Project Management History Essay

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Project Management

History of Project Management Prior to Classical Antiquity

The current definition of project management is the very deliberate orchestration of people, resources, money and time to complete a specific project. The first step is the development of a project plan, which includes a task breakdown, a list of resources needed, a budget and a timeline. The planning phase is then followed by the implementation phase, the actual organization and use of resources to accomplish the specified goal.

Project management has evolved over the ages; as culture, knowledge, and construction skills, tool and techniques evolved so did the purpose and construction of buildings. This essay looks at the societal, the managerial, and the scientific changes, which took place prior to classical antiquity. The impact of these changes on project management will then be evaluated.

A review of pre-classical antiquity requires an examination of Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. For each time period, the following factors will be investigated:

1. The ancient cultural environment is which project activities were performed.

2. The ancient knowledge environment, which facilitated problem solving, decision making, development of the right skill and tool to get the project done.

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3. The general management of a project during ancient times, which determined how resources were allocated and optimized

4. The ancient techniques and tools used to complete the project and the resulting impacts on time, scope and cost of the project.

5. The ancient professional traditions, which includes the organization of labor.

6. The ancient project activities, which includes an examination of historically valuable buildings.

History of Project Management Prior to Classical Antiquity

Conclusion

Essay on Project Management History of Project Management Prior Assignment

During each time period prior to classical antiquity, humans built upon the knowledge and traditions of the previous period. This intellectual growth produced many enhancements to life, project management and to the construction of buildings.

The basic elements of thinking and reasoning were created through the study of mathematics, written communication, law, medicine, production optimization, astronomy and science. Many of the discoveries and creations of these time periods produced intangible and tangible infrastructures for society to organize itself, such as the concept of time based on astronomy and mathematics. The Mesopotamians were the first to create a theory of disease epidemiology. The Egyptians created the first alphabet. Ancient Greece was the first to have the political organizational form of democracy. The Roman Empire was the first to transport water for domestic and agricultural use.

Mesopotamian's used written codes and laws to organize its society and to organize their understanding of the natural world with the gods, which controlled nature. Written codes were used to manage relationships, daily life and business transactions. Ancient Egypt expanded management to include planning and implementation of vast undertakings such as the pyramids. Egyptians developed methods for planning, organizing and controls to manage decision-making. In ancient Greece, Socrates defined management as separate from technical mastery and documented the importance of delegation. Additionally, ancient Greece developed the concept of leadership with checks and balances to limit the power of an one individual leader. The Roman Empire use managerial delegation and alliance formation provided them with the structure to manage its large geography and populace. By create a chain of command it was able to create a transportation network, to develop a disciplined military and to expand its government to include executive, legislative and judicial branches.

Through the ages building techniques, tools and materials evolved. The Mesopotamians used mud bricks to build homes and buildings with columns, domes and arches. Later on they invented tar to reinforce the brick structures. Changing from a nomadic society to an agricultural society created population clusters, which needed permanent homes. This facilitated the need for civil engineering and the use of the wheel and pump for the transportation of water. Ancient Egypt contributed new construction methodologies, the distinction between craftsman and engineers and the use of stone as a replacement of mud bricks. The Egyptians used ramps of various types to construction the pyramids; creating the methodology for buildings to expand in height.

Changes in knowledge, societal organization, and managerial practices influenced the tools, technology and materials used for construction. In turn, the tools, technology and materials changed the role the master-builder, project management and the structures that were built. During these time periods the master- builder was the architect, the engineer and the builder. Crafts people worked with the master-builder to improve and specialize their skills. The master-builder also engineered tools to improve transportation of materials to the work site. By the times of the Roman Empire, the master-builder had new material, such as concrete, to use in construction. Additionally, the role of master-builder was beginning to emphasize the architectural skills and was the beginning of the separation of architect from builder.

The buildings constructed during the pre-classical antiquity increased in size, purpose and complexity. The Mesopotamia time period began the construct evolution with the development of ziggurats and bridges. The Egyptians created the pyramids as resting places for their kings. The ancient Greece created and mastered the use of columns as part of the support structure of their temples. The Romans advanced building design and construction by improving upon the column and found ways to strength and utilize arches. These improvements were used to quickly build bridges and the construct massive public buildings like the Colosseum.

Project management is the successful use of resources to construct a building. With limited tools to mine materials, to transport the materials and to utilize the materials, projects spanned many lifetimes. Often, the original purpose for the building changed as the leadership of the empires changed. The designs for the building changed as master-builders retired and new techniques and tools were created. The master-builder was responsible for the design and construction of buildings. The master-builder created tools and machines to reduce the length of time it took to build. Many of the building projects during the pre-classical antiquity period took generations to complete. They knew their labor force would need to be replaced on a continual basis. The master- builder needed to orchestrate the transition of learning and skills between the generations.

As master-builders perfected the art of ziggurats, columns and arches, building expanded from strictly homes and religious structures to infrastructures to facilitate the transportation of people, raw materials and water. The creation of these infrastructures improved life for themselves and all generations that followed.

History of Project Management of the Medieval Periods

Introduction

The current definition of project management is the very deliberate orchestration of people, resources, money and time to complete a specific project. The first step is the development of a project plan, which includes a task breakdown, a list of resources needed, a budget and a timeline. The planning phase is then followed by the implementation phase, the actual organization and use of resources to accomplish the specified goal.

Project management has evolved over the ages; as culture, knowledge, and construction skills, tool and techniques evolved so did the purpose and construction of buildings. This essay looks at the societal, the managerial, and the scientific changes, which took place during medieval times. The impact of these changes on project management will then be evaluated.

A review of the medieval era requires an examination of the Byzantine Empire, the Islamic golden age, the Crusades and the Romanesque period. For each time period, the following factors will be investigated:

1. The medieval cultural environment is which project activities were performed.

2. The medieval knowledge environment, which facilitated problem solving, decision making, development of the right skill and tool to get the project done.

3. The general management of a project during medieval times, which determined how resources were allocated and optimized

4. The medieval techniques and tools used to complete the project and the resulting impacts on time, scope and cost of the project.

5. The medieval professional traditions, which includes the organization of labor.

6. The medieval project activities, which includes an examination of historically valuable buildings.

History of Project Management of the Medieval Periods

Conclusion

The medieval time period marked the increased use of religion as the basis for society. During this time period the clash between Islam and Christianity began. Expansion and contraction of knowledge, science, law and trade influenced society's design and construction of both public and private buildings.

The Byzantine Empire was strategically located on the trade route between Europe and the East. Much of the Roman Empire's leadership structure and the advancement of knowledge continued in the Byzantine Empire. As the Roman Empire collapsed and the Dark Ages set upon Europe, Constantinople became the center of knowledge. Due to its location Constantinople was able to integrate the learning of the Arab culture with the knowledge in Europe.

With fragmented politics and culture across the Middle East, religion and the rise agriculture became the basis for the Islamic Golden Age. While Europe struggled with the Dark Ages and feudalism, the Muslin world expanded its knowledge of the arts, engineering, philosophy and medicine. The Islamic Golden… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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