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While both projects and operations are led and executed by “people“, and both add “value” to an organization, projects and operations are two different exercises.
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- Projects have a definite beginning and a definite end. A project does not keep on going. There is a start and a finish. Not so with operations. Operations are activities which are ongoing in nature. You complete one cycle to start another. It goes on!
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- Ralph Lauren famously said: “You have to create something from nothing.” While projects do not normally entail any demand so dramatic, every project manager has a measurable and unique something to deliver at the end of the project delivery time. For example, a team might be entrusted with the job of coming out with the design of an electric car. There would be a definite time-frame within which the team would be expected to deliver the design – a measurable and unique something. Now this would be a project.
- Again, once the design and other parameters have been fixed, suppose the company starts manufacturing the electric car after sufficient market research (another project) which show that the endeavour would be profitable. The manufacturing would be an “ongoing” process right. One after the other, the electric cars would be manufactured and sold off. This entire process would come under the ambit of “operations“.
A simple summary:
More articles on Project Management:
Great project managers are rare, but hey, they are there. And they are valued because they possess the right knowledge, perform efficiently, and marshal their troops effectively showcasing superior personal skills.
Yes, if you can garner the right amount of the three must-haves listed above, no one can stop you from being a great project manager (PM).
The must-haves are summarised below: