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What is the difference between management and project management?

I'm an IT Manager in a small company, I give my programmers the tasks that they should work on and I assign deadlines to these tasks. I evaluate employees every 6 months and I recommend either a raise or some training.

I've been hearing a lot about project management lately, and I've noticed that a lot of the responsibilities of the project manager are similar to mine. So what is the difference between being a manager and being a project manager, other than the title?

I've also read somewhere that the project manager lacks authority on the resources, and that the functional manager (for example, me) have fully authority on the resources and the project manager has to "borrow" this authority from the functional manager. I have to say that in my case this is not true, we are a small company, and the resources can actually overcome me and talk to the owner directly. I'm sure if a project manager exists (again, in my case) then he wouldn't need my help to get this authority.
asked 9 years ago by anonymous

1 Answer

In short, management is about managing the day to day activity of the company (day to day activities include HR management, reporting, procurement, issue handling, conflict management, research, etc...). Project management on the other hand, is about managing project using a standardized process (often referred to as a project management methodology).

In small companies, the role of the functional manager might be exactly the same as that of the project manager, in addition to other tasks (such as logistics, employee evaluation, strategic management, etc...)

A functional manager can manage projects, but obviously, in your case, you're not managing projects according to a methodology, you're just getting some work done in a random, non-organized way (which technically cannot be called project management).

As for the last part of your question, the project manager does lack authority over the resources, especially in functional organizations. Trust me, when you will hire a project manager in your company, you will see that this is true, in fact, you will make sure that this is true (because otherwise you will feel that you will lose control over your resources to the project manager).
answered 8 years ago by MaplePM (46,940 points)

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