How do I differentiate between a project and an operation?
Projects have a singular (or group of closely related) deliverable(s) and typically conclude within a quarter, give or take a month.
Think of building a website, or designing a logo as a project.
Operations include multiple, highly-integrated projects that are designed to create more enduring and permanent improvements in business performance.
Operations can be as short as six months, but typically no shorter than a year, and more commonly around two years in length.
Here’s a screenshot outline of a multi-year expansion operation:
In the diagram above, each ‘card’ contains a group of individual projects, which are also grouped into the four phases of an operation.
One card might contain website development and all the elements that go into that e.g:
- Web Architecture
- Content creation/gathering
- Web Development
- Testing and launch
All of the individual parts are important to the success of the entire operation. All are strategically in place, and anything unaligned is absent.
It’s also worth noting that not all multi-project initiatives are operations. The key difference is lead strategy.
Operations and strategy-led projects go through phases in a specific order with each phase building on the previous (plan/prepare/execute/advance).
Here’s a more streamlined view of the process:
Another real-world operation flowchart example:
This operation included research, organization, planning, installation, integration, and automation of a comprehensive enterprise level marketing and sales process spearheaded by yours truly.
My team and I are well-equipped to handle both small projects and complex operations.
To learn more, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org