Overview of Project Management Changes through Time (Guest Blog)

Project management uses a number of different methods and skills in order for projects to follow an efficient and successful process. It has been used throughout history in order to complete big projects to the best standard possible and to further your understanding of this the Telegraph Courses Project Management timeline was created to look in-depth at why project management is so important and how principles, developments and methods have changed and are continuing to change as time fly’s by.

From Ancient to Modern Principles

Project management related processes were used in Ancient Egypt to build the Great Pyramid of Giza. Historians have found evidence of groups being divided into project teams to help create the pyramid. It was suggested that many of these workers were in fact highly skilled and formed in gangs of 2000. Through being led by authority the pyramid was constructed to perfectly oriented points of the compass and the end product took between 20 to 30 years to complete.

Moving on from this historic past, there is more evidence of project management in the build of the Great Wall of China. Did you know that to build such a project today would cost around £300 billion? The building of the wall took place over several millennia, workers consisted of soldiers, peasants, convicts and war prisoners, and there was a cruel system in place for project workers. Although the authority leadership remained the same as previous historic builds, this time period witnesses hard labour, starvation and deprivation.

Moving into the 15th to 19th century project design became more creative and disciplined. St Paul’s Cathedral is an example of where creative architects and engineers became the project manager. The core team for the St Pauls Cathedral project re-design included 13 draugtsmen, responsible for the structural engineering and provided the construction costs while managing the project. Sir Christopher Wren was the lead on this project build and used mathematical shapes to build an eternally beautiful landmark attraction that still stands today.

All of these major projects so far show how project management has evolved to become more efficient over time and without these processes in place, projects would not be managed effectively, and in some cases may not have even take place.

In project management today, there are a number of sectors in various countries that are developing well. For example, the infographic shows how manufacturing in China is a sector to watch. Things like this are important to understand as they may influence projects globally.

Project Management and Small Business Development

Small businesses and startups seem to be dominating the way the future will shape, with many investments going into enhancing these. One thing that small businesses and startups should be aware of is the most commonly used project management methodologies. Waterfall methodology, agile methodology and scrum are the most commonly used. Having a better understanding of how these each work can help determine the best to use for the project in hand.

Being aware of future predictions/trends is also crucial for small businesses as it can help any business big or small to be efficiently prepared for. As the data timeline shows some of the future trends are more remote project teams, more independent consultants, more PM APIs, more Agile less Waterfall, more PM apps and big data as a PM tool. These trends shape the industry and the leader, and will boost the existence of the entrepreneur PM who is set to lead the way in the future.

Do you have what it takes to succeed in the PM industry? Are you fast paced? Are you able to meet multiple deadlines? Are you able to make time for demanding schedules? Do you have strong organisational skills? Can you deal with continual change? Then it looks like yes, you have what it takes.

Source: Telegraph Courses Project Management Timeline – http://courses.telegraph.co.uk/study-advice/project-management-timeline/166/