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Projects Vs Operations – Similarities, Differences

Operations vs Projects

Most of the work in any organization can be categorized as

  1. Projects
  2. Operations


What is a Project?

Project is a temporary endeavor with a beginning and an end, that creates a unique product, service, or result.

What are Operations?

Operations is the ongoing work to support the business and systems of the organization. It is concerned with the ongoing production of goods and/or services. It ensures that the business runs efficiently by using optimal resources needed to meet customer demands.

Projects & Operations are closely related

When a project is completed, the product created is handed over to the operations team. The Operations team then uses this product in the ongoing activities of the business.

Effect of the new product on Operations

  • Employees may require training on the new product.
  • Adjustments may be required to the operational processes.

How Operations affect project ?

The need for a change or improvement in Operational work may prompt the initiation of a project.

Similarities between Operations and Projects

  • Performed to achieve Organizational Objectives & Strategic plans.
  • Planned, Executed, Monitored and controlled. (difference is projects are closed as well, but operations are not).
  • Limited by constraints such as time, cost etc.

Differences Between Operations and Projects

Operations Projects
Operations are ongoing and sustains the organization over time Projects are temporary, and have a beginning and an end.
Operations produce repetitive products, services, or results. Operations produce unique products, services, or results.
When current objectives are met Operations do not terminate, but follow new directions to support the organization’s strategic plans. When current objectives are met Projects are closed. Any New directions may result in initiation of new projects.

What are the various points during the Product life cycle, where Projects may intersect with Operations?

  • When developing a new product, Upgrading a product.
  • While improving operational or production processes.
  • At each closeout phase
  • At the end of the product life cycle.

At each of the above points, deliverables and knowledge are transferred between the project and operations for implementation of the delivered work.

Projects VS Operations


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