Project Management History – A Visual Illustration On How Far It’s Come

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Michelle Symonds
Michelle Symonds spent the first part of her career working in IT and IT Project Management in the oil industry and investment banking on complex global projects involving the management of outsourced project teams. She now runs a digital marketing company with particular expertise in SEO.

If project management is the overseeing of any venture with the aim of creating something unique or providing excellent service, then we have all been project managers at certain points in our life; of course, without the official title. At certain times, we have all found ourselves overseeing some form of activity, paying attention to every single detail to ensure nothing goes awry. To ensure the project was a success, we must have pulled from our repertoire elements of project management that include the following:


Planning and Scheduling – This entails having a sense of direction for your “project”, a grand picture, the order in which tasks were to be executed.

Time Management – The race against time is one that everyone has had to engage in.

Human Resource Management – Probably the most important aspect of your “project”; the ability to manage a group of people well enough to achieve your objectives is a skill that only the best project managers possess.


We could go on and on but based on the definitions and descriptions in the above paragraphs, we can clearly see that the concept of project management dates back to thousands of years; probably as far back as when man first had the awesome idea to create shelter for himself.


However, modern project management didn’t kick off until the 1950s and since then, we have seen the discipline evolve through the years. While the focus was mainly in the field of construction, we saw it spread it’s tentacles into manufacturing, medicine, Information Technology and defense to name just a few.

It’s been quite an interesting journey and this infographic from Nutcache just about sums it up.


project management infographic from

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