Operations, unlike projects, are ongoing and repetitive. They are concerned with running the organization and activities in the most efficient manner. Basically, the inputs (whether raw material or work effort or knowledge) should be transformed into the output and the entire focus of operations is to manage and enhance that effort. The field of Operations Management is the function which manages the process of creating or producing goods and services. The Definitive Guide to Manufacturing and Service Operations by Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals and Nada Sanders describes Operations Management in this way:
Operations management (OM) is the business function responsible for managing the process of creation of goods and services. It involves planning, organizing, coordinating, and controlling all the resources needed to produce a company’s goods and services. Because operations management is a management function, it involves managing people, equipment, technology, information, and all the other resources needed in the production of goods and services. Operations management is the central core function of every company. This is true regardless of the size of the company, the industry it is in, whether it is manufacturing or service, or is for-profit or not-for-profit.
Operations, therefore, is an ongoing transformative process, which takes inputs and creates the outputs.
Managing the operations processes are outside the scope of project management. It maybe possible that processes or functions may need changes, enhancements or upgrades – which could be a project in its own right. The process, however, is not within the scope of the project manager’s activities.
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