History of project management

The introduction of project management (PM) over four decade ago has been a thing of success which has major impact in the area of organisation structure, is seen to continue to progress into the present century mainly with multinational project management. Evolution and development of PM is traced back since the time of systems management which is refer to as modern PM by some people. The introduction of PM into corporate organisation as change the concepts of structure, decision taking, distribution of power, roles and responsibilities within various company which as lead to profitability.

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According to Gray and Larson (2008), project is ”a complex, nonroutine, one time effort limited by time, budget, resources, and performance specification designed to meet customer needs”. PM is seen as a process to organise, plan, and manage materials so as to achieve a positive result with a specific task. It’s also defined as ”a formalised and structured method of managing change in a rigorous manner. Its focuses on achieving specifically defined outputs that is to be achieved by a certain time, to a defined quality and with a given level of resources so that planned outcomes are achieved”.

PM has been in existence over thousands of years ago priory to the Egyptian epoch, organisation began to implement a formal PM in the 1950’s as tools and techniques to complex tasks. Origin of modern PM tools is of two parallel with various difficulty of planning and control in USA. The American Navy is associated with the first problem. Then time is concerned with the control of contracts in the Polaris Missile project which constitute research development work and production of parts that are unique, which has never been implemented before.

The task was seen as a high uncertainty, due to non accuracy of neither cost nor time estimated. There timing was based under probabilities, this period time is based on optimistic, this process is called program evaluation review technique (PERT). This process does not consider cost so sooner consist using same assume approach as with time. PERT was seen as the best method to be use for projects involves in high volume of incorrect reflects. Private sector (E. I du Pont de Nemours) was seen as the 2nd case which was a constructing chemical factory in America, the task require perfect timing with cost.

The method is describes as project planning and scheduling (PPS) which require accurate time and cost , this method is also refer to as critical path method (CPM) which was common used by the construction firm, within the period of 1960’s and 1970’s, PERT & CPM were popular around the public and private firms. NASA, different countries security defence department, construction firms use PM technique to carryout high volume of budget driven tasks. PM usage coins the innovation of present day computer system with package which deals with PM. Prior to 1958: Craft system to human relations.

At this period, evolution of technology (telecommunication and automobiles) reduced the project plan. The automobiles required effective resource allocation and mobility while telecommunication increased speed of communication. Henceforth job distribution was later seen as the basis of developing the work Breakdown Structure (WBS) used and Henry Gantt invented the Gantt chart. Examples of projects implemented during this time are (a) Manhattan project-1942-1945 (b) Pacific Railroad 1850’s (c) Construction of Hoover Dam-1931-1936 1958-1979: Application of Management Science.

Advancement of technology occurred during this period e. g. 1st automatic plain-paper copier manufacture by Xerox (1959), within this period different core project management tools (CPM and PERT) were invented. This period is seen as the rapid development of computer technology. Examples of projects that took place during this period and influenced the development of modern project management till day are (a) Polaris missile project-1961 (b) Apollo project -1960 (c) E. I du Pont de Nemours-1958