While reviewing my latest copy of Project Manager Today – a UK-based PM magazine – I was reading their article entitled “A Profession is Born” which looks back on the 20-year history of the publication. Included in the article is a timeline of some key points in project management history – though with a very UK twist to it.

I decided to put together a more all-inclusive timeline by grabbing some info from Wikipedia and whatever other sources I could find.  The resulting timeline follows – I hope you find it as interesting as I did. If you have anything that should be added or revised – please let me know…I’m always interested in accuracy and completeness.

Project Management Timeline




  • 1962 – DoD/NASA publish a description of the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
  • 1967 – The International Project Management Association (IPMA) founded in Europe
  • 1969 – Project Management Institute (PMI) launched to promote project management profession


  • 1973 – International Computers Limited (ICL) offer PERT on a mainframe computer
  • 1974 -PROMPT method launched (later known as PRINCE2)
  • 1975 – PROMPTII methodology created by Simpact Systems Ltd (source: PRINCE2 manual)
  • 1975 – The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering by Fred Brooks published
  • 1979 – Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA – later known as Office of Government Commerce or OGC – UK) adopt PROMPT II


  • 1980 – First ‘on screen’ bar chart on early PCs
  • 1981 – UK Army adopts PROMPT method
  • 1984 – The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt published
  • 1986 – Scrum was named as a project management style in the article The New New Product Development Game by Takeuchi and Nonaka
  • 1987 – First Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide (PMBoK) published as a white paper by PMI
  • 1989 – PRINCE method derived from PROMPTII is published by the UK Government agency CCTA and becomes the UK standard for all government information projects


  • 1996 PRINCE2 published by CCTA (now OGC) as a generic product management methodology for all UK government projects.
  • 1996 – First published edition of the PMBoK appears
  • 1997 – Critical Chain by Eliyahu M. Goldratt published


  • 2000 PMBoK second edition published
  • 2001 Agile Alliance formed to promote “lightweight” software development projects
  • 2004 PMBoK third edition published
  • 2006 Total Cost Management Framework release by AACE
  • 2008 PMBoK fourth edition published