Management is a continuous process, which is concerned with strategic planning, the establishment of objectives, arrangement and optimum allocation of resources, controlling the activities and measurement of the results. The basic functions of general management are planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling.
In an organization, the general manager is responsible for looking after and administering the entire organization.
On the other hand, project management is a special field of management which is concerned with handling projects.
The difference between project management and general management lies in the final outcome and fixed time horizon. This means that project is a one-time activity, which has a limited time horizon within which it has to be completed, as well as it produces a definite output or outcome.
In this way, project management is for a particular period only. On the contrary, general management is an ongoing process, which has no visible beginning and end.
Content: Project Management Vs General Management
|Basis for Comparison||Project Management||General Management|
|Meaning||Project Management refers to the efficient management of the effort of the team for the time-bound and successful accomplishment of the project.||General Management refers to the management of the overall activities and the processes of the organization, to ensure coordination and optimum utilization of resources.|
|Nature||Non-repetitive and unique||Repetitive and regular|
|Work location||Within or outside the organizational premises||Within the organizational premises|
|Line of Authority||Blurred||Defined|
|Set of tasks||Dynamic||Consistent|
|Success||Ascertained by the accomplishment of the project within defined criteria.||Ascertained by attainment of the defined goals.|
Definition of Project Management
Project management refers to the management of the work of a team, engaged in the accomplishment of the project with the aim of meeting the requirements of the client in the stipulated time. It involves the application of knowledge, skills, experience, tools, methods and resources in the project.
The three important components of project management are – Project Manager, Project Team and Project Management System.
Project Management requires professionals with specific skills which are required for the completion of the project, especially the technical skills along with the managerial skills.
A project is a short-term assignment undertaken with an aim of creating a distinctive output which can be a product, service or outcome. It is short term in the sense that it as a specified beginning and finish time. Further, a project has acceptance criteria, plus agreed specifications.
Project Management Process
- Monitoring and Controlling
The main challenge faced by the project management team is the achievement of the project objectives within the defined circumscription. For this purpose, project documentation is done at the time of initiation, which lists out all the information related to the project.
The main constraints in project management are time, quality, budget and scope.
Definition of General Management
General Management implies a diversified domain with a number of roles and responsibilities. Its work is to look after and keep a check on all the activities and operations going on in the organization while having an idea of the external market conditions.
It facilities the organized and coordinated working of all the department and units of the concern. It involves the task of leading, which is carried out at different levels of management, comprising:
- Basic management functions i.e. planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling.
- Additional management functions, i.e. decision-making, communication, motivation, coordination, and delegation.
General Management is distinct from other business functions, due to the reason that it does not function as a separate department or unit of the business. The general manager is responsible for the strategic vision and administration of the organization. Hence, the general manager should have a good understanding of finance, production, marketing, human resource, strategic management, etc.
Principles of General Management
The principles of general management are divided into two categories:
- Customer Focus
- Involvement of People
- Process approach
- System approach to management
- Continuous Improvement
- Data based decision making
- Mutual benefit relationship with suppliers
- Stakeholder satisfaction
- Culture of Quality and Project Management
- Strategy Definition
- Resource Management
- Organizational Structure
- Team Building
Key Differences Between Project Management and General Management
The difference between project management and general management are discussed in the points below:
- Project Management can be defined as the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques in a project, with the aim of meeting the criteria defined by the client organization. As against, general management is a process which involves monitoring and regulating various activities and operations of the organization, to maintain coordination between different departments and units.
- General Management can be seen in the ongoing processes or functions of the organization, whereas project management is employed in the projects which are temporary as well as time-bound.
- The nature of project management is unique and non-repetitive, as it entails a differentiated set of operations designed in order to achieve a particular goal. In contrast, the general management process is regular in the sense that the activities are of common nature, which is repeated on a day to day basis.
- Project Management depends on the place where the project is undertaken, i.e. within or outside the organization’s premises. Hence, the work location is decided accordingly. Conversely, general management is an organization-wide process, and so it is undertaken within an organization.
- In project management, as the team works for a short term only, the line of authority is blurred. On the contrary, in general management, the line of authority is properly defined.
- The set of tasks in project management are dynamic, whereas in general management the set of tasks are consistent.
- The success of project management can be measured by the satisfactory accomplishment of the project within defined criteria, in a timely manner. As opposed, the success of general management can be ascertained by the effective accomplishment of targets, objectives and goals of the organization.
In a nutshell, the scope of general management is wider in comparison to project management, as project management has a limited timespan, whereas general management continues for an unending term.