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Project and Operations Management

Essay by   •  February 10, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  774 Words (4 Pages)  •  458 Views

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Project and Operations Management Defined

At a high level, operations management manages an organizations operations and resources. Meanwhile, project management manages a project with a defined start and end date. Project Insight (2013) defines operations management as the management of "an organization's on-going, repetitive activities, such as accounting or production". Project management is defined as "the management of a specific project, which is a unique, temporary endeavor with a specific beginning and end" (Project Insight, 2013).

Management Constraints

Another way to think about the differences between project and operations management can be scope constraints, time constraints and budget constraints. Tandoc (2010) defines scope constraints for project management as "temporary while operators have more permanence or business as usual" (Project vs Operations - Scope Constraints). An example of a project would be developing NCH's benchmark ® software for an online presence, while operations would be ensuring ABC's retailer services processes run unimpeded every day and provide the retailers coupon data as needed. The Tandoc (2010) article defines time constraints for projects as having "definite beginnings and endings while operations are typically repeated over time" (Project vs Operations - Time Constraints). Looking at ABC's development, the project has a specific start date and is scheduled to be completed by a specific date. On the other hand, the day-to-day operations of ABC's retailer services contain tasks that must be performed daily, weekly, and monthly. Finally, budget constraints are not as straightforward but Tandoc (2010) suggests that "the traditional view of the budget in product management is that a project has to stick within a definite budget while operations have to maintain a specific profit margin" (Project vs Operations - Budget Constraints). From these three constraints project can be concluded as limited in scope, time, and budget to complete the project. Whereas operations are the repetitive tasks that are executed regularly over time and these tasks must be completed in order to meet profit margins.

Consequences of Decisions

Other differences between project management and operations management are highlighted in an article by MIT Sloan School of Management (2013). "In operations one has to stick with a decision for a very long time, but in projects the decisions take shape according to the size and nature of the project and can change between projects". For example if the organization decides that from an operations stand point to select a product, the business will have to endure using that product for a long time. But in project management the organization can choose a product to help implement a project but then the next time decide to choose a different product to use for implementation. Something that is also a difference between project and operations management is that project managers have to be skillful in handling workers to



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