Technology / Productivity

Project Management Has Always Followed Where Technology Leads

Project Management Has Always Followed Where Technology Leads
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Published on April 20, 2023

In November 2022, CompTIA updated the exam for their project management certification Project+, and PK0-005 is now the exam you need to pass to earn the Project+. Apparently, CompTIA took the (many) (and valid) criticisms of the old exam into account, because the new exam for Project+, PK0-005, is a big improvement over PK0-004.

With CompTIA’s release of its new project management certification exam, it seemed like a good time to take a short look at the history of project management’s relationship to technology. PK0-005, the new Project+ certification exam, places a high value on technology for project managers. But advances in technology and improvements in project management have long gone hand in hand.

What’s the History of Project Management?

Project management isn’t actually a very old practice. Sure, today you can’t throw a stone without hitting five rival methodologies, each one with its own unique project management certification. Despite that competition, there remain shared ideas and principles that form the foundation of project management and the bedrock of project management certifications. But that wasn’t always the case. Before 1900, the very idea of standardizing management processes so that any business or enterprise could modify them according to their need would have been unthinkable.

Pre-1900, even companies and manufactories that produced the same product had wildly different methods, processes, resources, and personnel issues. After all, electricity and reliable electrical lighting didn’t reach most major manufacturing hubs until the last decade of the 1800s. And the education that most laborers of that time received would’ve made trying to maintain project management certifications laughable.

Electrification and the war effort of World War 1 are probably the two biggest contributors to historically standardized project management. Distribution of labor, interchangeable parts, and an increased reliance on production lines enabled by electrified machines gave rise to the need for unified project management practices. That’s not to say that project management certifications sprung up overnight, but academies, universities, and public intellectuals started to see the need for a way of thinking that would eventually become project management.

What Does Project Management Look Like Today?

Project management finally got its feet under it in the 1900s, but it changed massively by 1950. The middle of the 20th Century is when project management certifications and formalized education became more popular (still, even those would’ve looked night-and-day different from the Project+). The interstate system and widespread personal automobile ownership meant supply chains were shorter, the workforce was more mobile, and management practices had to change.

And project management kept changing. By the late 1980s, the growing popularity of a mysterious computer network called The Web was opening up opportunities for companies that could take advantage of faster communication and more efficient production lines. It was in the IT era that project management evolved the most. The fundamentals of project management stayed roughly the same: the fundamental definitions and concepts of projects, the ways of thinking about limitations and constraints in business, the importance of clear communication and good communication methods, an understanding of change management, and project documentation. 

But now those foundations were getting expanded and strengthened with near-instantaneous communication, computer processing, massive storage, and AI-enabled data analysis.

Related: 5 Project Management Certs that Can Advance Your Career in 2023.

Project Management Today Looks Like Project+ and PK0-005

To get a sense of what project management actually is today, we need look no further than the exam objectives of the new Project+ exam PK0-005:

  • Project Management Concepts

  • Project Life Cycle Phases

  • Tools and Documentation

  • Basics of IT and Governance

The CompTIA Project+ certification is a good microcosm of the entire project management world because it is designed to be a vendor-neutral project management certification. That means it doesn’t test on any particular methodology or system like PMI, Six Sigma, or Agile. 

Instead, it generalizes the concepts and skills that the most popular methodologies have in common and results in a project manager who’s comfortable in diverse settings no matter what systems are already in place.

Technology is the Lynchpin to Project Management Going Forward

Imagine walking into a factory in 1970 and discovering that the manufacturing floor was steam-powered and all the records and planning documents were hand-written notes. That’s how it should feel for a project manager to walk into a company today and discover that cloud-based monitoring services aren’t being used to update project milestones and automatically gather data about supply chain fulfillment.

Whether or not you work in the IT/IS world, as a project manager, you must be familiar with technology and be aware of how it changes your role and responsibilities as a PM. Different project management certifications focus on the importance of technology differently, for instance, some endorse the Scrum, Agile, Waterfall, or Kanban techniques, but all recognize that technology and project management are irrevocably linked.

Technology is the means by which instantaneous decisions get reached, accurate data is found, global orchestration is managed, and much more. Some project managers already know this and are well on their way to earning a project management certification in a particular system or methodology, like CertifiedScrumMaster. But for those who don’t know what methodology their career will emphasize, or who don’t want to tie themselves to one single system, the Project+ from CompTIA provides the technological familiarity along with the skills that you need.

Learn What’s on the PK0-005 With CBT Nuggets

CBT Nuggets trainer Simona Millham published a new CompTIA Project+ certification exam training a few months after CompTIA replaced PK0-004 with PK0-005. Simona has written training for so many of the earlier versions of the Project+ exam, that CBT Nuggets’ PK0-005 course was one of the first Project+ preparation courses available.

Simona’s course is focused on technology and projects because the improvements being made to the curriculum and body of knowledge of project management by the technology industry are huge. Any project manager, even ones who work nowhere near the tech industry, needs to understand how the technology of their field affects the projects they’re tasked with. But also, any project manager can be more effective and capable by understanding management approaches like Agile, Waterfall, Scrum, and DevOps. 

About 120 years ago, when the first people started thinking about incorporating unified practices of project management into their business operations, they could never have imagined the world of project management certification today. But as it evolves, understanding the relationship between technology’s role in project management and project management’s role in technology, is key to success. A project management certification like CompTIA provides that familiarity and those skills when coupled with a project management online course like the CBT Nuggets course on PK0-005.


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