The Giza Pyramids comprise the oldest and largest pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex located in Egypt. The Giza Pyramids were built to endure the test of time which they have managed to since they have been in existence for the past 4,500 years. There are different lessons on project management that can be learned from the Giza Pyramid project.
The first lesson is initiating of projects. From the history of the pyramids it is seen that they were initiated by Egypt’s pharaoh’s who had a belief that they would become gods in their afterlife. They therefore erected temples for the gods and placed in the tombs the things that they would need to sustain themselves in the next world.
The other project management area that has been discussed in the week is project planning and executing. Planning involves the manner in which the project should go while executing is concerned with implementation of the plan. The Giza Project management first involved controlling of the project scope. There are a few technical challenges that were encountered while implementing the project, such as creation of perfectly level base, construction of the burial chambers and completing the final stages of the mounting cap stone. However, the Giza Pyramids remained the tallest structure and was only recently overtaken by the Eifel Tower. The splendor and symmetry of the pyramids highlight the level of coordinated efforts that were put in place in order to ensure success of the project. This details the planning and sequence of activities that were followed to ensure project success (Project Lessons, 2010).
The other project management area is the importance of human resource management in projects. This also includes the importance of creating a conducive environment in which the project managers can get the best out of the human resources. From the Giza Pyramid project, it is seen that the laborers were not slaves but farmers who had been affected by flooding by River Nile. According to legend, there were approximately 100,000 skilled personnel who were employed in the project. These craftsmen were arranged in a tiered management structure depending on the level of skill of each personnel. There were effective controls that were implemented to ensure that the project went according to plan. Each Pharaoh wanted to see the pyramid before his death. The project must have therefore been completed under tight schedules. Most of the projects were completed within 20 years even though they involved careful laying of many limestone blocks. It is also said that there was a dedicated architect who was tasked with overseeing implementation of the project. From this, it is seen that the ancient Egyptians understood the importance of delegation of tasks, defining roles according to assigned tasks and decomposition of work into simpler and manageable parts.
Limestone blocks were carefully arranged to help build the pyramids. This shows the manner in which the ancient Egyptians were master planners who had a good understanding of the technology of the day. The Egyptians understood how to mobilize resources and ensure project success (Schwalbe, 2015). This they did without the use of project management software or any online tools. Due to the strict deadlines, the Egyptians did not seek to use slaves as they thought this would slow down project implementation (Kozak-Holland, 2011).
In conclusion, project management is an old craft that dates back to the time that the Egyptian Giza Pyramids were being constructed. The construction of these pyramids followed the principles of project management that were discussed in class. This helped in ensuring success of the project.
- Kozak-Holland, M. (2011). What can we learn from the ancient project managers: Building the case for historical project management. Retrieved from https://www.commerce.virginia.edu/sites/default/files/Centers/Kozak-Holland_Sept%202011.pdf
- Project Lessons. (2010). The history of project management – Author’s perspective. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYgMT57I7UI&feature=youtu.be
- Schwalbe, K.(2015). Information technology project management. New York: Cengage Learning.