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Trends In Modern Project Management - Past Present & Future

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"
George Santayana

Keywords: History, Modern Project Management.

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The Future of Project Management

Trends In Modern Project Management - Past Present & Future [P061]

The profession of ‘project management’ is largely a creation of the ‘project management associations’ over the last 30 to 40 years. During this period, they have developed a generally consistent view of the processes involved in ‘modern project management’, encoded these views into ‘Bodies of Knowledge’ (BoKs), describe competent behaviours and are now certifying knowledgeable and/or competent ‘Project Managers’.

The central theme running through the various BoKs is that project management is an integrative process that has at its core, the balancing of the ‘iron triangle’ of time, cost and output. The evolution of two of these elements, scope and cost control, into relatively precise processes occurred prior to the 18th Century. Whereas time management lacked effective control processes until 1957. The first ‘project’ to add science to time control was the development of the Critical Path Method (CPM) with project funding being approved on the 7th May 1957 and as they say, the rest is history .

The catalyst for the spread of project management appears to have been the spread of scheduling, and more importantly professional schedulers. Arguably, the evolution of modern project management is a direct consequence of these schedulers need for a forum to discuss and develop their new discipline. These needs led directly to the formation of the various project management associations and the development of our profession.

So what does the future hold? We are fast entering the ere of stakeholder centric project management in the full glare of corporate governance. The boundaries of our technology are merging into a range of other disciplines including communications, general management and corporate governance and arguably everything (or nothing) could be a project.

This paper reviews the roots of project management, briefly looks at the evolution of the discipline into a profession and then attempt to predict where success for us as
project management practitioners will lay in the future.

Author: Patrick Weaver

Presented at:
PMOZ 2007
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