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What is the difference between operations management and project management?

I understand that the main concept of operations management is getting things done to serve the continuity of the business, including getting projects done, which means that project management is really a subset of operations management. Am I right? If I'm not right, what do you think are the differences between operations management and project management?
asked 2 years ago by anonymous

2 Answers

As sdcapmp described, it is common to lump the two together; however, what he said about Operations picking up where PM ends is inaccurate (or at the very least incomplete).

Instead, you should not view the two as a team that comes together with blurred lines. This can become blurry because Operations runs consistently and PM has defined beginning and ending. If there is a defined beginning and end you would think that it is difficult to get confused; however, that isn't the case.

Operations runs consistently, and policy and/or procedures enacted by the COO/Director of Operations can and will affect PM. That being said, best practices (as determined by PM) should be passed along to Operations for policy consideration or dissemination to others for use. This allows for continued growth in both areas, specifically with operational procedures and less reinvention of wheels from project to project.
answered 2 years ago by Mike Z (150 points)
Operations management pick up where project management ends.  Project management responsibilty is to deliver the final product(s) or service(s) according to the project charter.  Operations management makes sure these products or services are used.

Some organizations do lump project and operations management under the COO (Chief Operating Officer) or CIO (Chief Information Officer), however this is not consistent with the view of project management as a strategic competency, deserving the attention of a CPO (Chief Project Officer).
answered 2 years ago by sdcapmp (45,840 points)
One easy way of distinguishing a project from an operation is that  a project has a definite lifetime. Once the project output has been delivered, the project is terminated. In an operation, the output is delivered continuously and repeatedly.
2 years ago by anonymous

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