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June 18, 2021

Project Management and Operations Management. Are they the same?

If you have any knowledge of the management world, you must have heard the terms, project management, and operations management. You have also probably come across the notion that they are different names of the same job title in the industry. But that’s far from reality. Although when seen at a glance, they do seem deceptively similar. But the two job titles are significantly different. Let’s dive deep into both categories and understand them thoroughly.

What is Project Management?

To put it in simple words, project management is a temporary venture. Project management professionals have the responsibility of planning, executing, and closing projects. The aim is to yield beneficiary results for the organization. Project managers are provided with all necessary resources. It falls upon them to use these resources in the best possible way to churn out the best output while keeping the time and budget restraints in check.

What is Operations Management? 

Operations management is a more permanent affair compared to project management. Going by the job description, an operations manager is supposed to look after the smooth ongoing of business. They oversee that nominal resources are used to get the best results delivered to the customers.

How are they different?

From the definition, the basic difference between the two is already quite clear.  Project management is a temporary affair with a specific time frame. Its outputs are a particular result, product, or service. Whereas operations management is an ongoing process. It has more long-term outputs like supplying services, manufacturing of products, etc.

Let’s look at the specific job responsibilities and skills required for both roles to better understand the differences.

Responsibilities of a project manager:

Needless to say, the initial task of a project manager is to plan a project. After the planning and passing it from the higher authorities the day to day task of a project manager includes the following:

  • Manage large teams
  • Keep a check on the budget
  • Maintaining the timeline
  • Check the progress and act accordingly

Responsibilities of an operations manager:

Compared to a project manager, the responsibilities of an operations manager is more of an ongoing process. It includes the following:

  • Looking after day to day operations
  • Coming up with operational policies and implementing them
  • Analyzing and solving problems
  • Governing reporting, planning, and budget

So which one should you pursue?

Both of these fields are equally promising. And it completely depends on your goals, interests, and the skillset that you possess. But if you are still confused, you can refer to the below-mentioned points to choose wisely:

  • If you are a person who takes time to adjust to a new environment, then you should consider operations management over project management. Being a project manager, you will find yourself in a new environment each time you start a new project. Therefore, if you take the time to do this, you should step into the field of operations management.
  • If you possess people skills, project management is the field for you. As a project manager, you will need to interact with a cohort of people. And to ensure the successful completion of your project you will need to do it in the best possible way. If you think that conversations are not really your forte, then the operation manager is a better role for you.
  • If continuous and rigorous planning is something that scares you, ten its bets that you don’t go down the path of project management.  Operations management requires much less planning compared to project management.

Average Salary and Job Demand

Just like any other profession, the exact salary depends on several factors. The most important one being the years of experience you have. On an average, a project manager earns somewhere around 9,500 – 41,000 AED in Dubai. An operations manager, on the other hand, has a salary range of 8,500 – 21,500. Needless to say, your salary scale will increase as you start gaining more experience.

Coming down to job demand, both of these titles have high demands and it is only going to increase. All studies suggest that in the coming years, the demand for both efficient project managers and operations managers is going to reach new heights.

The educational path that needs to be followed:

To get the above-mentioned jobs, you would need to go down the right educational path. And usually, these skills are honed to perfection during the post-graduation study.

Talking about project management, there are essentially three different options from which you can choose- MBA in project management, an MSc in project management, and a project management certification. Out of all these, the MSc in project management degree will give more industry-specific knowledge.

A good MSc in Project management program like the one offered by Lincoln University of Business and Management in partnership with the University of the West of Scotland provides the students with all the necessary skills and knowledge required to excel in today’s business world.  This program explores in detail every corner of the project management field and is designed in a way that encourages the students to continue with their work while they get a degree. This proves to be of great advantage in today’s highly competitive world. Another great feature of this program is that it doesn’t call for a bachelor’s degree of any kind. With sufficient and relevant industry experience, you can easily enroll in this time and cost-effective program.

Moving on to operations management, you can either go for a general MBA or an MBA with a specialization in operations management. Needless to say, the second option will help you to reach your goal of becoming an outstanding operation manager more easily. But only if it is a globally recognized and accredited program like the one offered at Lincoln. Lincoln offers two MBA program that specializes in operations management. One in partnership with York St John University. This program will give you a UK degree. The other program will get you a Swiss degree, as it is offered in partnership with Geneva Business School, Switzerland.

Sit, think and choose…

Before you choose a career path for yourself, it is important to assess your own skill sets and personal goals. Therefore, you need to sit, think, analyze properly and then come to a conclusion. And if you have finally decided to go for project management, then do check the MSc in Project Management offered by LUBM. It can be your key to a glorious career in this field.

If you are still unable to decide, give us a call and talk to our expert on the program that is right for you.

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