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Evolution and Maturity of PM

Evolution and Maturity of PM

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Evolution and Maturity of PM

Comprimento:
235 página
7 horas
Lançado em:
Feb 1, 2015
ISBN:
9781628250800
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

When and how was project management developed in history? The Evolution and Maturity of PM presents an overview of project management discourse from its origins. Chapter discussions will take the reader through the development of informal management concepts applied in ancient projects of human achievement like the Great Wall of China and the pyramids of Egypt up to the present state of the art. Recounting the intellectual history and philosophical sources on which the current body of knowledge is founded, this book also surveys project management tools, techniques, and processes that have become formalized in present day project-based organizations.
Lançado em:
Feb 1, 2015
ISBN:
9781628250800
Formato:
Livro

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Evolution and Maturity of PM - Bopaya Bidanda

Management

Preface

The certainty of change in today's environment is without precedent. The emergence of outsourcing has accelerated the development of project management strategies and practices in global organizations. Outsourcing has been the principal means by which operational and strategic changes are managed in contemporary organizations. In this book, an overview of the evolution and strategy of project-based organizations is presented.

We thank the chapter authors who made the publication of this book possible. We also add a note of thanks to our students at the University of Pittsburgh who helped in the selection of the chapter topics and the development of supporting bibliographies for the chapters. Our thanks to Gerald D. Holder, PhD, Dean of the School of Engineering, who provided an intellectual and supportive environment where projects such as this book could be pursued. We also recognize the administrative staff of the Industrial Engineering Department—Minerva Pilachowski, and Annemarie Vranesevic, who provided professional assistance in the process of developing and finalizing the manuscript for this book.

CHAPTER ONE

Historical Summary of the Practice of Project Management

Heyang Zhang, Xi'an Janssen Pharmaceutical Ltd, Xi'an, China

Introduction

The management of projects is generally poorly archived and has been regarded as a low-value and questionable activity for years until recently, when it has become recognized as a central management discipline. At present, project management is almost the most indispensable and effective strategy in an organization, and plays a critical role in management. People are coming to realize that this is not only a powerful management tool to achieve specific goals, but also can be applied to reform the organizational structure and benefit the whole organization.

So, why has project management become so popular throughout the world? Perhaps an appropriate answer for this is that the principles and techniques from project management are utilized in various things by different people who are doing any kind of work or jobs; then, the theory itself is developed and refined, which makes project management more effective and practical. For instance, the local government raises funds for a new hospital in the area, a vehicle manufacturer is going to introduce a new car model, or even a country is trying to figure out what a suitable economic strategy would be for the current situation. Project management is increasingly becoming a part of our life; as a result, it can make our lives easier.

When and how was project management developed in history? To illustrate the answer for this question, we will examine several topics about its informal application in human history to see how early project personnel developed the knowledge related to project management, and later how they formed the basic disciplines of project management. By our exploration of the origin of project management, we could know better about how it works. Additionally, from the practices of project management applied in various areas, such as military and heavy defense, civil construction, transportation, information technology and even art, we could learn valuable lessons about project scheduling, system control, as well as coordination and quality. The significant differences between each practice, along with the experience of the early projects, would help us better understand the benefits of this methodology, which can be easily implemented into various kinds of projects nowadays. Another reason why we focus on the identification of many different situations where project management is practiced in one form or another is because we would like to allow the concepts and techniques of project management to become more accessible to more practitioners. A brief introduction will be stated here to show you how the discipline grew and the lessons that have been learned in many applications.

Ancient Times: Ancient China and Egypt

Modern project management began to take root only a few decades ago. However, it is possible to say that the concept of project management has been around since the beginning of history (Phinnie & Barron, 2009). When you think of the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids, or the Suez Canal, you have to admit that people could not have gotten these done without project management. From the beginning to the end of these massive projects, from the plan and design phase to the finished construction, millions of people got involved and thousands of groups of people needed to handle material, transportation, and labor issues. It would be impossible to complete those projects—even with the most advanced technology—if nobody knew how to manage people and material properly. Therefore, ancient people had already used early, informal elements of project management in different fields of application.

From that point of view, let's look at how people utilized project management in ancient times in China. If you have ever been to China, you probably have visited the Great Wall of China, the most famous place in the country. The Great Wall is a series of fortresses mainly made of stone and wood, built along an east-to-west line across the northern frontier of China. As far back as the 12th century, various reports noted the existence of a tremendous wall a hundred miles long. The most interesting debate about the Great Wall is whether it is visible from the moon. One of the earliest known references to this myth appears in a letter written in 1754 by the English antiquary William Stukeley. Stukeley wrote, This mighty wall of four score miles in length (Hadrian's Wall) is only exceeded by the Chinese Wall, which makes a considerable figure upon the terrestrial globe, and may be discerned at the Moon (Stukeley, 1887). However, based on the optics of resolving power, only an object of reasonable contrast to its surroundings which is 70 mi (110 km) or more in diameter (1 arc-minute) would be visible to the unaided eye from the moon (Great Wall of China). Even though no lunar astronaut has ever claimed to have seen the Great Wall from the moon, it is still ingrained in popular culture (Metro Tescos). The same claim has been mentioned by many different people for years until Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei stated that he was not able to see the Great Wall of China.

In spite of that, the Great Wall is still a unique example of architecture in human history, as well as in the history of project management. Historically, the project of the Great Wall took the longest time to build and was the largest known project around the world. It took almost 2,000 years to complete, starting from as early as the 7th century BC. In 2009, SACH (State Administration of Cultural Heritage) claimed that the walls built during the Ming Dynasty measure 8,852 km (5,500 mi).

There are two main periods of time when China built the Wall. The first construction period was the Qin Dynasty, in which Qin Shi Huang unified China and then ordered the destruction of the former wall sections that divided the empire, and the building of a new wall to connect the remaining fortifications along the new northern frontier. It was a massive undertaking and equivalent of building 30 of the great pyramids of Egypt. Figure 1-1 shows what the Great Wall of the Qin Dynasty looks like on the ancient China map.

It has been estimated that hundreds of thousands, if not up to a million, workers died building the Qin wall (Evans, 2006; Defense and cost, n.d.). Historical records indicate that Qin Emperor chose General Ling, who was given an army of over 300,000 men, to build the wall.

Besides dealing with the technical problems of building the wall, there were two problems which had to be solved by the techniques from project management in today's view. Labor arrangement was the biggest problem during the construction of the Wall. Systematic work schedules had to be developed, and at the same time the managers had to split the whole project into several small sections, as well as assign various kinds of work to different people. Notice that not taken into account is the need for building roads and infrastructure. What's more, a rough estimation indicates that for each worker building the wall, six people were required to feed and support them.

Another problem is that the Wall was built in the mountains, so the transportation of the large quantity of materials required for construction was very difficult. They could hardly meet the requirement of delivering the needed goods on time. To ensure that every small project could be completed on time, a very responsive and flexible management system must have been developed to map out every detailed process in advance; if any delay happened, they had to decide what kinds of methods should be utilized to reduce the impact or even catch up on work.

Considering that it was 2,000 years ago, the only two methods of delivering messages were via horse and bird. Obviously, they could not make any phone calls or send any emails! Therefore, whenever the decision maker wanted to make an order for the project, it usually took several weeks for the message to reach the manager at the construction site. That made it more difficult for people at that time to do a massive project. To overcome the difficulties, the long wall project was divided into many shorter wall sections with the same standardization, of which senior managers were in charge. General Ling assigned work to those managers directly. Thus, on one hand, it not only increased the availability of monitoring progress of the project, but also ensured the project was going in the right direction. On the other hand, the low productivity and efficiency was offset by the high coordination and corporation in work cells from a single, relatively small wall construction section. Additionally, even though small wall projects had the same standardization, senior managers did have their own ways to build the walls. It meant that managers used different management methods and techniques to manage their projects. The most effective personnel management tools were designed by senior managers to fit their projects. Every single project had different ways of building the wall. However, each section of the Wall looks the same even after thousands of years. There is no way to admit that Qin people did not have any concepts of project management. From the discussion above, we can assume that the informal practice of project management had been applied on the project of the Great Wall in the Qin Dynasty, and further, that the decision makers at that time had the knowledge of management methods and tools to assist them in projects. In 209 BC, only a year after the death of the Qin Emperor, the Qin Dynasty fell and was brought down mostly by the building of the Great Wall. In succeeding centuries, no dynasty built the Wall on so large a scale as the Qin Dynasty, except the Han Dynasty. Most of the Qin and Han walls have eroded away and finally fallen into ruin. The Great Wall concept was revived again during the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368–1644) in the 14th century (Mooney & Forbes, 2008). Figures 1-2 and 1-3 show the Ming Great Wall and its range.

During that period of time, the Great Wall was repaired and extended by reinforcing it with cement and stone. Therefore, the Ming construction was much stronger and more elaborate. The fortification finally reached a length of about 1,500 miles, following the course of rivers instead of bridging them and conforming to the contours of the mountains and valleys in its path. The wall is built of earth and stone, and faced with brick in the eastern parts. It is from 15 to 30 feet thick at the base (about 20 feet on the average) and tapers to some 12 feet at the top. The height averages 25 feet excluding the crenellated parapets. Watchtowers about 40 feet in height are placed at intervals of approximately 200 yards (Defense and cost). Up to 25,000 watchtowers are estimated to have been constructed on the wall (Szabó, Lorant, & Loczy, 2010). The amount of brick and stone employed to construct the Great Wall could circumscribe the earth with a dike eight feet high (Defense and cost). Only in several decades a wall was built across the entire northern border of China in lands that included forests, marshes, deserts, and mountains. Could you imagine how long it would take for people nowadays with the most advanced technology to build such a wall? If they did not have any knowledge about project management, they could never have finished this tremendous project. The Ming planners must have had a well-designed project management system in order to plan, organize, motivate, and control resources. Besides, there were many organizations getting involved in this system. Obviously, it would not have been an easy task to achieve the project goals without the system and specific project management methods. Based on the historical records, we know that the Ming Dynasty had the ability to manage project activities, which probably included gathering the data and information for planning/designing phases of the project, collaborating with organizations and different kinds of people, making detailed construction schedules, and even monitoring the project by a group of specialists who were assigned by the emperor to make sure every wall section under construction was of good quality.

For some of the wall sections, the large quantity of materials required for construction was not available to be transported from a long distance. As a result, workers had to try to employ local resources. For the rest of the sections, if transportation was not difficult, materials were made, produced, and gathered in certain places where raw materials were provided and then shipped to a nearby wall section to build the wall. Such a place could afford materials for dozens of wall sections. From the modern management perspective, the way builders worked is similar to mass production, which would not only reduce the cost but ensure delivery of the materials with the same high quality. They also had to know the importance of resource allocation and how to reallocate materials among hundreds of sections to meet the prioritized needs while affecting the whole project's progress as little as possible. The power of project planning made it possible that the massive project could be done effectively and, in a high degree, the economy and labor costs were reduced. Compared to the informal practices of project management employed in the Qin Dynasty, what the Ming Dynasty did improved greatly in both quantity and quality, as well as brought many significant benefits. Some comparisons of the Qin Wall and the Ming Wall are listed in Table 1-1.

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