What Has Changed?
Reviewing management practice over the past century, there were a number of
key focuses that consumed the attention of our learning institutions. There were
also a number of strategic turning points where the management paradigm of choice
Starting with the introduction to the 20th century, industry was just getting
into mechanization the notion of mass-producing consumer goods. This foray
into management science was enabled by the advent of central power utilities,
the expansion of rail lines, and the birth of the production factory. Management
Science and Taylor-type studies were
Along came the 1929 stock market crash that led to extensive government investments
in infrastructure projects to bail the economy out of the Depression. This shifted
management science focus toward custom infrastructure projects buildings,
roads, bridges and dams. Construction techniques formed the rudimentary legwork
for the ensuing Project Management Body of Knowledge.
The invention of the transistor in the late 1950's, and shortly thereafter
the integrated circuit, brought forward electronically animated equipment where
functional emulation was the central challenge. In response, major players at
(inter alia) Department of Defence (DOD) and the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA) established systems engineering approaches to step participants
through a systems engineering development project. Proficiency in project practice
for system development was a matter of national security keeping military
state-of-the-art beyond the capability of the opposing side. Prowess depended
on our ability to push the developmental envelope.
The 1990's marked another demarcation point in the project management evolution
with the networking of desktop computers. PCs came to the desks of America in
the 1980's. By the 1990's we had them networked and emulating business functionality.
A new and unfamiliar type of project was born Business Transformational
Today, project management is applied on the grand stage The Project
For the New American Century for example where the complexity in globalization
and societal rebalancing moves us toward the New World Order.
Each of the foregoing events marked a turning point in the Project Management
need, transformations that entail consideration of greater complexity. They also
align with the five levels of the DBM that will be explored in later chapters
of this book.
As the accepted project management panacea is stretched to fit a new complexity,
the utility of the model needs to be reviewed.
The Project Management Institute was founded in the 1960's, embracing the stereotypical
organizing model. By that time, however, the world was struggling with three different
management models identified above. The rigors of systems engineering projects
may have pushed the framework beyond reason. By the time business transformation
became mainstream, it was readily apparent that the standard organizing model
was not a sufficient concept.
Notwithstanding various iterations of the PMBOK through the 1990's to add the
latest terminology, new concepts such as "evolutionary prototyping", "business
case" and the like, the framework remains fundamentally rooted in organizing things.
4. "The Principles
of Scientific Management", Frederick Winslow Taylor, Harper Brothers, 1911
5. Department of Defense, United States Government.
6. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, United States
7. "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources
For a New Century", September 2000