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SLP 4 Project Closeout The Manhattan Project

SLP4 Project Closeout: The Manhattan Project

SLP4 Project Closeout: The Manhattan Project

TheManhattan Project was managed and executed by the United States incoordination with Canada and the United Kingdom. It produced theworld’s first A-bomb that was used during World War II. It wasdirected by Physicist Robert Oppenheimer at Los Alamos Laboratory andmanaged by the Major General Leslie Groves (AJ, 2015). This papertraces the evolution of the Manhattan Project from Sep 2 1945 (the VJDay) through 1947 (i.e., the Manhattan Engineer District in 1947).

BriefHistology: Manhattan Project: between 1945-1947

TheManhattan project produced the first A-bomb and culminated into thebombing of the two Japanese cities. The S-50 and Y12 were shut downafter Japan signed the articles to surrender. Later the May-Johnsonand Atomic Energy Acts were passed by the Congress and signed byPresident Truman. This was followed by the e transferring of theAtomic energy activities to newly created Atomic Energy Commission,the disbandment of the Military Policy Committee and Top Policy Groupand the abolishment of the Manhattan Engineer District (AJ, 2015).

Consolidatingand safeguarding the knowledge gained during execution of theManhattan Project€

Theleaders of the Manhattan project were aware of the importance ofconsolidating and safeguarding the knowledge gained during executionof the project. They understood the importance of maintaining a highlevel of secrecy. Several steps were taken to safeguard andconsolidate the knowledge gained by officials during execution of theManhattan Project. First, the voluntary censorship was instituted onpublication of research papers relating to uranium or atomic fission.Secondly, the U.S. Army took over the administration of the project.The army was seen as the best organization to enforce a foolproofsecurity system. This system helped reduce the likelihood of Axispowers accessing and developing their atomic weapons and ensured theaxis states remained ignorant of the U.S., developing atomic weapons.Thirdly, the Manhattan District security system was instituted. Thissystem introduced several innovations in organization and techniqueand was adopted as the government security program. The ManhattanProject security system was also expanded to include the plantoperation and construction program. The Manhattan project securitysystem was responsible for counterintelligence activities. Lastly,the Army security regulations were instituted requiring all employeesand management of all forms engaged in project for War Department orclassified work and civilian employees, military personnel of the Wardepartment to strictly abide by certain secrecy rules.

Duringthe Manhattan Project several decisions were made with regard to thesharing and exchange of knowledge. The key decision involvedPresident Truman who made a decision regarding the selective sharingof the Manhattan project knowledge to allies seen to be lessdangerous. A decision was also made regarding the secrecy of theproject with most American officials convinced that the secret of theA-bomb could remain an American monopoly.

Itwas realistic for most American officials to be convinced that thesecret of the A-bomb should remain an American monopoly, givenadequate security. Indeed, it was until the use of the atomic bombagainst Japan that secrete leaked to the Soviet Union and othercountries with the interest of developing atopic bomb. The U.S.officials and Truman hoped that by keeping the Atomic Bomb projectsecrete would ensure only America and no other country could own theAtomic bomb. This was a strategy aimed at ensuring that the UnitedStates maintained the atomic monopoly. It was believed that America’spossession of the nuclear weapon would be its key strategy in dealingwith other superpowers including the Soviets after the World War II.The use of the Atomic Bomb against Japan in 1945 demonstrated thedestructive effect of the weapon and revealed what had been keptsecretive for years. This unveiled the secrecy of the ManhattanProject. However, it demonstrated that the secretive nature of theManhattan project, made it impossible for other countries to accessinformation about making A-bomb except America. More revealing wasthat American did not continue enjoying atomic monopoly after 1945.Later the Soviets developed their atomic bomb.

Theorganizational legacy associated with the Manhattan Project affectAmerican policy going into the future. Indeed, the story about theManhattan Project including the effort to build and develop theworld’s first A-Bomb is epic. It has continued to unfold eventoday. America’s decision to use the A-bomb against two Japanesecities Nagasaki and Hiroshima continues to be argued, mythodologized,researched and dissected. Security and secrecy practices exercisedduring the Manhattan Project were adapted in various governmentsectors, sometimes conflicting with democratic practices. TheManhattan Project has led to the development and growth of scientificenterprise. It encouraged research on human genome. Nuclear powerplants have become the source of electricity. Currently,proliferation and deterrence of nuclear weapons present a globalchallenge. On the overall, the Manhattan Project transformed therelationship between society and science in ways that are irrefutablyrelevant today.

Itis widely argued that Manhattan Project marked the start of themodern project management concepts. The project officials involvedmany people at several different locations and with different skills.The management of the project’s schedule, budget and mission wereclearly separated. However, the Manhattan project could have beenless, more effective and completed in less than three years if modernproject management tools including PERT (Program Evaluation ReviewTechnique), Critical Path Method (CPM), Gant chart, and networkdiagrams, could have been applied. Officials of Manhattan Projectcould have used PERT and Critical Path Method (CPM) to define andcontrol tasks that are required for a project to be completed (PMG,2012). These two projects have several benefits notably improvingscheduling activities and planning and improving forecasting ofresource requirements. Similarly, network diagrams could have beenuseful in modeling relationship among project tasks (NY Guide, 2002).


TheManhattan project produced the first A-bomb and culminated into thebombing of the two Japanese cities. It secrecy of the project ensuredit remained America’s atomic monopoly. This project affected theAmerican policy going into the future by transforming therelationship between society and science in ways that are irrefutablyrelevant today.


AJ(2015). The Manhattan Project: Making the atomic bomb. Retrieved 19Nov 2016 from http://www.atomicarchive.com/History/mp/index.shtml

NYGuide (2002). Management`s Guide to Project Success. (Closeout: Sec3.5) Retrieved on 19 Nov 2016 from the New York State ChiefInformation Officer/Office for Technology`s Enterprise ProgramManagement Office.

PMG(2012). Project management closeout tools and techniques. Retrievedon 19 Nov 2016 from http://www.projectmanagementguru.com/closing.html