From software to infrastructure works, we cannot understand today’s world without project management. But when did project management start? In this article, we answer this and other questions about this interesting discipline.
When Did Project Management Start?
When you think of project management you probably imagine people working on cutting-edge projects using software to help ensure that projects stay on track.
Actually, the origins of modern project management date back to the 1950s, when computers were behemoths that only governments and multinational companies could afford.
Even before that, some rudimentary forms of what we may call project management already existed. Think, for example, of the impressive public works made during the Roman Empire or the awesome infrastructure works undertaken before the 1950s, like the Golden Gate Bridge, for example.
However, it was during the 1950s that some key developments laid the groundwork for Project Management as we understand it today.
CPM and PERT
Critical Path Method (CPM). This technique helps identify the tasks that are critical to completing a project as well as the duration of each of these tasks. The CPM was developed in the late 1950s by James E. Kelley of Remington Rand and Morgan R. Walker of Dupont.
Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT). In 1957, the U.S. Navy’s Special Projects Office developed this planning tool to guide the Polaris missile project. PERT provides a visual representation of the different phases of a project and their duration.
Although some important project management tools and concepts were developed before the 1950s (for example, Gantt charts were invented in the early 20th century), most authors consider CPM and PERT as the milestones that mark the beginning of project management as we know it.
Learn More About Project Management and Engineering Design
Engineering design is a discipline full of interesting stories and bits of information. Below are some previous posts you can read to learn more about this fascinating topic.
- What is a kaizen event?
- What is civil engineering design?
- What is the engineering design process?
- Do good design engineers make good project managers?
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