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General Management vs Project Management

Understanding the Differences: General Management vs Project Management

The skills required in a project manager and a general manager are very similar and their roles sometimes overlap. Let us try and understand the subtle difference between general management and project management.

 

What is Project Management?

Project management comprises of organizing, planning, motivating, controlling procedures, resources, and protocols to achieve the specific goals of a specific project. A project is usually time-bound and temporary in nature, with specified resources, geared towards the production of a specific result, product, or service. Project management aims at utilizing the limited time and resources optimally to achieve the ultimate goal.

 

Traditionally, project management has five components:

  • Initiation
  • Planning and design
  • Execution & construction
  • Monitoring & controlling systems
  • Completion

 

What is General Management?

General management is the coordinated use of available resources and time towards the accomplishment of a specific goal or objective of an organization. It usually encompasses organizing, planning, staffing, leading, controlling specific resources, time or people. General management also entails making optimum use of human, financial, technological or natural resources to achieve maximum benefit.

The main function of general management in a business is to satisfy its stakeholders. This would involve making profit, creating employment opportunities and producing quality goods and services at a reasonable cost to customers. The six major functions of general management are:

  • Forecasting
  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Commanding
  • Coordinating
  • Controlling

 

Differences between General Management and Project Management

The functions and duties of a general manager and a project manager are very similar. However, there are also some very distinct differences between the two :

  • Time period

The time period in project management is defined and the process is limited to the completion of the project. It has a relatively short term objective. General management, on the other hand, is a continuous process.

  • Change

Project management is about moving from one state to another. In other words, it results in a change. General management remains in a single state.

  • Start and endpoints

Project management has a starting point and a predetermined date when the project will be completed. General management is more of a continuous process.

  • Orientation

General management is more process or product-oriented whereas project management is oriented to the project only.

  • Role of managers

In general management the role of managers and team membership is permanent. In the case of project management, the role of managers and team membership lasts only as long as the project.

  • Skills

A good general manager macro manages, empowers and delegates, and demonstrates situational leadership skills. A good project manager micromanages, plans and controls and demonstrates the process and best practice leadership skills.

 

Certified Course in General Management

It would be advisable to take a certified course in general management from a reputed college. General management online certification is available on the Talentedge platform which is offered in collaboration with institutions like IIM (Raipur) or IIM (Kozhikode).

A certified course in general management helps you enhance your management strategies, improves your industry knowledge. It develops strong leadership skills as well as problem-solving skills.

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