Le Pont du Gard, France – 1st Century AD

Le Pont du Gard, France – 1st Century AD
Le Pont du Gard sur le Gardon
Le Pont du Gard sur le Gardon. Photo CC-BY-SA 2011 Bergès Valérie

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of walking across and standing under this 1st Century Roman Bridge.

I asked a guide “How come the bridge was so well built?”. He said the Romans used to “make the engineer stand under each arch when the keystone was slotted in”.

I guess that the truth should never interfere with a good story but certainly even if there is a smidge of truth in these early project manager would have had big skin in the game and a very vested interest in “getting the project right”.  The cost of getting it wrong was also very personal.

Would the Romans start a project on the basis of “Look just get started and we’ll fix it later, or perhaps, “Just throw money at it—that will fix it” or perhaps even “Of course we can load on all these bells & whistles”.

Did the Romans have a PM Body of Knowledge?  Of course they did.  Did they use it? Of course they did. Could anyone be a Roman Project Manager? Answer “NO!”.  The learning curve was very steep.

Were the Romans competent? Obviously, yes. Competency is the ability to use and apply knowledge and experience.Competencies provide a well grounded, experienced based set of practices, skills and knowledge to manage a project end to end.

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