Formal project management techniques were developed in USA in the 1960's as part of the early missile programmes. These techniques have since been used in almost every area of society, from government agencies to non-profit organisations, and from engineering companies to service industries (Wikipedia).
The early project management phase began in the 1950s in the United States where, from an ad-hoc-basis use of 'Gantt Charts' and informal techniques and tools, it graduated to the use of two mathematical 'project management models' known as: (1) the "Program Evaluation and Review Technique" or PERT, developed as part of the United States Navy's Polaris missile submarine programme; and (2) the "Critical Path Method" (CPM) developed in a joint venture by both DuPont Corporation and Remington Rand Corporation for managing plant maintenance projects. These mathematical techniques quickly spread into many private enterprises. In 1969, the Project Management Institute (PMI) was established to help the project management industry to perform better. The PMI has been of the view that the tools and techniques of project management are common for all applications in projects from the software industry to the traditional construction industry. In 1981, the PMI brought out The Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, containing the standards and guidelines of practice that are widely used throughout the profession (Wikipedia).
Generally, project management is distinguished from the general management of corporations by the mission-oriented nature of a project. A project organisation will generally be terminated when the mission is accomplished. According to the Project Management Institute, the discipline of project management can be defined as follows: 'Project management is the art of directing and coordinating human and material resources throughout the life of a project by