What we know today is project management, was practiced in some form, thousands of years ago – dating back to the construction of the first solid structure ever set up in any part of the world. It goes without saying that those who must have been in charge of the ‘project’ would not have been called ‘project managers’; but in one way or the other must have called upon the principles of traditional project management which has sprouted into the different methodologies that we have come to rely on so heavily in our day-to-day tasks.
Whether you bear the official title of ‘project manager’ or not, working independently or for a large corporation, chances are you may have taken up some form of responsibility during the course of work – one way or the other we are responsible for the execution of several projects on our daily lives
Going back to the early days of project management where the focus seemed to be more on project planning, with the main goal deciding what work was to be done at what stage and who was responsible for what. The focus back then was certainly not on what methodologies to adopt (as these came about much later) rather on the overall successful execution of the project, with more attention on the amount of labor that was to go into the project. No one saw the need for cost management, risk management, time tracking, project kickoff, project scope and communication management of course until probably the later part of the 15th century.
The methodologies, processes, and technologies that we swear by today are the results of the lessons learned from those who had gone before us in the field of project management. Their frustrations and dissatisfactions being the price that was paid for our efficiency and productivity in the workplace today.
All through the years, the questions on the minds of many a project manager has always been; “How can we improve n our current competencies?” “How can we make it go faster?” “How much can we have for less?” etc. It is these questions that saw the birth of the Gantt Chart, a very popular and useful scheduling tool by Henry Gantt, the development of the Critical Path Method in the 1950s, Scrum in 1986, PMBOK Guide in 1987 and subsequently SaaS-based project management tools in 2207 as well as mobile applications in the later part of 2012.
It can be quite difficult keeping track of all those timelines but here’s an infographic from Nutcache that you may find helpful.