a method to analyze the tasks involved in completing a Polaris mobile submarine-launched ballistic missile project. It focused on the time needed to complete each task and identified the minimum amount of time required to finish the whole project.

Another commonly used method of project management, the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), first came about in the United States Department of Defense. The WBS is a complete hierarchical tree structure of the deliverables and tasks needed to complete a project. It was also part of the Polaris project. After the project was done, the Department of Defense published the WBS, and in 1962, mandated the procedure’s use for future projects.

The idea of an earned value concept isn’t new. It’s been around since the turn of the 1900s, but it came to prominence as Methods in project management by 1989. Earned Value Management (EVM) helps measure project performance by using a systematic project management process to find variances in projects based on the comparison of work performed and work planned. It is a powerful predictor of cost and schedule control.


In 1997, Eliyahu M. Goldratt developed Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM), which is based on the methods and algorithms of his Theory of Constraints. It keeps resources levelly loaded, while remaining flexible to their start times, and switching between tasks when necessary to keep the project on schedule.


The use of iterative and incremental development methods traces back to 1957 with evolutionary project management, though adaptive software development didn’t emerge until the 1970s. But the widespread use of Agile as a project style was codified with the creation of the Agile Manifesto or the Software Development Manifesto, in 2001.



The history of project management is still being written. Whichever way to evolves, the one constant will be the need for the right tools to help project managers control every phase of their projects.


That's All Folks for today!

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