Project Management

Lessons From the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire (Part 5)

Jerry Manas, PMP
We last left off examining the first of three enabling factors that allowed the Romans to be successful in the area of engineering--the recognition of the need to innovate as opposed to gold-plate. In this installment, we will examine the remaining two enabling factors: the need to identify and foster the core competencies necessary for success, and the need to strive for problem driven solutions.


Core Competencies

Engineering was, without a doubt, a core competency to the Romans, as evident in these excerpts from the excellent Roman History, Coins and Technology Back Pages website, hosted by San Jose State University and selected as a Discovery Channel School valuable educational internet resource.


“In the applying of pure knowledge to practical uses, their engineers are unsurpassed until one reaches modern times. Engineers traveled with their armies building roads and bridges. In fact, knowledge of engineering was almost a requirement for advancing through the ranks. After they conquered new territory and created a new province, their engineers laid out cities to a standard plan and provided them with excellent roads and a clean water supply. When Julius Caesar had to cross the Rhine with his army, he built a pontoon bridge on the spot using the engineering skills of his soldiers and forced labor of the local tribesmen. Later, a much larger permanent stone bridge …

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