The Origins of Project Management

Based on Lynda’s analysis of ‘stakeholder’ using the new Google Ngram Viewer (see: Lynda’s post), I thought I would compare ‘stakeholder’ with ‘Project Management’.

Lynda’s Stakeholder graph:

The Ngram for Stakeholder

My graph of Project Management to the same dimensions:

The Ngram for Project Management

Comparing the two charts suggests ‘stakeholder management’ is a growing social phenomenon whereas ‘project management’ has reached a plateau, possibly suggesting it is a mature business function. Comparing the raw numbers, ‘stakeholder management’ has a very long way to go to catch up with ‘project management’ in terms of the amount of writing about the subject suggesting it will be an expanding area of interest for many years to come.

Interestingly, the start of the steady rise in interest in ‘project management’ from around 1960 fully supports the hypothesis in my paper The Origins of Modern Project Management that the spread of project management was directly linked to the development of CPM scheduling. The original work on CPM was done in 1957!

To explore the Ngram Viewer yourself, see:


2 responses to “The Origins of Project Management

  1. Hi Pat,

    For some reason I have expected an article about the history of project management.

    In any case, thanks for the heads up about the Google ngram viewer.

    • If you click on the link to the referenced paper – The Origins of Modern Project Management you will find a very comprehensive paper on the history of project management together with links to a range of other papers on subjects such as the History of Scheduling. We try to focus our blog posts on new information rather then repeating materials that are already published, even if they are valuable. The link embedded link in the original post is to:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s