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Projects are nothing new. During the seventeenth century, Daniel Defoe described the specific role projects play for shaping a better society in An Essay upon Projects. A hundred years later the first Industrial Revolution started, focusing on the efficiency and profits gained from the deployment of capital. By the late 1950s project management as we know it had emerged from the aerospace and defence projects (and programmes) in the United States of America, based on the discipline of Operations Research (OR), which was very popular at the time – mainly focusing on mathematical approaches to complex engineering challenges, such as the Polaris missile (see Morris, 2013). From then on, the network techniques and planning methodology were predominant in the field of project management.
An Essay Upon Projects - online literature
No brief account of Defoe's works can do more than hint at the range, variety, and scope of his hundreds of publications. His first major work, An Essay upon Projects (1697), which introduced many topics that would reappear in his later works, proposed ways of providing better roads, insurance, and education, and even planned a house for fools to be supported by "a Tax upon Learning, to be paid by the Authors of Books."