Book Report: Conception of Project Management

Pages: 22 (6580 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 20  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Business - Management  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … conception of project management is actually the summation of the preceding centuries' worth of work and development within this area. Although this discipline was not termed as such until the 1900's, it has slowly evolved much like any other process utilized throughout the course of time and which includes "building processes" which "have led to the development of project management" and, the basics of which "can be traced back to these periods of time" (Yuen 383) that are discussed within this current study. These time periods encompass the medieval period in Europe and in the Near East, and were stratified to include the Byzantine Empire, Islamic Golden Age, the Crusades, the Carolingian Renaissance, the Romanesque Period as well as the Gothic Period, which collectively account for "project management in the medieval societies from the 5th to 15th century" (Yuen 390). In much the same way that many of the research parameters within Project Management in the Medieval Period: From the Byzantine Empire to the Gothic Period borrowed concepts from adjacent and previously existent cultures to further advance aspects of construction and its techniques, (which were vital components of project management in previous time periods), the nature of project management has also "moved in stride with the fluid and changing project environments " (Yuen 383) to refine itself, gradually, into the firm academic discipline that it is today.

To truly understand the process of this development, however, one must view the research contained within this study as it specifically applies to project management. In that respect, the application areas of the projects selected within this study all relate to the construction of architectural monuments, since "the research regards building construction and engineering structures as the application areas of project management

(Yuen 7). In that respect, the application areas that the aforementioned epoch were analyzed in terms of their project management include their construction technologies, traditions of the master builder, building project activities, architectural principles, as well as their specific skills in general management. Moreover, this study has found that these application areas are the direct result of specific environments, which are codified as cultural, scientific, and economic, and which had a profound influence upon the impact of the building projects during each respective time period, as well as on the development and continuation of the refining of project management in general. Therefore, one can posit that the monuments erected during the medieval period actually symbolize the best of that time periods social-cultural contributions or its zeitgeist, which is why the five application areas and three environmental influences were used as the 8 research topics for this study.

Once historians, readers, and project management professionals are able to understand the connection between the designing and construction of buildings, which both symbolized and actualized the management of projects during medieval period, the project management findings of this study become that much more lucid. This notion is particularly true for the conception of project management during the medieval period, as the results of this study consistently indicate that "Project activities are created to answer the cultural, political, and social needs of current situations through the available body of knowledge -- scientific, economic, and management knowledge" (Yuen 384). This statement suggests the overall importance of project management during the medieval period, which was largely a means of addressing and providing for a number of concerns through the construction and usage of an edifice. The utilitarian aspects of several of the works created during these many epochs allude to this fact. If one were to pause to consider a structure such as the mosques that were created during the Islamic Golden Age, which served a variety of purposes -- some of which were religious, others related to education, others still addressing social needs -- the true nature for the reason the science of project management had to develop becomes abundantly clear. People needed the services provided by it, for many different reasons. This fact is demonstrated by the multifaceted purposes of the mosques created in the Islamic Golden Age, for example, in which "such temples and their surrounding cities were not only places of worship, but also a location for communal gathering designed to encourage group identity. They evolved into the political centre of Islamic society" (Yuen 330).

Furthermore, another highly important aspect of the findings within this study is in alignment with the fact that project management is only as effective or as good as the surrounding environment with which professionals have to utilize. The veracity of this statement was readily demonstrated by the notion that project management is largely reliant upon "scientific, economic, and management knowledge." The findings of this study prove that this body of knowledge is the means of facilitating project management, which is also in accordance with contemporary standards of project management which places a high value on knowledge in order to implement this discipline. In fact, "effective project management requires that the project management team understands and use knowledge & #8230;from at least five areas of expertise" (PMOBK Chapter 1). Therefore, even in contemporary times, project management is largely facilitated by the proper implementation of knowledge.

What is most significant about these findings and the value placed upon the wealth of knowledge that environment plays in project management is that, for the contemporary project manager, the true nature of his or her profession is revealed through the results of this study. What this discipline is actually about is facilitating solutions to the myriad needs of society -- in whatever capacity or organization that a particular project manager is involved. Furthermore, this study proves that many times, such solutions can be multifaceted and help people in more than one way. Project management is actually the reflection of political, social, and most of all cultural needs and provides viable responses to such needs. In much the same way that "There is a mutual and dynamic interaction between cultural, scientific and economic forces, and building project activities" (Yuen 375), there is a highly similar interaction between cultural, scientific and economic forces and contemporary project management. Most often, these forces serve to create the environment that influence the solutions that project managers create, and a play a substantial role in the nature and the efficacy of such solutions.

Additionally, this study has patently revealed that the contemporary project manager can ultimately find the basis for his or her occupation in the master builder tradition. There are too many parallels between these professions for the former not to have descended from the latter, as many of the principles of management and communication that contemporary project managers utilize within their work are reminiscent of those master builders, who facilitate building projects by acting as "the palpable link between a number of vital entities that included most saliently, communication from the client… and the labourers who were actually doing the building" (Yuen 371). This fact is probably the most noteworthy finding of the entire study, at least in terms of contemporary project management. It alludes to the notion that this profession has been practiced long before the current name for it was termed, and that in all regards the master builder was the project manager who would eventually document… plans to educate others…about techniques of… project management (Yuen 371).

2. Relevance to Project Management

This research study provides a chronological history of the evolution of project management from approximately the fifth century to the 15 century, a period which spans 1000 years and during which time a number of crucial developments were enacted to this discipline which was not actually formalized as such until midway through the 20th century. As such, "this study is intended for project management professionals who would like to explore the history of project management" (Yuen 6), and ideally understand how contemporary techniques within this field were initially termed and conceived. The key to academicians understanding the research contained within as relevant to project management, however, is based upon the fundamental principle that "the research regards building construction and engineering structures as the application area of project management" (Yuen Research Summary 1-2). Due to the relatively late emergence of project management as its own discipline, this particular viewpoint that the study is based upon is understandable and extremely relevant to project management as it is understood today since "Building practice progressed alongside the development of other professions such as agriculture, medicine, economics, mathematics and theoretical science" (Yuen 13). However, due to the fact that project management has traditionally lacked a "historically conscious foundation" (Yuen 14 of its genealogy, this study provides that beginning with the Medieval period of both Europe and the Near East in order to give professionals within this discipline an additional perspective on the current state of this field.

Furthermore, by defining previous historical events and circumstances in academic terms that are currently used for project management, a great value is placed on aspects of this profession that are implicit or subtle. By definition, project management is widely… [END OF PREVIEW]

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/conception-project-management-actually/859527.