The History of Ancillary Project Management Concepts

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This subject looks at a the origins of diverse range of ancillary factors used in PM such as calendars, numbers, and arbitration.


Topics included in the History of Ancillary Project Management Concepts:

- The Origins of Numbers, Calendars and Calculations
- The Development of General Management Theory
   - The development of Knowledge Management
- The History of Computers, Agile, and Allied Concepts
- The History of Dispute Management and Arbitration.

Other related sections of the PMKI:

- The development of Modern Project Management
- Henry Gantt's contribution to management theory



The Origins of Numbers, Calendars and Calculations

PM History
PP: The origins of the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) calendar. This paper looks at the reasons why days have 24 hours but hours have 60 minutes and why the number of days in each month varies. The origins of today's UTC go back more then 6000 years!

Art: Measuring time The development of devices capable of measuring time with ever increasing levels of accuracy, is directly linked to the development of calendars. This article traces improvements in the way time is measured over the last 6000 years. 

Art: Knowing (exactly) where you are is not that simple! Many projects need to accurately locate the position of property lines and facilities, but achieving this is far from straightforward. The modern Reference Meridian used by GPS and other systems is approximately 102 meters east of the original Greenwich Meridian set in the 19th century. How did this occur? – It is a long story that intertwines astronomy, map making, navigation, and time keeping. 

Blg: The Great Library of Alexandria – The first Google? The influence of the Great Library of Alexandria on the development of knowledge outlined in the papers above was significant, for several centuries scholars from across the 'known world' were accommodated and works in what was effectively a sate funded research institution.

Blg: Detail can be the enemy of useful! Every height in the in the Great Britain is stated as a height above (or below) the mean sea level as recorded by the tidal gauge at Newlyn in Cornwall. The problems is that when you measure heights from space using accurate GPS, the whole Cornish Peninsular rises and falls by up to 13 centimeters twice a day in response to the tides moving gigatons of water in and out of the English and Bristol Channels. All of this flexing means there will be measurable differences between surveys done using the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and those based on an Ordnance Survey datum. This raises two questions, which reference system should you use, and how much detail is useful? The answers are in the blog post.     

Blg: The Mayan Calendar is equivalent to the Greek’s knowledge of the universe! It seems the ancient Mayan civilization were as sophisticated and the Greek and Babylonian civilizations when it comes to understanding the cycles of the planets. Their 819-day calendar, used from at least the 5th century BCE – matches the planetary cycles of all planets that might have been visible to astronomers of the civilization over a 45-year span!  

Art: Are numbers real? This brief article looks at the origins and some of the irrational aspects of the numbers we use every day.

PP: The Origins of Bar Charting. This paper looks at the ancient Greek and Egyptian origins of numbers, geometry, and calculations; the concepts used by both Priestly and Playfair as a starting point to develop their charts which in turn led to the development of the modern bar chart by the late 1800s.

Blg: What is an algorithm? The answer depends on the year you asked the question! This post looks at the origins of the name, the invention of algebra, the introduction of modern numbers and the decimal point to the West, and the evolution of the meaning of algorithm, starting with the person who's name it is: Al-Khwarizmi.

Blg: Who invented calculus? The answer, Newton was first, but the notation developed by Leibniz is the one students of calculus still use, the blog post has more details.

Blg: The evolution of design processes This post briefly looks at the development of orthographic projection and the foundation of the the École Polytechnique in Paris in the late 18th century, which together transitioned engineering design from an art to a mathematical science underpinning the engineering and construction booms of the 19th century.

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The Development of General Management Theory

Management HistoryPP: 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'.

WP: The Functions of Management. The functions and principles of management (H. Fayol, 1916).

For the development of project management see: The Origins of Modern Project Management.

Art: Professional Project Management. What does professional project management look like? This article looks at the evolution of the concept of a formal profession and what this may mean for project management.


The development of Knowledge Management

Art: Finding Information – The art of Indexing.  There are vast amounts of management knowledge available, the challenge is finding the right information when needed. This article traces the origins of the index and taxonomy over the last 800 years, and provides links to a number of specialized search engines that are free to use.

Blg: The Great Library of Alexandria – The first Google? The influence of the Great Library of Alexandria on the development of knowledge management was significant. The systems developed in the library to structure knowledge, lay out the library, and classify the documents carry through to modern times.

The PMKI Taxonomy is designed to make finding the information easier, and augments the site specific Google search in the header above.

Click through to out page focused on modern corporate management.

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The History of Computers, Agile, and Allied Concepts

This section focuses on the development of computing and various approaches to general software development. The origins of specific applications such as scheduling software (CPM, PERT, etc.) are in sections specific to that topic.

History of Computing

Art: A Brief History of Agile. The first part of this paper looks at the precursors to the creation of the first general purpose computer.

Blg: ENIAC and the Origins of Computers This post looks at the ENIAC computer mentioned in A Brief History of Agile, and the people who started the concept of computer programming.

Blg: Computers before ENIAC This post looks at one of the omissions in the historical record, the developments feeding into the creation of ENIAC and a number of parallel but isolated developments in Germany and by IBM.

Blg: What is an algorithm? This post looks at the origins and evolution of the and meaning of algorithm, and Charles Babbage's invention, The differential machine.

Blg: ICL 1900 PERT – 50th Anniversary This post looks at the history of the ICL computer company (UK - now Fujitsu) and it PERT program.

The Last of the First, CSIRAC: Australia’s First Computer (1949) – A description of the development and use of this early computer.

 

History of Agile and Waterfall

Art: A Brief History of Agile. This article looks at the factors leading to the development of the Agile approach to project delivery. While Agile is an approach suited to a wide range of soft projects, its origins are intrinsically tied to the development of programmable computers and computer languages. It also seeks to dispel many of the myths and legends surrounding Agile, Waterfall, and early computer systems.

Blg: The Quest for Control Looks at why Waterfall was preferred as a software development approach for a short period. The current (1980s) software development methods were largely iterative and incremental, and were failing to meet expectations. The new idea of Waterfall offered a solution. It was developed by people with little direct experience of major software development (who were therefore not tarnished with the perceived failures). The advice of people with significant software development experience was ignored - they were already perceived to be failing. The result was 6 years of even worse performance before Waterfall was dropped as a mandated method. The actual cause of the perceived failures (cost and time overruns) was unrealistic expectations caused by a lack of understanding of complexity leading to overly optimistic estimates - this issue is still not fully resolved. 

Key documents referenced in this article, available for download are:
- The Last of the First, CSIRAC: Australia’s First Computer (1949) – A description of the development
  and use of this early computer.
- Benington (1956) Production of Large Computer Programs (SAGE) – Adapted from a presentation at
  a symposium on advanced programming methods for digital computers sponsored by the Navy
  Mathematical Computing Advisory Panel and the Office of Naval Research in June 1956.
- Royce (1970) Managing the development of large software systems – Proceedings, IEEE WESCON,
  August 1970: Dr. Winston W. Royce (advocates an iterative approach).
T.E. Bell and T.A. Thayer (1976) Software Requirements: Are They Really a Problem – Introduces the
  term 'waterfall'.
- DOD-STD-2167 (1985) Defense System Software Development – Requirements for the development 
  of mission critical software (advocates an iterative approach).
- DOD-STD-2167A (1988) Defense System Software Development – Updated requirements for the
  development of mission critical software (requires a sequential approach waterfall by default).
- MIL-STD-498 (1994) : Software Development and Documentation – Supersedes DOD-STD-2167A,
  reintroducing incremental and iterative development approaches.
- Iterative and Incremental Development: A Brief History (2003) – Craig Larman & Victor R. Basili.
  Traces the development of the technique from the 1950s.

Key external blog posts referenced in this article include:
The Myth of Waterfall by David Olson: http://www.bawiki.com/wiki/Waterfall.html
    Download a PDF version of this post as at 1st Feb. 2024

Timeline - Click to enlargeWaterfall - The Dark Age of Software Development Has Returned!
    by Kallokain:  https://kallokain.blogspot.com/2023/09/waterfall-dark-age-of-software.html
    Download a PDF version of this post as at 1st Feb. 2024
                                                              Click on image for full-size timeline  > >

Waterfall vs Agile: Battle of the Dunces or A Race to the Bottom by Kallokain:
    https://kallokain.blogspot.com/2023/11/waterfall-vs-agile-battle-of-dunces-or.html
    Download a PDF version of this post as at 1st Feb. 2024

-  Posts by Glen Alleman:
   -  Agile in NASA, DoD, and DOE (detailed listing of current US publications focused on using
      Iterative and Incremental Development (IID) and agile in major programs):
      https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/agile-nasa-dod-doe-glen-alleman/
   -  Agile is Systems Engineering (an overview on systems engineering and agile):
      https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/agile-systems-engineering-glen-alleman/
   -  There Was No Such Thing as Waterfall Project Management:
      https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/thing-waterfall-project-management-glen-alleman-mas4c/

Key Mosaic resources focused on Agile and Adaptive projects:
- Agile Approaches to Software Development Resources focused on managing Agile projects.
- Schedule control in Agile and Distributed projects 

WPMWork Performance Management - WPM has two primary functions, calculating the schedule variance at the update date, and predicting the likely schedule completion date and variance at completion (VAC) - See more.

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The History of Dispute Management and Arbitration

Blg: Arbitration has a long history. An outline of the Saxon legal codes used in the Kingdom of Kent prior to the Norman invasion of England.

Blg: Scot-free & Lots. The allocation and payment of fees and taxes (not to mention voting rights) are the cause of many disputes. This post looks at the origins of the terms Lot and Scot-Free.

Click through to our page focused on dispute management.     

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