Chapter

From Manhattan to the Moon

Andrew Davies

in Projects: A Very Short Introduction

Published in print October 2017 | ISBN: 9780198727668
Published online October 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780191793691 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780198727668.003.0003

Series: Very Short Introductions

From Manhattan to the Moon

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The real breakthrough in the management and organization of large, complex projects can be traced back to the Second World War Manhattan Project, which developed the atom bomb, and the early post-war Atlas Project, which produced the intercontinental ballistic missile. ‘From Manhattan to the Moon’ considers these projects and explains how with few precedents to guide them, new structures, processes, and tools had to be created to coordinate, schedule, and integrate the vast networks of people, resources, and organizations involved in these projects. Systems-based project management spread quickly in the 1970s, but while this approach may work well on routine and simple projects, it ignores the need for adaptability in truly novel and complex projects.

Keywords: closed system; management; matrix organization; open system; optimism bias; project; risk management; schedule; work breakdown structure

Chapter.  6132 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Project Management

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