The work undertaken by Henri Fayol in the early part of the 20th century is largely the foundation upon which the general principles of project management were built and in essence defines the structure by which many projects are still managed today.

Fayol’s general principles of management are:

  1. Division of work: tasks should be subdivided and employees should specialize in a limited set of tasks so that expertise is developed and productivity increased.

  2. Authority and responsibility: authority is the right to give orders and entails the responsibility for enforcing them with rewards and penalties; authority should be matched with corresponding responsibility.

  3. Discipline: is essential for the smooth running of business and is dependent on good leadership, clear and fair agreements, and judicious application of penalties.

  4. Unity of command: for any action whatsoever, an employee should receive orders from one superior only; otherwise authority, discipline, order, and stability are threatened.

  5. Unity of direction: a group of activities concerned with a single objective should be co-ordinated by a single plan under one head.

  6. Subordination of individual interest to general interest: individual or group goals must not be allowed to override those of the business.

  7. Remuneration of personnel: may be achieved by various methods and the choice is important; it should be fair, encourage effort, and not lead to overpayment.

  8. Centralization: the extent to which orders should be issued only from the top of the organization is a problem, which should take into account its characteristics such as size and capabilities of the personnel.

  9. Scalar chain: communications should normally flow up and down the line of authority running from the top to the bot- tom of the organization, but sideways communication between those of equivalent rank in different departments can be desirable so long as superiors are kept informed.

  10. Order: both materials and personnel must always be in their proper place; people must be suited to their posts, so there must be careful organization of work and selection of personnel.

  11. Equity: personnel must be treated with kindness and justice.

  12. Stability of tenure of personnel: rapid turnover of personnel should be avoided because of the time required for the development of expertise.

  13. Initiative: all employees should be encouraged to exercise initiative within the limits imposed by the requirements of authority and discipline.

  14. Esprit de corps: efforts must be made to promote harmony within the organization and prevent dissension and divisiveness.

Although some of Fayol’s principles (especially 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, and 10) continue to find favour amongst project managers, some of them are counter-productive to leadership. For example, Fayol advocates subordination of the individual to general interest, involving constant supervision. The total absence of team building, training, delegation, empowerment, and socialization from Fayol’s model is a key attribute in the delivery of successful projects.