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