Understanding the Origin of Project Management

Project management strategies and approaches have been used from early civilization to give the absolute execution of the project. Every history has its impact on the current phase of the industry.


Let’s take you down the street further about the history of project management. A book is written on the topic of the history of project management by an author Mark Kozac from Holland.

There is a misperception that project management was initiated and evolved in the 20th century.

One of the Major findings of the book is that project management has been practiced since the beginning of civilization.

The Giza pyramid is probably the best starting point in the history of project management. It is time to reset many of the misperceptions about project management particularly those associated with the ancient projects. Project Management is a continuum that started around 4500 years ago.

What we see today is an evolution of that continuum of perceptions about ancient projects.

They were driven by overbearing leaders, had a slave workforce, unlimited budgets, and extended timelines. Without scope management, none of the ancient projects could have been delivered. Scope management processes help to determine what we should not include in projects and what we should.

The processes also controlled the project scope during the project life cycle. The history of project management examines ancient projects from 2500 BC to 1940 to create a baseline for comparing today’s projects.

history of PMP

New insights emerge when Ewing historical projects through today’s project management lens. We still view these projects from a traditional engineering or architectural perspective.

Based on the latest archaeological work and modern research using sleuthing and forensic science.

For example, Shiba Yemen (pop. 7000) has 500 mud brick tower houses (5 to 11 stories high) built in the 16th century.

Similarly New York City skyline. Materials and technology have changed but not project management practices.

Enroll in our PMP Certification today and develop a strong foundation in the principles of project management.

The history of the project is affected by the transition from natural to man-made materials and the evolution of man-made materials.

1. Natural materials reach a plateau, in height/stability, until man-made materials were develop.

2. To make concrete and bricks strong and flexible requires scientific knowledge.

3. How to put this together into large complex structures requires mathematics (geometry).

 4. Significant Roman projects, like the Coliseum and large viaducts, benefited from arches and less of these new materials.           

Many Indian ancient temples and Indus Valley civilization historical projects provide a baseline to measure today’s projects. The baseline also puts into context the steady evolution of project management.

If we define project management to be the situation where a group of people and resources have been assembled and organized to achieve specific one-time objectives, then project management has been around for quite some time.

Examples of one-time projects requiring complicated management systems include ancient wonders such as the Great Egyptian pyramids and the Great Wall of China.

These ancient projects have required exceptional planning, Coordination of human labor, and allocation of resources. Both buildings were built using labor from hundreds of thousands of workers, both paid and slave labor.

Management of the construction of the Great Pyramid and the Great Wall of China has the basic elements of project management.

Both are examples of managing resources, maintaining schedules, and Coordinating different groups to properly synchronize the technical and functional aspects of each element of the project.

All of these elements are used in today’s modern project management practices. However, there is no evidence that these projects use optimal scheduling of activities.

In the 19th century project management emerged as an important activity when commerce grew and became more complex. Large-scale government projects led to large-scale project management.

An example of this is the transcontinental railroad of 1862. The trans-continental railroad is considered to be one of the first organize government projects that required large-scale project management.

In the early 20th century modern project management came about from different areas of applications such as construction, engineering, and defense. The forefather of project management in the United States of America is Henry Gantt.

He is known as the father of planning and control techniques because he create a chart showing complex project schedules. Another prominent figure in modern project management is Frederick Winslow Taylor.

He was one of the first people to organize work is piecemeal. In this sender, his thinking led to much of the later development in project management. Taylor, an associate of Henry Gantt, develops scientific theories of management.

He studied certain production elements and how each task can be made efficient through the use of fine-tuning techniques.

Ancient PMP

In the 1950’s saw the beginning of modern Project Management (CAPM)® Certification at that time mathematical scheduling methods were developed.

The first project of evaluation of the review technique or PERT, and the second one was the critical path method, or CPM. PERT is developed by Booz Allen Hamilton as part of the US Navy’s Polaris missile submarine program.

PERT is a process that analyses the task involved in completing a specific project. We evaluate the task based on identifying the total time required to complete the project for the growth of the company.

This critical path method or CPM was first initiated jointly by both DuPont Corporation and the Remington Rand Corporation for managing the plant maintenance projects.

The CPM is a critical path research or analysis that is a mathematically based algorithm for formulating a set of project activities. It uses the PERT structure to find a set of tasks that if they are not done in a sequence, the total length of the project increases.

1. Learn about the Agile Revolution

Agile methodology has gained rapid momentum over the last 30 years, the project managers are being fond of this Agile Project Management method to increase the success rate of the project. The more perplexing tasks have become, the more they should be adaptable in the venture.

The executives’ exercises” said long-lasting undertaking director Crystal Richards, head and proprietor of Mosaic Resource Group.

“With Agile, changes invite, inside the limits of a dream or guide.

Be that as it may, others propose that individuals have been utilizing the Agile approach to oversee extends some time before it had a name.

“While Agile is as of now reshaping the essence of programming advancement, its underlying foundations and practices return more than 30 years,” said Alan Zucker.

Establishing head of Project Management Essentials, LLC.

For instance, W. Edward Deming’s PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) cycle dates right back to the 1950s.

Toss Cobb, a 15-year venture board veteran and creator of “The Project Manager’s Guide to Mastering Agile,” imagines that the crucial way to deal with venture executives hasn’t generally changed since the space race.

“The manner in which we do extend the executives has gotten progressively advanced and we can do bigger and increasingly complex tasks with increasingly unsurprising outcomes.

However, it is totally found on a customary arrangement-driven way to deal with the venture executives,” he said.

What has changed is the manner in which we recognize jobs in venture the board.

2. Groups get Convey

Thirty years prior, if a task chief needed to monitor their group, they would do so eye to eye or, perhaps, via telephone. Presently, that equivalent communication frequently happens by means of video talk or informing with committed joint effort instruments.

As per Dmitriy Zaitsev of Devexperts:

Alongside the new level of adaptability and access to new gifts in the disseminated groups.

A venture chief additionally needs expanded information in an assortment of joint effort instruments, cross-outskirt and culturally diverse correspondence, inspiration, employing, and training methods.

Evolution of project management

The work with an appropriate group likewise requires time zone-rationalist abilities.

Indeed, even as groups spread out and correspondence turns out to increase computerized, notwithstanding, the significance of humankind in fruitful undertakings turns out to be progressively clear.

3. Tasks Turned out to be more about Individuals Than Items

As tasks have gotten less material and substantial and increasingly advanced and cerebral, the human component has demonstrated indispensable.

As indicated by Todd Williams, creator of “Salvage the Problem Project: A Complete Guide to Identifying, Preventing, and Recovering from Project Failure”:

Tasks used to be centered essentially around physical outcomes: structures, streets, and pyramids. Today an ever-increasing number of tasks are about business processes.

These are not centered around paying clients however inner clients: are individuals who need to utilize another procedure (in a consistent style) and can decide not to utilize it.

Reception, inclusion, and inspiration are critical.

Consequently, Williams sees individual-to-individual correspondence and group purchases in as more significant than at any other time in recent memory.

We don’t face a daily reality such that [CEOs] mention to their workers what heading the organization is going and the representatives will follow so they can satisfy the chief and make it to their gold watch at retirement.

If we don’t care for a heading, we will advocate (or even harm) to get another course. Our undertakings need to oblige impulse, human instinct, and ability.

This requires unquestionably increasingly delicate abilities, initiative, and comprehension of the progress of the executives.

As opposed to making venture the board progressively generic, some mechanical advancements have encouraged better correspondence.

Also, the “human” component—alongside all the correspondence that goes with it—is the fate of undertaking the board business.

4. Innovation Separated Hindrances and Expelled Wasteful Aspects

Phil Wolff, co-lead of Open Oakland with over 20 years of industry experience, has acutely looked at PCs and new innovations that have changed venture the board by associating individuals across customary gaps and getting through logjams:

Computerized venture demonstrating lets us quickly emphasize and reshape venture plans, crushing out many task expenses and dangers.

Before MS Project and Primavera, huge scope implied moderate coordination. [Computer-supported design] implied significantly less structure an inappropriate thing and better incorporation among venture individuals.

Web and portable correspondence broke separation as an obstruction to joining forces on ventures. So much so that time regions turned into a more concerning issue.

5. The Eventual Fate of Undertaking the Executives

As venture executives turn out to be increasingly more computerized through devoted PM instruments and progressively broad joint effort frameworks, the task administrator position will likewise change.

The veteran undertaking administrators we got notification from anticipate that relational abilities will separate the first class from the group.

As we’ll talk about underneath, new innovation and advancement will constrain venture directors to continually adjust.

Let’s show some brief history of project management :


1975: The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering by Fred Brooks

In his book on programming building and undertaking the executives, Fred Brooks’ focal topic is that “Adding labor to a late programming venture makes it later.

” This thought is Brooks’ law. The additional human interchanges expected to add another part to a programming group is more than anybody ever anticipates.

It normally relies upon the experience and advancement of the human developers included and the nature of accessible documentation.

All things considered, regardless of how much experience they have, the additional time talking about the task, duties, and specialized subtleties just as assessing the outcomes gets exponential as more individuals get included.

These perceptions are from Brooks’ encounters while dealing with the improvement of OS/360 at IBM.

1984: Theory of Constraints (TOC) Introduced by Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt in his Novel “The Goal”

TOC is a general administration reasoning that is equipped to help associations consistently accomplish their objective.

The title originates from the view that any sensible framework is restricted in accomplishing a greater amount of its objective by a few requirements, and there is consistently, at any rate, one imperative.

The TOC procedure tries to recognize the imperative and rebuild the remainder of the association around it by utilizing the Five Focusing Steps. The techniques and calculations from TOC proceeded to frame the premise of Critical Chain Project Management.

1986 Scrum Named as a Project Management Style

Scrum is a lithe programming advancement model dependent on numerous little groups working in a concentrated and associated way. In their paper.

‘The New Product Development Game’ (Harvard Business Review, 1986) Takeuchi and Nonaka named Scrum as a venture the executives style. Later they expounded on it in, ‘The Knowledge Creating Company’ (Oxford University Press, 1995).

In spite of the fact that scrum is expected for the board of programming advancement ventures, it tends to be utilized to run programming upkeep groups, or as a general task and program the executives approach.

1987: A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) Published by PMI

First distributed by the PMI as a white paper in 1987, the PMBOK Guide was an endeavor to report and normalize acknowledged tasks in the board data and practices. The principal version was to be distributed in 1996, trail by a second in 2000, and a third in 2004. The guide is one of the fundamental devices in the task the board calling today and has become the worldwide standard for business.

1989: Earned Value Management (EVM) Leadership Elevated to Undersecretary of Defence for Acquisition

Despite the fact that the earned worth idea has been around on processing plant floors since the mid-1900s.

It just came to unmistakable quality as a task the board procedure in the late 1980s and mid-1990s. In 1989, the EVM initiative was raised to the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, this manner making EVM a basic piece of the program for the board and acquirement.

In 1991, Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney dropped the Navy A-12 Avenger II Program on account of execution issues identified by EVM. 

The PMBOK Guide of 1987 has a blueprint of Earned Value Management (EVM) in this manner developed in later versions.

So, learn all the above aspects of project management to carefully increase the growth of the current industry.

Upgradation in Project Management in the Last 20 Years

In the last 20 years, Project Management has undergone significant upgradation and advancements driven by technological innovation, changes in business approaches, and evolving methodologies. Some Key Upgradation include:

Adoption of Agile Methodologies

  • Agile approaches emphasize iterative development, customer collaboration, and flexibility, enabling teams to respond quickly to changing requirements and deliver value incrementally.

Emphasis on Lean Principles

Lean focuses on optimizing processes, and delivering maximum value to customers, leading to efficient and streamlined project workflows.

 Digital Transformation and Project Management Software

The advent of Advanced Project Management software and digital tools has revolutionized project management practices. 

 Focus on Develop and Continuous Delivery

Develops emphasizes collaboration, automation, and continuous delivery, enabling faster and more reliable product releases and reducing time-to-market.

 Increased Emphasis on Soft Skills

Recognizing the importance of interpersonal and leadership skills in Project Management Training, there has been a greater emphasis on developing soft skills such as communication, collaboration, conflict resolution, and stakeholder management. 

 Agile Transformation and Organizational Change

Agile transformation involves cultural change, organizational restructuring, continuous learning, strong leadership commitment, and employee empowerment.

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Q1. What is Project Management?

Ans. Project Management involves planning, organizing, and overseeing the successful completion of a project. It includes defining project goals, creating schedules, managing resources, and ensuring that tasks are completed on time and within budget.

Q2. When did Project management originate?

Ans. The concept of project management dates back to ancient civilizations such as the construction of the pyramids in Egypt and the Great Wall of China. However, modern project management as a formal discipline emerged in the 20th century.

Q3. What are a few common challenges in Project Management?

Ans. A few common challenges in Project Management are as follow:

  • Scope Creep: When the project scope expands beyond what was originally planned.
  • Resource Allocation: Ensuring that resources such as time, money, and personnel are effectively managed.

  • Communication: Maintaining clear and open communication among team members and stakeholders.

  • Risk Management: Identifying and mitigating potential risks that could impact project success.

Q4. What skills are essential for a Project Manager?

Ans. Key skills required for a Project Manager are:

  • Leadership: Inspiring and guiding team members towards common goals.

  • Communication: Conveying information to stakeholders and team members.

  • Time Management: Prioritizing tasks and ensuring deadlines are met.

  • Problem-Solving: Addressing challenges and finding effective solutions.

Q5. Why is Project Management Evaluation important?

Ans. Project management evaluation helps organizations assess the performance, effectiveness, and outcomes of their projects. It provides insights into areas of strength and areas needing improvement, decision-making, and supports organizational learning and continuous improvement.

Q6. What criteria are used to Evaluate Project Management performance?

Ans. Criteria for Evaluating Project Management performance may include:

  1. Achievement of Project Objectives

  2. Scope Management

  3. Schedule Adherence

  4. Cost Management

  5. Quality Assurance and Control

  6. Risk Management Effectiveness

  7. Team Performance and Collaboration

Q7. What are the benefits of PMP certification?

Ans.PMP certification offers numerous benefits, including improved job prospects, higher earning potential, enhanced credibility, and access to a global network of project management professionals.

Q8. How does PMP certification impact career advancement?

Ans. PMP certification can significantly impact career advancement by demonstrating your expertise and commitment to professional development. It opens up opportunities for leadership roles, higher-level projects, and increased responsibilities within organizations.


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  2. khushi malhotra Reply

    This blog is an excellent introduction to the history of project management. It provides a brief overview and is a great starting point for beginners.

  3. Rakesh Nagpal Reply

    From ancient civilizations to modern business practices, the history of project management is a fascinating journey, and this blog post provides a quick and engaging overview of its evolution over time.

  4. The history of project management is really well-written by HENRY HARVIN. I enjoy this website. Sincere gratitude.

  5. Henry Harvin offers fantastic instructors that are very knowledgeable and constantly available to answer your questions. This college appeals to me.

  6. Start your path to a career in project management. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than six months. No degree or experience is required.

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