Failure is nature’s plan to prepare you for great responsibilities. ~ Napoleon Hill (Author of the 1st Project Management Book, “Think and Grow Rich”)

napoleon-hillIn 1991 I was working for Symantec in the product group for TimeLine, the first project management software for the PC. I had recently been working on developing guides for a new product that had just come out called GuideMaker, which was a product that allowed a person to build expert templates that produced project plans for TimeLine and Microsoft Project, that were generated from how the user answered key questions. For instance, let’s say the guide was for building a new residential house, questions the user might answer could be related to square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, materials uses, and if the house was going to have a basement or built on a slab. In this example, a construction manager would run a Guide, answer the question and the product would produce a *.mpp accordingly.

One day I got a call from an editor from Success Magazine. He was a psychologist that believed that personal success was primarily a function of expert planning and deployment. Thus his interest in a product that could build expert plans for a particular purpose based on how users answer questions.

In our conversation, he stated, “Think and Grow Rich” when you take out the psycho-babble out, is essentially a project management book. One of the first self-help books, and the first project management book for the public.

“Think and Grow Rich” was written in 1937 during the Great Depression and has sold over 20 million copies. The philosophy taught in the book is based on the idea that there are tools and techniques that can help people succeed in any line of work, to do and be anything they can imagine.

The Gantt Chart came out in 1917, it was used in the public domain on the high profile Hoover Dam project. Modern project management started to emerge in the 1950s.

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