All is well that ends well… well, not so much. Sometimes the process is as important as the results.
Setting up a business and running it successfully is a constant struggle. You have to be on the lookout for the most efficient ways to make the most of your resources and finances. This means continuously improving the way you get things done. So, although the results are important, finding the right path to the end is also equally important.
The way you do things or manage your workflows plays a huge role in increasing or decreasing your productivity and how quickly you accomplish goals. A streamlined workflow can do wonders for you and your team.
While you are on the journey to explore the best ways of doing things, you must identify your approach. Is your business focused on a project management system or process management? Both approaches require a different set of skills, expertise, and techniques so you must navigate your way through them carefully.
We realize that it might be difficult to differentiate project vs process management which is why we are here with this article. Through this post, we aim to help you understand both the approaches and the differences and requirements of both approaches.
Let’s start with the basics.
Off we go!
What Is Process Management?
Processes include recurring tasks that take place over and over again. The management of different processes in an organization involves identifying the best way of doing things.
Process management defines the path you will follow to the end. It involves all the ongoing tasks that are a part of the company’s operation and are repeated.
Through process management, businesses aim to find the most efficient workflow and then try to further improve it for the business.
A process manager identifies gaps in performance and finds ways to improve performance. Process managers also make sure to keep a record of everything so that the process can be repeated in its entirety even in the absence of the same resources.
With process management, companies try to decrease the amount of time required to do things, cut back on finances, optimize the use of resources, and improve quality as much as possible.
A well-managed process translates into the on-time accomplishment of goals, high-quality deliverables, and satisfied customers.
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What Is Project Management?
A project involves different tasks needed to accomplish goals. The identification and management of all these tasks come under the umbrella of project management.
Through project management, businesses identify the tasks, organize them so that they are accomplished in time, and manage the workflow to make sure the deliverables are of high quality and are completed within the stipulated time.
Projects are often not similar and have a specific objective that has to be accomplished for successful completion. Projects are usually geared toward the improvement of an existing product, the launch of a new one, or the introduction of new features to an existing product.
Project managers devise a plan with specific details including, tasks, milestones, resources, etc. They keep track of the project from start to finish, making sure that it follows the plan. And if the project encounters a hurdle, they come up with ways to tackle the problem and bring the project back on track.
Project managers are responsible for guiding their teams, monitoring performance, and improving workflow for better productivity.
Good project management manifests itself in the timely accomplishment of goals, high-quality work, and improved efficiency.
Project Vs Process Management – What Is the Difference?
It’s time to explore the differences between Project Vs Process Management.
The first and foremost important difference between the two approaches is that while processes repeat over time, projects are less likely to recur. However, it should be kept in mind that if a project is repeated enough times, it can be regarded as a process.
While a project is focused on the accomplishment of a particular objective in goal, processes are geared toward optimization. Since projects are usually one-time, a lot of planning goes into a project to make sure everything is perfect. The minutest details of a project need careful attention to make sure everything proceeds according to plan, and deliverables are completed on time.
Process management, on the other hand, aims to refine ongoing processes. The goal is to lessen the amount of time and finances spent on a process and make it as efficient as possible.
Unlike process management, which is a continuous process, project management is mostly a one-time or temporary thing.
While good project management reaps benefits in terms of better team collaboration, efficient planning, accurate scheduling, accurate forecasting, etc., process management proves to be beneficial with increased efficiency, productivity, cost-effectiveness, etc.
Project management tends to be more flexible and changeable. With every new project, you can play with the resources, and finances for the best results. Process management, however, is more rigid. Since it involves optimization of existing processes, there is less room for incorporating new strategies, etc.
How Can Projects Become Processes?
Previously, we mentioned that projects can turn into processes if they are repeated over time. Let’s unpack that statement a bit more here.
Projects and processes share a commonality and that is tasks. Whether it’s projects or processes, the accomplishment of tasks is a given. Projects and processes often run in tandem. For example, smaller processes can be incorporated into projects to not only help accomplish tasks but optimize the existing workflow.
Similarly, if a project occurs again and again and is expected to become a recurring project, then it can be turned into a process.
Process Management – How Does It Work?
Since most companies are biased towards project management, process management is often left out of the picture. In this section, we will help you get acquainted with process management so that you can decide which one of the two works best for your company or if you should incorporate both for better results.
While we understand that processes are vulnerable to sudden risks and issues, the benefits of a well-managed process cannot be ignored. Process management helps you find the best mode of working and once you find it, it further finds ways to optimize it even more.
Before we dig deep into the how-to process, let us take a look at the different types of processes you have to deal with in a business:
1. Operational Processes:
Operational processes are directly related to the production of outputs. Operational processes are focused on operational tasks that have a role to play in generating results.
A process can be called an operational process if it is involved in at least one of the following three:
- Development of a product/services
- Marketing or promotion of the product/services
- Customer services and support
Since all of the above have a direct impact on customers’ satisfaction with the product/services and ultimately help complete the cycle, that’s why they are termed operational processes.
2. Management Processes:
Management processes are a means to the end, i.e., making sure that all the operational processes run smoothly, and the end products are completed on time. Management teams make sure that the processes are running on the track and that goals are getting accomplished.
Management processes include planning and monitoring to make sure teams are meeting targets. Management teams make sure that the environment is conducive to working, there are no lapses in communication and collaboration, and processes are running without a hitch.
These teams are also ever-ready to tackle any problem that poses a threat to the smooth working of the processes. They optimally use the resources to make the most of the finances and are also time-efficient.
3. Governing Processes:
Governing processes are the ones that involve the company’s guidelines, rules, and regulations. Governing bodies make sure that all the processes running within the organization comply with the rules and regulations set for the organization beforehand.
Governing processes ensure that the whole organization is following the guidelines and that processes are running with the rules set in place. These guidelines are customized for the company so following them is a must since they are tried and tested and guarantee results.
Process Management – How Is It Done?
Let us now look into how you can bring process management to your company for better results.
According to a survey, 46% of companies are of the view that process management leads to cost reduction while a whopping 38% believe that it improves efficiency. The statistics are proof of how beneficial process management can be for a business.
We won’t delay this any longer. Here is your guide to implementing process management in your business:
1. Choose A Process
We know that there are hundreds and thousands of processes running in a company simultaneously and you would aim to optimize every one of them. We will suggest that you take one step at a time and start with one process.
From a multitude of processes, choose one that is your priority and has an important role to play in your business. Make sure that this process occurs regularly. This way you can reap benefits from it as often as it occurs.
2. Keep A Record:
Before you move on to the more specific parts of the process, make sure you have everything written down. Write down the process and all the relevant details as well, such as the number of tasks required to complete it and the basic steps involved.
3. Do The Process Yourself and Add to It:
Once you have made a simple timeline of how the process is to be done, do it yourself first. Once you have completed the process, go back to your original plan and add or subtract steps using your own experience for guidance. Optimize the process as much as you can according to your understanding.
4. Hand It Over to a Team or Team Member:
The guidelines of the process that you have just constructed, it is time that you pass it on to a team or a team member. Once they perform the process, again record the details, identify the gaps in the existing process and look for areas that can be improved.
Ask for their feedback on the process and if they have any suggestions on how it can be made better. You can optimize the process yourself or leave it to the member working on it.
5. Get Everyone Onboard:
Now you have a process in your hands that has been optimized multiple times, you can now pass it on to the whole organization and asks them to follow the same steps.
Don’t forget that there is always room for improvement, so ask everyone for their take on the process and if they have anything to suggest for its betterment. Take into account the feedback you receive and once again look for ways that can help improve the process even further.
6. Repeat The Process:
Process management is a process itself. Every time the process is followed, you have to explore ways of optimizing it and making it better. Gather everyone’s feedback from time to time and keep on repeating the process for the best results.
Using Process Management Tools:
We hope that you have a clear understanding of the difference between project vs process management. On that note, we would like to tell you that you can make this even easier for yourself with the help of process management tools.
There are tons of automated tools that can help you with planning, monitoring, and optimization of processes. nTask itself functions as a great process management tool, it is a one-stop shop for management, offering efficient solutions for the management of business processes.
All the teams can come together on this single platform and manage all the processes in the business without any hindrance. You can learn more about the tool and its various functions here.
Now that you have everything in your hands, it is time to: get, set, and go!
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