Other related sections of the PMKI:
Projects in one form or another have been undertaken for millennia:
- The ancient Egyptians constructed pyramids some 4500
- Sun Tzu wrote about planning and strategy 2500 years ago
(every battle is a project to be first won; then fought)
- Numerous transcontinental railways were constructed during
the 19th century, and
- Buildings of different sizes and complexity have been erected for
as long as mankind has occupied permanent settlements.
However, it was only in the latter part of the 20th century people started to talk about ‘project management’. There is an important distinction to be drawn between projects: ‘a temporary endeavour to create a unique product, service or result’ and ‘modern project management’ as it is embodied in the various project management associations around the world. The profession of ‘modern project management’ is a creation of these associations starting in the 1960s. During the next 50 years they developed a generally consistent view of the processes involved in ‘project management’, encoded these views into ‘Bodies of Knowledge’ (BoKs), describe competent behaviours and certified knowledgeable and/or competent ‘Project Managers’. Whilst the underlying philosophies used by modern project management are much older, the key change in this period was the melding of processes, techniques and management philosophies into a body of knowledge (BoK), and the effective dissemination of the ideas of modern project management into the wider community.
The central theme running through the various BoKs was that project management is an integrative process that has at its core, the balancing of the ‘iron triangle’ of time, cost and output. All three facets must be present for a management process to be considered project management. However, as the 21st century progresses, this holistic view of the profession is starting to devolve into a series of discrete sub-disciplines using quite different methodologies and approaches; the consequences of this emerging trend remain to be seen.
During the 1960s and 70s, the catalyst for the spread of
discussions on project management and the formation of
associations to support these new ideas appears to have
been the spread of scheduling, and more importantly
professional schedulers. Arguably, the schedulers need for
a forum to discuss and develop their new discipline led
directly to the formation of the various project
management associations. Once founded, it was (and still
is) the various project management associations that led
the development of a defined and documented ‘project
management body of knowledge’. Only after the body of
knowledge was formulated, did it become possible to:
- Define project management competencies (see: Competencies & Interpersonal Skills),
- Formally examine project management knowledge (see below), and
- Start the process of creating a true profession of project management
(see: PM Training & Qualifications).
The three major history papers on this site are:
- The Origins of Modern Project Management (below)
- The Origins of Modern Management (below), and
- A Brief History of Scheduling.
An early summary of these papers is in the article 'A Brief History of Project Management' published in APM Project: Vol 19, Issue 11, June 2007.
PP: The Origins of Modern Project Management. This paper discusses the ways in which management and technological innovations of the 20th century interacted to encourage the establishment of project management tools (particularly scheduling), leading to the formation of PM institutes, which in turn created the profession of modern project management. Assuming the central hypothesis in this paper holds true, that: the spread of scheduling was the genesis of ‘modern project management’ ; then the 50th anniversary of the start of the process that created ‘modern project management’ is the 7th May 2007.
PP: The Origins of Modern Management. This paper discusses the ways in which management theories evolved from the beginning of the 18th century through to the 21st century and how these developments influenced the creation of 'modern project management'.
PP: Trends In Modern Project Management - Past Present & Future. The profession of ‘project management’ is largely a creation of the ‘project management associations’ starting in the 1960. During the first 40+ years, they developed a generally consistent view of the processes involved in ‘modern project management’, encoded these views into ‘Bodies of Knowledge’ (BoKs), describe competent behaviours and certified knowledgeable and/or competent ‘Project Managers’. This paper reviews the roots of project management, briefly looks at the evolution of the discipline into a profession and then attempt to predict where success for project management practitioners will lay in the future as the practice of managing projects devolves into a series of very different approaches.View the PowerPoint presentation.
The original Project Management Body of Knowledge (1987) is now available as a PDF file. Converted to PDF by Max Wideman, it's free on request. To see more click through to: http://www.maxwideman.com/PMBOK1987reborn/intro.htm. This document:
Blg: The PMP® Examination is 30 years old. A brief history of the linked development of PMI's PMP examination and the PMBOK® Guide.
Blg: The PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition and its consequences. The evolution of the PMBOK and the PMP exam through to the publication of the 6th Edition in Q3 2017.
Blg: Construction project management is a very old profession. The construction of Hwaseong Fortress in Korea that was built between 1794 and 1796.
PP: Project Governance & Control, The Building of the Crystal Palace. This article discusses the governance processes used to oversight the construction of the Crystal Palace in 1851 and is subsequent sale and relocation.