Project Management and How it Relates to Operations Managers
An operations manager is also considered to be a project manager for many companies, and rightly so.
From the time the role of an operations manager was first thought of, the role has experienced notable evolution . An operations manager who was supposed to look after the day-to-day operations of an organization, now is responsible for generating revenue for the organization.
Globalization and perfect competition (as the economists call it) have broken the geographical and trade barriers, and companies now have the opportunity to do business in other countries. Naturally, this has resulted in increased competition, and all organizations are stretching their resources to survive and thrive in such an environment. Now company have to make more with less….ta da, now we have operations manager who spends most of his time on project management.
How did companies respond to heightened competition?
Companies all over the world have responded to increased competition by enhancing the role of an operations manager (of course, this was just one of the ways among many). An operations manager was earlier responsible for ensuring smooth operation of day-to-day operations in a company.
An operations manager is now also deemed responsible for profitability. New tools and ideas have been implemented to evaluate the performance of an operations manager, and needless to say, the role is being re evaluated. Now operations manager has more tools then ever, six sigma, supply chain, just in time inventory, best practices, and the list goes on. With increased demands from operations managers, responsibilities have increased as well. On the bright side, if you are a skilled and smart operations manager your opportunities are endless.
Why is an operations manager also known as a project manager?Departmentalization: Companies have categorized each delivery of goods and services to a client as a project. For example, if an enterprise is delivering a huge consignment of goods to a client, the entire consignment is reckoned as a project. Now that everything is called a project, buying equipment is also a project, and if there is no dedicated project manager in the company, operations manager has to step in. As you can see, the amount of responsibilities grows very quicly, and now we have to ask, what is not a project? An operations manager who oversees the operations related to consignment delivery is termed the project manager. Naturally, the operations manager is expected to perform roles that were so far unknown.
Evaluation of the role: Now that deliveries of goods and services have come to be considered as a project. New tools and ideas are being implemented to ensure higher quality and timely compliance of products, which means operations manager has to learn them. It is one field where you cant grow stale or you will be sidelined.
Statistics and matrices are being increasingly used to evaluate the performance of a project. Of course, the best thing about these initiatives is that progress and performance can be and should measured and objective goals can be set. Operations management is about measuring the speed, the time, the over all process and its effectiveness. Measure, measure, then measure some more.
The best thing for OM to come out of becoming a part time project manager, has probably been the realization that an operations manager is capable of offering more to an enterprise, making him often indispensable, a jack of all trades and go to guy for the organization.