At first glance, you might not even notice there’s a difference. Upon closer inspection, however, it becomes evident that project management is different from process management. Yes, they’re two different animals, but they co-exist.
Project management vs. process management
For starters, let’s look at the definitions furnished by BusinessDictionary.com for each.
Project management is the body of knowledge concerned with principles, techniques and tools used in planning, control, monitoring and review of projects. Process management, on the other hand, comprises administrative activities aimed at defining a process, establishing responsibilities, evaluating process performance and identifying opportunities for improvement.
In layman’s lingo, project management is all about establishing and fine-tuning the plan, and process management focuses on the execution of the plan. Sounds like a collaboration, right? Probably. Then again, if you get down to the crux of the matter, what is there to execute if there isn’t a carefully thought-out plan?
Planning vs. execution
In today’s business environment, the planning process generally involves using software like planners, timelines, calendars, charts and other oft-used project management tools that come either free or premium. Well, there’s the good old pen and paper, too, if you feel like going the old school route. Bottom line, for a project to come to fruition, and successfully at that, the first stop is the drawing board.
Execution, which closes the gap between the plan and the end result, becomes a whole lot easier with a workflow system that simplifies, integrates and automates a host of processes, all aimed at coming up with the best possible outcome. Indeed, there are a thousand and more ways to dress a chicken, but in the business world, a proven execution model that once implemented allows processes to go on auto-pilot, save for some on-the-fly alterations, can go a long way.
Keep in mind, efficiency is and will always be the tag line behind successful business brands.
Planning vs. process vs. automation
Let’s say your business is in the IT space – codes, programming, data collection and storage, tickets, issue routing and resolution, and a spectrum of other related job descriptions. Programming, in and of itself, requires a plan, a logic flowchart of sorts, for a program to run the way a programmer wants it to run.
And like any results-oriented IT company, you know that programs can crash, or won’t, at one point or another, resolve what they have been created to resolve. That being the case, it pays to have an automated support system in place – just like a reliable power generator for instances of power interruption. An IT helpdesk tool, therefore, that tracks and addresses issues timely and accurately is a must-have, especially when your business revolves around one centralized program. Really, you don’t want your plan and execution strategy thwarted at the first sign of a system glitch.
Maricel Rivera is a freelance writer and online marketing strategist for Comindware, a business solutions provider.