Operations management is responsible for overseeing, directing and controlling business operations. Manufacturing operations, accounting operations, software support, and maintenance services are examples of operations management.
He makes sure business operations are resourceful, with minimal resources used and customer expectations and requirements met. Operations deliver products and achieve quality and creative services.
A project is a temporary effort that is taken to achieve a unique product, service or result. It has a defined start and end; it works according to a specific purpose and objective. Projects are temporary and they help to accomplish the goals of the organization in accordance with the strategy of the organization.
Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities in order to meet project requirements.
It goes through many phases throughout the project life cycle. In some of these phases, projects could overlap with the operation. Some of them are mentioned as follows:
- At the stage of developing a new product, expanding the product, or updating the product
- During product development or during operations improvement
- Before the end of the product life cycle
- At the closing stage
To implement the delivered work, information and knowledge exchange is needed between the project and operations during each phase. Regarding Book Practical Project Management for Agile Nonprofits by Karen R. J. White, there are four areas for which operations and project managers are responsible. These areas include:
- Staff Management
- Skills development
Difference between Operations Management and Project Management
The areas of responsibility for operations and project managers (budget, schedule, personnel management, and skills development) are the same, but their responsibilities are different. Descriptive analysis of operations and project managers’ responsibilities is provided in all four areas:
- The Operations Manager is responsible for the budget of the entire department and related expenses. It includes salaries, job management, maintenance costs, etc.
- The project manager is solely responsible for the budget of the project he is currently working on. It includes income generated during the project implementation period.
- Operations Manager has day-to-day management responsibilities and many of these tasks are included in the business as usual.
- The project manager is only responsible to make sure the project he manages is on time. It includes responsibilities such as delivery date planning, step planning and then development monitoring. In short, it ensures that all tasks are done correctly.
- The responsibilities of the operations manager are broader in terms of personnel management. His responsibilities include recruiting people, recruiting new staff, and distributing projects according to their characteristics.
- The project manager is not responsible for any HR-related issues such as hiring or firing. He is solely responsible for overseeing the work of his teammates on the project work that he is leading.
- The operations manager is responsible for improving his department’s skills and career. This can be through training, and coaching the staff.
- Project managers have no line management responsibility for their team members. They just need to help them with some information, if necessary.
The project manager and operations manager may intersect at different areas of duties, but their roles are different. The Operations Manager works in a broader context; he takes responsibilities in the management and related fields away from the project manager so that the project manager can only concentrate on the current project.
Both roles are complementary to each other. A project manager cannot succeed in a project without the input of an operations manager, as the latter is responsible for the allocation of resources, and the operations manager relies on project managers for the quality of individual projects.