Why Project Management Is Different to Operations Management

Jul 5, 2021 1 min read
Why Project Management Is Different to Operations Management

Project management and operations management are different. Here we summarize the main differences between operations and projects.

So, what’s the difference between project management and operations management? Let’s take a look.

Operations Management Vs Project Management

Operations Management is an ongoing organizational function that performs activities to produce products or supply services. For instance, production operations, manufacturing, IT service management, and accounting operations.

Furthermore, operations are permanent endeavours that produce repetitive outputs. Human resources do the same tasks according to operating procedures and policy.

In contrast, projects are temporary and help the business to meet its goals and to respond quickly and easily to changes in the external environment. Organizations use projects as a means to change operations, products, and services to meet business need, gain competitive advantage and respond to new markets.

Different Objectives

Projects require project management, whereas operations requires business process management or operations management. However, projects and operations do meet at various points during the life-cycle of a product or service.

For example, when:

  • Re-engineering business processes,
  • Developing or changing product and services, and
  • Improving operations or product development.

The goal of process management is to improve processes continually. Improving operational processes may increase effectiveness, cut costs and gain competitive advantage.

Projects are about driving change in the organization. For instance, using business process re-engineering to align business need with customer expectation.

Different Skills

Moreover, the skills needed by the project manager are different to those needed by operational managers.


How would you describe the difference between project management and operations management? You are welcome to share your thoughts in the comments.

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