Let's get back to the basic recognition that the management of projects and the management of operations are essentially different. They are different in both the way that performance and success are measured and in the type of personnel and skills involved in the measurements and management. As noted previously, we rarely see the operations people, with their emphasis on period-by-period business operations and financial measurements, involved in the analysis of project performance. On the other hand, how often do we see project managers evaluating the effect of their projects on the current and future success of the enterprise?
Yet the raw truth is that the two are inseparable. Enterprise-level planning, analysis of results, and decisions for the future require that the total picture be available. The data supporting this total picture must be current, integrated, and able to be analyzed from several perspectives.
Once we recognize the need for such data integration, we can also realize the benefits of single entry of data and consistency of such data. Without this integration, we not only lose efficiency by necessitating redundant data entry, but also face the risk of conflicting data.
Trap Many operations people, and software providers supporting business operations, have been attempting to bridge this gap with so-called project accounting systems. However, for the most part, these tools address little, if any, of the needs of project management. They tend to emphasize historical performance and financial controls, at a summary level, ignoring forecasting and performance analysis, and limiting the ability to apply the data to project details.
Was this article helpful?
What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.