In his first book, An Introduction to the History of Project Management: From the Earliest Times to AD 1900, the author took an investigative journey through the history of project management of Western history that represented a timeline of over 5,000 years. The study placed contemporary project management into historical perspective and enabled it to be compared with that of earlier practices. The author suggested further research to increase the precision and value of the historical understandings of project management. He recommended four separate research studies of the history of project management in the four broad eras of Western history, namely, ancient civilisations, medieval period, modern era and contemporary period. The history of project management in the ancient civilisations and the medieval period had already been investigated in the author’s second and third books, A History of Ancient Project Management and A History of Medieval Project Management respectively.
Project management applies knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities in order to achieve defined requirements. It is the very deliberate orchestration of areas of expertise to complete a specific project. Investigating the history of project management enables us to reach a comprehensive view of both the historical development of relevant areas of expertise and their application to project activities. As with his previous books, this book is intended for project management professionals who would like to explore the significance of the history of project management.
This research considers four periods of modern Western history in the Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, and the Machine Age. In addition, the research employs eighteen building projects to demonstrate the application of the areas of expertise to project activities. The research has demonstrated that there are circumstances at different historical periods that affect the development of the areas of expertise and their application to project activities. The significance is that it adds insight to the existing body of knowledge concerning modern project management from the fifteen to the mid-twentieth centuries. It attempts to elaborate the template for investigation into the history of project management that was begun in the author’s previous works. The study also contributes to the development of project management as a discipline. Furthermore, it increases appreciation of the profession of project management and situates it historically.