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Managing Complex Projects and Programs: How to Improve Leadership of Complex Initiatives Using a Third-Generation Approach by Richard J. Heaslip

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Chapter 2The Emergence of Project Management: First-Generation Programmatics

Project Management’s Beginnings

Project management became widely recognized as a managing discipline in the mid-1900s, when its principles, practices, processes, and value to project-based engineering endeavors became more generally understood and accepted. The conditions that enabled its birth and shaped its purpose had been established long before that time, however—perhaps a century earlier, with the birth of the Industrial Age.

During the Industrial Age, organizations dramatically advanced their capabilities for industrial manufacturing and production by introducing specific organizational philosophies and approaches. It was an age in which they discovered (among many other things) that by organizing themselves into individual “line function” groups and enabling their staff to develop the technical skills of each, they could rapidly advance their capabilities. They could quickly develop new knowledge and competencies, perform job functions with greater efficiency, and achieve higher quality in areas critical to their success. If an organization focused on manufacturing consumer products, for example, it could develop research and engineering functions explicitly focused on designing and developing the specific products that it targeted. It could hire specialists who were uniquely skilled at the processes required to efficiently manufacture and package those products. And it could develop specialized ...

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