Building the Case for Historical Project Management

Mark Kozak-Holland

This paper addresses common misperceptions about historical project management such as these projects had an unlimited budget, predominant slave workforce, and unlimited time lines. These misperceptions leave an impression that what was practiced in the past is not relevant to today’s projects. It sets the notion that these projects are so different, from a project management standpoint, they cannot be taken seriously for comparative purposes. It also infers that modern project management is unique, unconnected to the past, and started recently (twentieth century). This paper will show that historical projects dealt with comparable issues and had similar characteristics of modern projects: the multiple competing constraints of scope, schedule, budget, quality, resources, and risk. Some of these landmark historical projects delivered in timescales, and levels of quality that we would struggle with today. Hence, these projects should not be dismissed but embraced.