Part 1: The rise of project management, techniques and tools

Most people if asked, would take a wild guess and state that project management is only a recent discipline having been around since the end of the second world war. If that were the case I would argue how then were the pyramids constructed or even the Eiffel Tower. The truth of the matter is that some form of project management process existed since the existence of civilization itself. The Sun Temples built by the Inca civilization, the Pyramids of Giza built by the Pharaohs or even the Coliseum built by the Romans all required the meticulous coordination of resources, carried a financial burden and the challenge of migrating from a concept to reality with limited tools. This initial Engineering or Construction focus for early project management processes would have used some method, system or process to complete the project and evolved further as the need for military campaigns grew that now introduced a significant level of strategic and tactical planning, considerable risk and crucially - timing.

The early 1900’s saw the introduction of a chart - the Gantt Chart which displayed both time and task information and gave project managers the first real visual representation of the work, resources and timeline which they could then use to help plan and control the project. It was another 60 years later when the mathematical calculation for the Critical Path Method was framed within the US Army’s PERT methodology - Program and Evaluation Review Technique used to manage projects that the vast majority of our project management tools in use today rely upon. Reflecting on our ancestor’s methods we can begin to really appreciate how difficult it must have been for them to achieve the mammoth structures that still stand today without the automated tools we have become accustomed to.

Despite the evolution of the project management processes the three essential components of any project management discipline that we know of today have not changed despite the rise and demise of civilizations – and they are: scope, time and resources.

The last 25 years have dramatically increased the need for blue collar workers to possess a certain level of understanding of project management processes, the use of tools and techniques available that can be used to plan, monitor and control their projects. Furthermore, in 2005, the Project Management Institute reported that they had processed 10 times more project management certifications within that year than the prior 10 years combined. Understanding why this trend is emerging and rapidly growing is key to addressing the challenges of working within project driven teams today and identifying Oracle Enterprise Project Management configurations and features that can be deployed so that they can be overcome.

The significant rate at which project management processes have been adopted or pursued over the last few decades by companies requiring their employees to have some level of exposure can be attributed to the following key factors:

  • Technological advances in information and communication management
  • Increase in corporate complexity
  • Rise of globalization
  • Operational challenges
  • Increase in accountability and visibility of work

Part 2: The rise of project management, techniques and tools

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