Arpanet – The Precursor to the Internet: A Project Management Written Analysis

April 2015

Today, more than three billion people use the Internet to such a degree that a world without it seems unimaginable. The seedlings of this worldwide technology were sowed in the research facilities of ARPA (now DARPA), a government research and development agency, and brought into existence through a succession of visionary leaders who attracted the best and brightest to work unencumbered by micromanagement or budgetary limitations. These teams developed the computer-based communications array known as ARPANET, a system at first used by academics and the military and later utilized as the foundation for the World Wide Web. The development of ARPANET demonstrates Warren Bennis and Patricia Ward Biederman’s concept of a Great Group, in which a group of experts, united in purpose and creative energy, create revolutionary products. ARPANET is also a project management case study in positive scope creep, in that an expanding project vision and costs ultimately resulted in positive dividends – the transformation of how humanity communicates.