The Origins of Cost Engineering

The latest paper in our series on the origins of project controls has been published in the March edition of Project Management World Journal.

This paper traces the origins of accounting, through cost accounting, to cost engineering. Download the full paper from:

This is the part of a series of papers looking at the origins of the structures underpinning Earned Value Management (EVM):

  1. The History of Scheduling (these papers are stand-alone, but the schedule is a key support to EVM)
  2. The Origins of WBS & Management Charts
  3. The Origins of Cost Engineering
  4. The Origins of EVM (full update planned for mid-year)

As always, we are happy to receive feedback and additional information to help improve this history resource which is freely available to everyone:  

2 responses to “The Origins of Cost Engineering

  1. Good starting point, Pat…

    Cost Engineering-
    The only topics/references that I think you have missed are:
    Activity-Based Costing/Activity Based Management-
    Gary Cokins/IMA-
    Troxel & Weber (1990)

    This is the integration of Scheduling with Cost Estimating/Cost Engineering

    You have missed the work done by the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) on the development, evolution and use of MULTI-DIMENSIONAL WBS/CBS structures
    Uniformat- Scheider & Cain (2009)

    And Norsok’s Z-014/ ISO 19008:2016-

    This is important because it is these STANDARDIZED “object-oriented” coding structures that form the enablers for today’s Building Information Modeling to exchange data.

    Incentive Payments
    While I appreciate you citing the work of my student, Ms. Bertile Hu, why not cite the original source for your graphic? Also keep in mind that Wikipedia is NOT accepted in professional papers as a legitimate and credible source, especially since it got taken over by the “woke” crowd.

    Also, why, under the heading of “Cost Breakdown Structure”, you provided an IMAGE but you failed to cite the work of Gillette and Dana with their 1909 book “Cost Keeping and Management Engineering: A Treatise for Engineers, Contractors and Superintendents Engaged in the Management of Engineering Construction”? That is the ORIGINAL “smoking gun” work on Cost Engineering, Incentive Payments and Earned Value Management. It also set the stage for the formalization of Activity Based Costing.

    IMPO, Gillette and Dana’s work formed the basis for what we know today as “Project Controls” or “PMO’s”. MUCH more relevant and USEFUL than citing Sutcliff.

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