top of page

Question answered in Quora - What is the difference between project management and operation managem

Project Management

1-There is a clearly defined set of deliverables that need to be delivered, if it is not provided then the Project Manager gets to set the objectives in agreement with the sponsor

2-There is a clearly defined timeline, if it is not provided then the project manager gets to set it in agreement with the sponsor

3-There are clearly defined set of team members assigned to the project, if they are not provided then the Project Manager gets them assigned working with the sponsor and the resource managers

4-The team is formed under the Leadership of the Project Manager, the team does it work, finishes the work, all deliverables get delivered and the team is disbanded, after that each member gets assigned to a different project and life goes on. The Project Manager owns the project, if the project is executed completely and all the objectives are met then he gets rewarded if it fails he is the one that gets fired or penalized.

Operations Management

There is a set of operations continuously going on, for example it could be Warehouse operations, there is a warehouse manager that owns the operations, he has a set of goals, typically it is the throughput ship X number of boxes or pallets or trucks or loads per day per month per year spending as less as possible, so he has a budget, all the people that work in the warehouse report to him. So he is going to look for all possible ways to deliver on the numbers he needs to deliver, another example could be Sales Operations, there will be a Sales Operations manager that will run the operations of the Sales department. Operations keeps running every day, there is no start date or end date, it keeps running and the operations manager owns it, he is responsible for everything. If he consistently meets his numbers then he is performing well, if not he is not doing well. Again this is a leadership role with everyone that work in the operations reporting to him.

Also check out my book Puga Sankara's Supply Chain Blog - that is a must read before spending Hundreds & Thousands of $$$ on your MBA or Masters Degree to get the best ROI or before starting your Entrepreneurial journey.


Puga Sankara is the co-founder of Smart Gladiator LLC. Smart Gladiator designs, builds, and delivers market-leading mobile technology consisting of Smart Gladiator Wearable Scanguns, Tablets, Mobile Tech & Apps for retailers, distributors, and 3PL service providers. So far, Smart Gladiator Wearables have been used to ship, receive, and scan more than 100 million boxes. Users love them for the lightweight, easy-to-use soft overlay keyboard, texting&video chatting ability, data collection ability etc. Puga is a supply chain technology professional with more than 17 years of experience in deploying capabilities in the logistics and supply chain domain. His prior roles involved managing complicated mission-critical programs driving revenue numbers, rolling out a multitude of capabilities involving more than a dozen systems, and managing a team of 30 to 50 personnel across multiple disciplines and departments in large corporations such as Hewlett Packard. He has deployed WMS for more than 30 distribution centers in his role as a senior manager with Manhattan Associates. He has also performed process analysis walk-throughs for more than 50 distribution centers for WMS process design and performance analysis review, optimizing processes for better productivity and visibility through the supply chain. Size of these DCs varied from 150,000 to 1.2 million SQFT. Puga Sankara has an MBA from Georgia Tech. He can be reached at or visit the company at Also follow him at

bottom of page