History of PM in Australia

Lessons-from-HistoryI’m pleased to announce the publication of the AIPM web portal outlining the history of project management in Australia and the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM). Hopefully the site, as launched today, will be the foundation for developing a comprehensive ‘living source’ of information on our history and the on-going development of AIPM and the project management profession.

I was able to contribute to this initiative in two ways, firstly Mosaic was one of the commercial sponsors who helped fund this important work, secondly after the passing of my friend, and inveterate hoarder, Brian Doyle, several years ago I inhered a large box of old paperwork stored by Brian over the decades (on the basis I have an abiding interest in the history of project management).

Once I was aware of the AIPM history project, a careful sorting of the papers uncovered many original documents from Brian’s time as the Founding Secretary of the then PMF (now AIPM).  I’m pleased to say these papers are now part of the AIPM archive.

Why does this matter??  My belief is no practice can evolve into a well rounded profession without a good understanding of its origins and development. Project Management is starting to emerge as a distinct profession and being aware of our history and the development of ‘modern project management’ is a key underpinning of that journey towards becoming a fully recognised profession, supported by a distinct academic discipline.

My hope is the other major institutions world-wide such as the APM (UK) and PMI (USA) follow suite and not only record their history and make it easily available, but also establish proper archives so these documents and interviews are retained for use by future researchers.

History is always an interpretation of information – current interpretations (including mine) are always subject to review and challenge and having access to first hand accounts and original documents will enable this process to continue into the future.

The AIPM’s newly minted web portal is at https://www.aipm.com.au/resources/history-of-pm-in-australia

My contributions towards documenting the broader sweep of project, and project controls, history is at: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/PM-History.html

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