Project Management

10 Lessons of the Most Influential Projects

Sunil Prashara, and PM Network

There are many lessons to be found in the Most Influential Projects. We’ve pulled out 10 of them from the Top 50 list. We encourage you to consider (and even circulate) your own lessons. What’s influential to each individual person and organization may be somewhat different. But we can all learn from each other.

Lesson 1

Inspiration Begins With Action

The internet already existed when Tim Berners-Lee undertook to create the World Wide Web (1). Cyberspace was an arcane sphere, open only to in-the-know academics and computer-world nerds. Berners-Lee believed that broader access—simpler, more user-friendly—would be transformational. So he and a team built tools that made it possible. The concept of open digital connectivity wasn’t enough; action was required.

Dreaming about putting a man on the moon (2) is not the same as rolling up your sleeves and finding a way to get it done. Or decoding the human genome (5). Or rebuilding a disaster zone like New York City’s Ground Zero (30). In all those projects, and many more, the act of doing the impossible becomes its own inspiration.

Lesson 2

The Future Is Built

The Burj Khalifa (15) is among the world’s most recognizable skyscrapers, a marvel of both architecture and construction. But it is also emblematic of the emergence of Dubai as a modern city: a built-from-the-sand …

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I see where one young boy has just passed 500 hours sitting in a treetop. There is a good deal of discussion as to what to do with a civilization that produces prodigies like that. Wouldn't it be a good idea to take his ladder away from him and leave him up there?

- Will Rogers