When does a business shift to project management mode from operations management mode and vice-versa? Introductory concepts were discussed.
Project management conventionally covers the organized completion of specific and concrete goals that serve a function or several functions. It can be business-related, such as constructing a manufacturing plant, or non-business-related such as a goat-dispersal project to provide sustainable food sources for a low and starving community.
For simplicity, project management can be defined as a management action for a concrete goal done for the first time by or for a project owner. A project can be executed by the project owner themselves or contracted to a company doing business in a knowledge area requiring special skills.
On the other hand, operations management will be defined as a series of management actions that are done many times to pursue an overall goal. This goal will usually be for profit. Moreover, since the activities are done repeatedly, the operation’s owner continuously builds expertise in such activities.
Business Project Management
As an introductory concept, business project management will be defined as management actions running a business for the first time. Meanwhile, business operations management will be management actions done several times to ensure profits for a business.
Note that business project management goals will not always be about making a profit. Plans can be troubleshooting an oil spill, experimenting, and building expertise in a new technology field where initial losses are likely
—or providing service to a community such as revitalizing a polluted river or building a cancer research facility as part of a business owner’s corporate social responsibility.
Business Project Management Mode
To better understand the concept, critically analyze the following business actions done for the first time. Some of these projects will be made by the business owner themselves, contracted to a specialist consulting team or projects company, or even by a new group formed by the business owner recruiting and hiring members who have prior experience in the specialized activity.
- First Branch Expansion
- Going Public
- Starting Global Operations
- First Time Spin-Off, Acquisition, or Merger
- Execution of Exit Strategies such as Initial Public Offering or Divestments
Business Operations Management Mode
To differentiate from business project management, take careful note of why the following activities are classified under business operations management.
- Business Activities Management such as market research, selling, procurement of raw materials, and so on.
- Multiple Branch Operations Management
- Franchise Management
- Public Corporation Management
- Global Business Management
- nth Time Spin-Off, Acquisition or Merger
Contracting to Project Management Companies or Project Companies
To minimize charge-to-learning costs for first-time activities, business owners will traditionally contract project companies such as construction firms, consulting firms, or systems integrators. Some will employ project management companies to oversee the implementations of project companies.
Moreover, some business owners will hire a professional project manager to manage several project companies to implement a big project consisting of several inter-related specialized fields. For instance, in building a hydroelectric dam, surveying will be a separate project in itself, winning the local communities’ assistance that will be affected will be another project, and so on.
Of course, there is a first time for everything, including contracting to a project company.
Project management companies or project companies will usually make the following activities:
- Building or Facility Construction or Renovation
- Business Process Automation or Information and Communications Technology Thrusts
- Instituting a Quality Management System
- Operating Globally and Locally per Country
Advantages of Employing Specialized Skills in Business Project Management
Finally, consider the advantages of utilizing specialized skills in business project management, which are:
- Minimal charge-to-experience costs
- Minimal risk of failure as experts with reliable track records of success are employed
- No reinvention of the wheel
- Higher quality of projects and better efficiencies in project execution.