In examining the PESTLE Analysis history and application, one must first go back to the roots of the PESTLE factors and discuss how they are applied in today's project management environment.
The PESTLE Analysis history is quite vague. There is no major documentation of credits given to any particular individual or organization for pioneering this analysis. However, from citations and records of its earliest uses, there are a few individuals who are considered important in connection with the same.
Francis J. Aguilar: In 1967, there was a mention of Aguilar in "Scanning the Business Environment", where he discussed the environmental factors affecting a business. He gave them the acronym "ETPS" to indicate the "Economic, Technical, Political, and Social" factors.
Arnold Brown: In the early 1970's, Brown focused on "STEP" (Strategic Trend Evaluation Process) and outlined the environmental factors as STEPE (Social, Technical, Economic, Political and Ecological).
1980+: After a decade of Brown's STEPE analysis, many people tried to define the environmental factors in many ways, thus resulting in PEST, PESTLE, STEP and STEEPLE analysis.
By following the history of the acronym PESTLE, we reach the conclusion that the PESTLE analysis became popular from the second half of the twentieth century. It outlines the need for conforming to environmental factors and also makes use of these mentioned environmental factors towards the success of the project.