One of author Patrick Weaver's pastimes is researching the history of the development of project scheduling. However, a big gap in his research is around the origins of project controls and project management in the 18th and 19th centuries. As Pat says:
"We know the concept of bar charts was fully developed by 18th century and fully implemented by the late 19th century, 1896 to 1910. What's missing is information on how time was managed on a raft of major projects during the industrial revolution. What is also missing is how the context of project control from a time perspective evolved to support the fairly rigorous development of contract law and cost controls."
In particular, there is significant information on record as to how the concept of the Crystal Palace was developed and the structure built. However, there appear to be no records of how the building work was planned and scheduled, especially considering the delivery date, size and audacity of the project for those times.
So this case study is a little different from our usual. The following pages provide a good general description of the Crystal Palace project and how it evolved, but no information relating to project management records. So, the challenge is for readers to develop a credible work breakdown structure, a cost plan and, most important of all, a credible working construction schedule given what we know today about such processes. Patrick Weaver's narrative follows.
The Crystal Palace was built in London for the Great Exhibition of 1851. To put this in historical perspective, this is just 35 years after the Battle of Waterloo brought an end to the Napoleonic wars, and 60 years before Henry Gantt began his work.
1. Patrick has over 35 years of experience in Project Management. His career was initially focused on the planning and managing of construction, engineering and infrastructure projects in the UK and Australia. The last 25 years has seen his businesses and experience expand to include the successful delivery of project scheduling services and PMOs in a range of government, ICT and business environments; with a strong focus on project management training. His consultancy work encompasses: developing and advising on project schedules, developing and presenting PM training courses, managing the development of internal project control systems for client organizations, and assisting with dispute resolution and claims management. He is a qualified Arbitrator. In the last few years, Patrick has sought to 'give back' to the industry he has participated in since leaving college. This he has done through contributions to the development of the project management profession. In addition to his committee roles he has presented papers at a wide range of project management conferences in the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia, has an on-going role with the PMOZ conference in Australia and is part of the Australian delegation to ISO TC258.
2. See www.mosaicprojects.com.au/PDF_Papers/P182_The_origins_of_bar_charting.pdf
3. See www.mosaicprojects.com.au/PDF_Papers/P042_Barchart_Origins.pdf