Monday, January 18, 2010

Project mode or Operations mode: which one suits best for today?

One of the Statements discussed in the modern world today is about more and more firms shifting to Project Management mode of operations in rather than operations mode. Is it really so?

In the world of today where business strive on the basis of global competition, knowledge explosion, and customer focus, not to mention the extensive role of IT in every manner; it is true that more firms now focus on project management rather than in operations mode.

The most important reason for project based mode of management by firms is because of the need to deal with specific and complex tasks that are to be accomplished on timely manner, with some set quality parameters and a specified amount of budget, in order to achieve excellence in terms of customization and innovation.

An example for discussion would be the launch of a food section by Marks & Spencer: understanding the quantum change, planning the launch, making a marketing plan and executing it properly is one of the most visible example of Project management mode of working by firms. Operations are rather a continuous mode of working strategy and are followed later when the initial steps have been accomplished. Therefore, Project Management mode is used to start new business objectives. Later, these are executed to provide inputs to operations for better implementation.

The second reason for project management mode to be more adaptive is because of its general to specific nature: firms/organizations today have to deal with many aspects of technological and social innovations because of mass customization, which requires much lot of attention in work that has to be done in order to achieve goals set by the organization. In doing so, organizations tend to focus specific projects rather than a single collective task, so that work is done beyond the organizational normal capacities.

We can see from the example that was discussed in the prior session that previously, Ford use to produce a single model with a standard black color that happened to be successful for a long period of time. But as gradually time passed by, the increase in wants by customers made it essential for Ford to revisit its strategies and as we see in 2003, GM offered 89 models; selling an average of 50,000/model which clearly shows the need for specific project oriented mode of dealing with business activities.

Moreover that, project management is highly preferred because a proved and accurate planning for a specific task is possible and achievable. This would result in cost effective measures, and efficient use of resources and in return save time and money. It is also easy to track the progress of any project that has been started and rectify and loop holes that exist to make sure the project is implemented accordingly as planned.

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