An operations manager is in charge of making sure that a business is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. They are a key part of any management team, as they oversee the various departments in a company to help them coordinate with one another to work towards shared business goals.
The Project Management Institute, better known as PMI, defines a project as a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. Business operations, on the other hand, are ongoing activities that produce long-term, repetitive outputs, such as manufacturing products or supplying services.
On average, however, project managers typically earn between $47,000 and $110,000 annually, with the national average salary falling at $72,675 per year. Operations managers, meanwhile, can earn between $40,000 and $100,000 per year depending on their location and the industry in which they work. The national average salary for operations managers across all industries is $63,925 annually.
Project managers are compensated well for the crucial role they play in meeting business objectives. As project managers move through their careers, their skills become more developed with each project that is completed. As such, experienced project managers are highly sought after and are often offered higher wages in return for their expertise. Like project management professionals, operations managers can expect their compensation to increase as they gain more experience and fine-tune their skills throughout their careers.
The demand for skilled project managers is on the rise as various industries are realizing the value that these professionals bring to organizations. In fact, PMI projects that more than 2.2 million project management jobs will be added to the workforce annually through 2027. With more businesses than ever before looking to add project managers to their teams, it is an opportune time to enter the growing field. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that job opportunities for general and operations managers are expected to increase at a rate of seven percent from 2014-2024. This rate is about average in comparison to all other occupations in the United States.
In order to be effective, project managers and operations managers must both have certain essential skills. While the list below is by no means exhaustive, it accurately reflects the skills that are necessary for both positions:
Although the skills required for each of these positions are similar and overlap, the application of these skills is where the differences lie. It is also important to remember the skills required for a specific role will naturally depend on the industry and business in which a project or operations manager is working.
Many people seeking to become a project manager will choose to earn a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI). Becoming PMP certified shows potential employers that you are well-versed in the standardized practices of project management and are knowledgeable in the key areas of the discipline.
When deciding which career you want to pursue, it is important to make sure that your desired profession aligns with your personal goals. If you think a career in project management is right for you, consider the steps you can take to break into the field and set yourself apart from the competition.
Operations management is the field responsible for managing, running, and controlling business operations. Some examples of operations management include manufacturing operations, production operations, accounting operations, maintenance, and software support. This management field ensures that all business operations are resourceful, nominal resources are used, and the expectations and requirements of the customers are met. This management is all about delivering products, achieving quality and standards, and create services.
Project management is a temporary endeavour undertaken to produce unique products, services, or results. This management field comes with a defined start and endpoint. The project management professionals (known as project managers) work according to particular organizational goals and objectives. These temporary endeavours help businesses meet their goals by working as per the strategies made. This management area is all about the application of skills, knowledge, techniques, and tools to the project so that it can meet the requirements.
The main difference between these profiles comes down to the definition itself. The Project Management Institute (PMI) defines project management as a temporary process to create unique products, services, or results. Operations management, on the other hand, is an ongoing activity that produces repetitive and long-term outputs like manufacturing products, supplying services, and so on.
According to the above-said definitions, the role of an operations manager is ongoing, while the role of a project manager is temporary. Other differences are mainly focused on particular skills, responsibilities, education, etc.
On the other hand, some project managers stand out by earning additional credentials like the Project Management Professionals (PMP) certification from the PMI. This certification indicates potential employers that the candidate has enough knowledge about project management as a discipline. You can also earn an advanced degree like an MBA in Project Management along with some hands-on experience.
In these scenarios, operations managers and project managers should collaborate to share knowledge and deliverable to ensure positive and desired outcomes for the business. Both these roles have one person at the helm, and they require extensive planning to combat with limited resources.
While deciding which career path suits you best, you need to ensure that your preferred field aligns with your objectives. If you think that operations management is for you, consider the essential steps you need to take to jump-start your journey and give yourself an edge over others. Depending on your career goals, earning a degree in business administration or project management could be your very first step to start in this field.
The chief project officer goes far beyond the direct sponsorship of individual projects. They must push their organization toward adopting a project-driven structure and foster a collaborative and empowering culture that reaches across silos. They must also collaborate with HR to ensure that project-management competencies are developed throughout the organization. The CPO has many responsibilities:
In order to add new strategic projects, leaders must free up capacity and resources. In normal circumstances, employees and management are fully booked with projects on top of their day-to-day business activities. Projects must be stopped to make way for new ones.
It is important to note that a CPO is not a project manager or a director of a project management office; the role goes beyond traditional project management and requires additional skills. Here is what to look for when hiring or appointing a CPO:
Most of these skills are part of the typical path of the MBA degrees, executive education, and grooming for the C-Suite. However, the final bullet, project management and project sponsorship are usually not. This should change now. In the project economy, potential CPOs and CEOs must find ways to develop these skills. HR leaders should be part of this vital change.
Now is just just the beginning for the chief project officer, and their rise will surely have ripple effects on executive teams. I even predict that within in the next 10 years the CPO role will overtake the COO in terms of seniority, power, and prestige. Today, most senior leader recognize that their organizations need to adapt and rapidly embrace new technologies such as AI and automation. This will lead to a further shift of focus and resources to project-based work and away from operations. CPOs may not be common yet in the C-Suite, but their steady emergence is a leading indicator of how companies will organize themselves to thrive in the project economy.
Develop the skills necessary to link operations and projects with relevant activities in almost all areas of business with the Master of Science in Project Management and Operations from Southern New Hampshire University.
You'll receive broad exposure to leading-edge topics and skill development in operations management, project management, supply chain management, logistics, quality control and management science. This exposure and your participation in several team projects will provide you with the concepts, language, insights, tools and leadership skills you'll need for success in operations and project management.
You'll enjoy access to authentic market-relevant content and projects. In the process, you'll be further prepared for a professional career relating to analysis, design, implementation and management of operations and projects in manufacturing and service organizations.
The MS operations degree program explores the contemporary issues that make almost any business run smoothly. Areas of study include supply chain management, international supply chain management, project management for PMP certification, management of service operations and Six Sigma quality management.
\"I am an external resource for some projects at work, and what I learned made their shortcomings really obvious,\" she said. \"Though my focus was on the project management side of the degree more than the operations management side, what I learned also made me notice a lot more about how the operations at my workplace could improve.\"
This 36-credit interdisciplinary program gives you the knowledge, skills and education you need to pursue or accelerate a career in operations management and project management. The master's in project management can be completed in as few as 15 months and pro