History of Project Management How Did We Get Here - Business - Management

History of Project Management: How Did We Get Here?   by Daiv Russell

in Business / Management    (submitted 2008-02-13)

Project management in its present form began to take root a few decades ago. In the early 1960s, industrial and business organizations began to understand the benefits of organizing work around projects. They understood the critical need to communicate and integrate work across multiple departments and professions. That was how the project management really took off.

In late 19th century, due to the rising complexities of the business world, it evolved more effectively from management principles. Large-scale government projects played a big role in major decision making. They were called as management decisions. Big projects involved thousands of workers, huge quantity of materials and bulk quantity of machinery and equipment.

Business organizations wanted to apply some powerful techniques so that the labor, material, and machinery were effectively used to give maximum results. In early 20th century, Frederick Taylor analyzed work patterns and behavior and found out that better methods can increase the productivity considerably. This type of analysis is now known as time and motion study. Time and motion can suggest better methods to reduce labor and material costs. Taylor was dubbed the "father of scientific management".

When we talk of project management, Henry Gantt cannot be left out. His contribution to this field has been substantial. He studied the order of work operation closely and came up with what is known today as the Gantt chart. It is a great reference for managing projects, especially large ones. The chart gives a complete idea about the interdependence of tasks and the schedules on the chart help in identifying and arresting delays. This is why these charts have been quite popular ever since their introduction in the 1920s.

Evolution of management into a distinctive business study dates back to the period of Taylor Gantt and many others. They revolutionized this concept into a study and discipline subject. Later came the different topics such as marketing approaches, industrial psychology, and human relations that became the backbone of business management. PERT charts and Critical Paths Methods were introduced in the mid 20's. After understanding the benefits of this subject, military and many other organizations started to adopt these techniques and they continue to apply them to this day.

Today's project management is different from what it used to be in the beginning. Nowadays, project management is considered as a human being, which means that for a business to survive and prosper every functional part of the being should work in tandem and coordination towards achieving specific objectives. Over the time project management evolved into the current modern forms that is now prevailing in the world. The project manager manages the project and is responsible for its completion. A project manager, integrates various resources into a team, organizes and coordinates the whole project in order to get the best possible results in terms of productivity and profits. And finally the project manager delivers the completed project on time and within budgets.