Project Management vs General Management | Difference Between Project Management and General Management

Project Management vs General Management

The differences between project management and general management are actually not very distinct. However, a few differences between the two set the two apart, giving them each a unique definition.

What is Project Management?

Project management is comprised of organizing, planning, motivating, and controlling procedures, resources and protocols to achieve specific goals of a specific project. A project may be a temporary and time constrained mission that is geared towards the production of a specific result, product or a service, also often constrained by funding and other resources. The aim of project management would be to use the limited time and resources and channel them towards the achieving of the goal of the project to achieve the optimum results that are beneficial and of added value.

There are many approaches to project management and certain projects do not follow a structured process at all. However, the traditional approach is comprised of five components.

  1. Initiation
  2. Planning and design
  3. Execution and construction
  4. Monitoring and controlling systems
  5. Completion

What is General Management?

General management can be defined as coordinating the usage of available resources and time towards the accomplishment of a specific goal or an objective of a certain organization or a business. This task usually comprises of organizing, planning, staffing, leading, controlling or directing specific resources, time or people. This also includes the manipulation of human, financial, technological or natural resources to the maximum benefit of the cause at hand.

In for-profit causes, the main function of general management would be to satisfy its stakeholders. This usually involves the making of profit, creating employment opportunities to employees and producing quality goods and services at a low cost to customers. Most organizations have a board of directors voted for by its stakeholders for carrying out general management functions. Some have other methods such as employee voting systems which is quite rare.

According to Mary Parker Follett, management is “the art of getting things done through people”. According to Henri Fayol, one of the most prominent contributors to modern management concepts, management has six functions.

  1. Forecasting
  2. Planning
  3. Organizing
  4. Commanding
  5. Coordinating
  6. Controlling

Today, management is also an academic discipline, taught in schools and universities all over the world.

What is the difference between Project Management and General Management?

Although the functions and duties of both project management and general management are very much similar, a few differences between them make them unique functions with identities of themselves.

• Project management is usually employed in projects that are temporary and time constrained. General management is employed for ongoing procedures or functions of certain organizations, businesses etc.

• Usually, in project management, resources are limited. In contrast, general management is also responsible for resourcing whatever necessary ingredients as deemed necessary for the continuation of functions.

• Management is an academic discipline taught in schools and universities all over the world. Project management often falls under this broad discipline of management.

• Therefore, one can say that the difference between project management and general management does not lie in leadership or other qualities required, but in the scope of responsibilities that lie within each role.