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Getting Control of the 21st Century Project - Essay Example

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Getting Control of the 21st Century Project

These tools have resulted in the possibility of more complex projects, better cost control, and a higher velocity delivery. How did the PM go from 0 to the speed of light in the last few years Well, technology has surely paved the way, but cooperation among PMs has been the key to understanding the critical need to communicate and integrate work across multiple departments and professions.
One of the earliest uses of technology in the field of PM was the introduction of the Gantt Chart. This simple visual aid was introduced in 1917 while Henry Gantt studied the management of Navy ship construction during WWI (The history of project management). Gantt charts, still used today, were complete with task bars and milestone markers and were useful in the scheduling of project duration and manpower. Gantt charts remained a powerful mainstay of the PM profession and according to The history of project management have, "[...] remained virtually unchanged for nearly a hundred years.". Yet, throughout this period some other innovations were taking place.
During the 1950s, the Cold War military was making huge demands on technology. Admiral Raborn of the U.S. Navy was responsible for getting the Polaris Missile program operational as quickly as possible (Theory of constraints', 2006). They turned to a man named Williard Fazar and with his help, they developed the Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT). PERT was an improvement on an earlier system called CPM that failed to manage random time variations that were critical to the Navy. PERT improvement was able to account for these complex variables and became a network model that allowed for randomness in activity completion times (PERT Chart, 2006).
The next four decades were a little boring for Project Management. Some writers introduced radical new theories such as the 1960s book by Johnson, Kast, and Rosenzweig called The Theory and Management of Systems, which compared a modern business to a human organism (Theory of Constraints', 2006). There was the introduction of Earned Value, and a few modifications to PERT, but little significant change (Theory of constraints', 2006). But as 1997 rolled around, that was all about to change.
In 1997, Dr. Eli Goldratt took some previous research he had done on what he called Critical Chains and integrated it with his work on the Theory of Constraints. The result was Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM). Though some critics have implied that CCPM is just a compilation of several tried and true methods, Raz, Barnes, & Dvir (2003) contend, "Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) has emerged in the last few years as a novel approach for managing projects" (24).
With the recent infusion of software, theories, and innovations, it has been increasingly necessary that PMs be able to operate across departments, business units, and multi-national corporations. Professional organizations, such as ASAMP, have dedicated themselves to organizing PMs and assuring their competence. They collect, document, and standardize practices in the project management field. Their services include literature, certification, and education. While ASAMP has a small member base and services that are limited in scope and geography, they are affiliated with the International Project Management Association. Other PM professional organizations are larger in scope and are more comprehensive.
Globalization has called for international standards and recognized the ...Show more


Since early man first came up with the idea of the tool, he has been designing bigger and more complicated projects. As the centuries passed, modern industrial processes became too complex for the simple man with the single tool to handle. The concept of the Project Manager (PM) was born…
Author : ybeier
Getting Control of the 21st Century Project
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