The Evolution Of Project Management Essay

2563 words - 10 pages

IntroductionIn the early 1970s it was stated in the project management community that "project management is the accidental profession." This statement has been quoted many times since, with all the implications that a discovery had been made and a new profession had been defined in the late twentieth century. Recognition of project management as a discipline and the use of this management approach have varied over several thousands of years.The treatment of the subject of projects and project management in this chapter encompasses several thousands of years where evidence exists to demonstrate that projects were used to change and advance societies and that some form of project management was needed to ensure favorable conversion of resources to the benefit of these societies. The selection of examples of projects reported in this chapter is made based on available artifacts, literature, and other evidence reflecting a high degree of understanding and sophistication in effecting change through planned actions.For centuries, project management has been used in some rudimentary form to create change or deal with change in societies. Change in a positive sense is caused by the application of management action that results in the consumption of resources to create a desired product, service, or organizational process. Change also may be meeting uncertain situations to identify and implement actions to obtain the most favorable outcome. Project management, in whatever form, has been used for centuries to plan for, implement, and meet change.The general management discipline, although practiced in some form in antiquity, emerged as an explicit discipline in the twentieth century. It was during this period that concepts, philosophies, principles, processes, tools, and techniques began to appear in literature that reflects the intellectual framework found in the management of contemporary organizations. Yet a form of general management existed in antiquity to deal with the need to lead and organize various elements of society.General management, often described in the context of leadership, was ubiquitous in the past, being the medium by which changes in societies were accomplished. The great leaders of history were "managers," managing political organizations, countries, explorations, wars, technological and social change, and so forth. The principal challenge to these managers was the need to create change for the better or to deal with the change that affected their societies.It was the 1950s when project management was formally recognized as a distinct contribution arising from the management discipline. Prior uses of project management had a focus on cost, schedule, and technical performance but lacked the formal definition and embracing of the management concepts and processes in an integrated manner. Since the early 1950s, names and labels have been given to the elements of the project management discipline, helping to facilitate its further...

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