On 1st December, Glen Alleman (at Herding Cats) posted a quote which I think was there to highlight the daftness of estimating precision and the foolishness of predicting project impossibility. Only Glen will know how he really intended us to interpret his post.
Anyway, it led me to observe that the project in his quote (The Hoover Dam) is dwarfed by the achievement of the Panama Canal. I learned a lot about this project from Tom Kendrick’s excellent book “Identifying and Managing Project Risk: Essential Tools for Failure-Proofing Your Project”. Tom uses the Panama Canal as a case study on risk management throughout the book.
It then struck me that the Panama Canal is truly a modern wonder of the world. Not only is it awesome in scale and achievement but, like the original seven, it is a navigational landmark. The seven wonders of the ancient world charted the Mediterranean coast.
Photo Credit: lyng883
So here is my challenge: what would my readers nominate for the other six of the Seven Modern Project Management Wonders of the World?
To define terms:
I would suggest that to be modern, its completion has to be within the life of someone alive today. I don’t know the precise stats, but I guess that takes us back around 115 years, so lets say anything finished after 1890.
- Project Management
Any achievement that required exceptional project management to get the job done – in any arena from civil to mechanical to electrical to software engineering, to events, business transformations, scientific endeavours or even political movements. Be imaginative.
My qualification for being a wonder is that it would make anyone with a soul and the wit to appreciate a great accomplishment say “Wow!” – and do so in a truly awestruck way.
On or off – I don’t want to exclude the space industry – after all, their projects all started here. Any that truly started on another planet may be awesome, but validation will be tricky. No sci-fi; we’ll save that for another time (but the Ringworld would have to be in with a chance!)
Please use the comments box to give your ideas (and reasons), and please tweet and blog to your networks to help get as many ideas as possible. Before Christmas, if I get enough ideas, I’ll set up a poll to find the top seven.