Projects & Operations

The work we do can be classified into two categories, projects and operations.

Projects

  • Projects deliver unique products or services as outputs
  • Projects are temporary in nature. At the end of the project the team is dispersed.
  • Projects are progressively elaborated. When we start a project we have very less information about the project. As the project progresses we gain more insights about the project. The following points explains this;
    • Every project starts as an idea
    • During pre-initiation phase of the project, this idea gets elaborated into a high level scope document
    • During planning this high level scope gets elaborated further into detailed scope
    • During detailed planning and execution of the project we gain more insights about the project
  • Projects are constrained by the limited resources of time, cost and scope.
  • Projects are managed by project managers.
  • Projects are considered as successful when they;
    • Are completed on time
    • Completed within budget
    • Met the business case of the project which was forecasted before the start of the project

Operations

  • Operations are ongoing in nature
  • Operations deliver standard outputs
  • Operations are also constrained by the limited resources of time, cost and scope
  • Operations are managed by operations Managers / Functional managers

Designing a new car is a project where as manufacturing a particular model of a car shift after shift is operations.

Questions

  1. Manufacturing a car – Is it a project or Operation?
  2. What are the key differences between projects and operations?
  3. What are the similarities between projects and operations?