Looking at my del.icio.us bookmarks, I went in touch with an old (2003 🙂 ) article by David Anderson called The Zen of Agile Management.

Among interesting things about Agile Management, you can read a quick history of the Management Science through the key people:

  • Adam Smith and his The Wealth of Nations that started in some way the ‘modern’ economic/management theories
  • Frederick Winslow Taylor (1900s) and his theory on improving industrial efficiency through specialized workers

Henry Ford was a fan of Taylor and he used his ideas to create the assembly line (in 1917) which minimized inefficient time-in-motion and maximized local throughput for individual workers. Extreme specialization was a boon for Ford as it minimized training and allowed new (often illiterate) employees to become effective very quickly

  • Peter Drucker (1950s) and his idea to move from ‘cost based princing’ to the concept that the value of a product is the price the consumer is prepared or able to pay.
  • Michael Porter (1970s) introduced the concept of value-chain.

The idea that a chain of workers or a chain of suppliers each added value to a raw material until it was eventually delivered to a consumer.

  • Peter Senge (1990s) introduced the concept of learning organizations

To maximize the effectiveness of a business, the system must be considered as a whole rather than the sum of its individual parts. This was the critical break from Taylor’s theories which existed under the assumption that optimizing locally (time-in-motion) would lead to a global optimum […] Mass manufacturing was losing in the marketplace to an alternative approach from Japan known in the West as Lean.

  • Eli Goldratt (1980s) focuses his idea of management in removing the constraint that limit the system to growth and than growth and than start the process again.
  • David Anderson ??? 🙂