Difference Between Project Management and General Management

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: May 14, 2023


Difference Between Project Management and General Management

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Strategic planning, the setting of goals, arranging and allocating resources optimally, monitoring the actions, measuring the actions, and measuring the outcomes are all aspects of management, which is a continuous activity.

 Planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and managing are the fundamental duties of general management. In an organization, the general manager is responsible for looking after and running the entire organization.

Project management, on the other hand, is a unique branch of management that deals with managing projects. The result and predetermined time frame are what set project management apart from general management. This indicated that the project is a one-time activity with a finite time frame for completion and one that yields a distinct output or result.

Project Management vs General Management

The practice of guiding a team to accomplish particular goals and objectives within a predetermined timetable, budget, and scope is known as project management. Providing a good project outcome entails planning, carrying out, monitoring, and regulating resources and tasks. Leadership, communication, organization, risk management, and problem-solving are essential qualities in project management.

General management is the broad term for the role of leading an organization, which includes controlling multiple divisions and making choices that have an effect on the overall strategy and success of the company. It entails juggling a variety of duties and priorities, including leadership, planning a strategy, and allocating resources. Strong leadership communication, problem-solving, and decision-making abilities are required of effective general managers.

Difference Between Project Management and General Management (In tabular form)

ScopeProject management is concentrated on a single project with set goals, deadlines, and resources.General management is responsible for a wider range of duties and includes all facets of a company or organization.
FocusProject management is focused on completing a single project.General management is concerned with the organization’s overall success.
Team StructureProject management teams are formed for a specific project and disband after it is finished.General management teams are ongoing and permanent.
SkillsetProject managers need to be proficient in project management.General managers need a wide variety of abilities, such as strategic thinking, financial management, and leadership.
Reporting StructureProject managers typically report to a sponsor or project board.General managers often report to the board of directors or a higher-level executive.

What is Project Management?

Project management is the process of overseeing a group of people who are working together to complete a task with the goal of satisfying the client’s criteria within the allotted time. It entails using technologies, methods, and resources as well as knowledge, skills, and experience in the project. Project Manager, Project Team, and Project Management System are the three crucial elements of project management. Project management calls for experts with the specialized abilities needed to complete the project, particularly technical and managerial abilities.

A project is a brief assignment with the goal of producing a standout output, which can be a good, service, or result. It is brief in the sense that it has a predetermined start and end time. Also. A project includes agreed-upon specifications and acceptance criteria.

The process of Project Management includes

  • Planning
  • Launching
  • Executing
  • Monitoring and Control
  • Closure

The primary obstacle the project management team must overcome is completing the project within the allotted time frame. Project documentation, which spells out all the information relevant to the project, is completed for this reason at the time of the project’s beginning. The primary project management limitations are time, quality, budget, and scope.

The members of a project team will come from various organizational sites and departments. Although the job of the project manager is similar, the project team members may occasionally report to both the department manager and the current project manager. The stability of the project team may fluctuate as the other departmental managers’ priorities shift. Maintaining collaboration can be difficult since team members frequently change to match shifting departmental goals. It may be challenging for team members who do not already know one another to communicate honestly about their thoughts, feelings, and knowledge. The member frequently reports to multiple managers, thus there may be a few issues with how their job is evaluated.

Budget and Schedule Planning

The project manager is only responsible or accountable for the estimation of expenses related to the project they are assigned during that period when it comes to budgeting. The project’s budget mostly consists of purchase orders for labor costs, material costs, and operating expenditures.

The delivery of goods and services is thoroughly planned out in a project’s timetable. It also functions as a tool for communication and expectation management for stakeholders. A scheduling method is chosen by the Project Manager and project-specific data is entered into the scheduling tool to create the project’s schedule model. A schedule also contains the start and end times as well as the resources allotted to each activity.

Advantages of Project Management

  • Better Alignment: Projects are managed with organizational strategy in mind and with clear goals and objectives in mind.
  • Efficiency Gain: Project management approaches boost resource utilization, decrease waste, and streamline procedures.
  • Improved Risk Management: Project managers recognize possible risks, create mitigation strategies, and track risk throughout the project’s life cycle.
  • Improved Cost Control: Budget planning and tracking are included in project management, which helps businesses keep expenses under control and spend within budget.
  • Better team collaboration: Collaboration between teams is improved thanks to project management, which also helps teams work more cooperatively and resolve issues.
  • Faster time-to-market: Companies can launch products or services more swiftly because well-managed projects are finished more quickly.
  • Improved Stakeholder Engagement: Project managers keep stakeholders informed and involved by communicating with them frequently.
  • Better Quality: Project management incorporates quality planning and control, leading to outcomes of a higher caliber.

Disadvantages of Project Management

  • Increasing Complexity: Managing projects can be difficult and time-consuming, requiring a lot of resources and knowledge.
  • Resource Shortages: Project management calls for devoted resources like time, money, and employees, all of which can be scarce.
  • Rigidity: Flexibility and inventiveness may be limited by the rigidity of project management approaches, which are frequently structured and inflexible.
  • Resistance to change: The failure of a project may be hampered by stakeholder resistance to change and new methods of operation.
  • Possibility for delays: External issues like budget cuts, resource limitations, and changes in project scope can have an impact on project management.
  • Conflicting Priorities: While balancing competing priorities and making trade-off decisions, project managers may encounter conflicting priorities and disgruntled stakeholders.
  • Overhead Cost: Project Management can be costly due to overhead expenditures for employees, training, and project management software.
  • Dependence on Technology: Project Management is primarily reliant on technology, which raises the possibility of system failure and data loss.

What is General Management?

A broad field with many different tasks and duties is what general management suggests. Its job is to oversee and keep tabs on all organizational activities and operations while keeping abreast of external market conditions. It enables the coordinated and organized operation of all relevant departments and units. It involves the leadership function, which is performed at various levels of management and includes the planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling aspects of basic management. Decision-making, communication, inspiration, coordination, and delegating are other managerial tasks. Because it doesn’t operate as a separate department or entity within the company, general management differs from other business roles.

There are two groups that make up general management principles:

Explicit Principles

  • Customer-focused
  • Leadership
  • Involving people in the process
  • Using a systematic management approach

Implicit Principles

  • Satisfaction of stakeholders
  • Quality-focused culture and Project management
  • Communication
  • Definition of a Strategy

Budget and Schedule Planning

The general manager is primarily responsible for the departmental budget and operating expenses for a certain division of the company. Being in charge of this kind of budget entails handling a variety of tasks, such as looking into the costs and operational expenses associated with running their office, including rent, utilities, and other fees, as well as services and resources required to keep the department interesting. This may also take into account the department’s cash flow.

When it comes to scheduling, the general manager has daily management obligations, and the majority of these occur on a corporation’s regular schedule. Its schedule focuses on output effectiveness and quantity, desired level utilization of operation capacity, and competitive effectiveness. Scheduling must match activities at various levels for them to support one another from top to bottom. This entails organizing, supervising, and carrying out staff schedules as well as reviewing them frequently to ensure that due dates are met.

Advantages of General Management

  • Better Decision-Making: General management uses information, analysis, and knowledge to decide.
  • Strategic Thinking: General managements are in charge of the company’s overall strategy and must have a long-term perspective.
  • Resource Allocation: General managements are in charge of efficiently distributing resources to achieve business objectives.
  • Coordination: General Managements make sure that various divisions and roles function well together.
  • Adaptability: General Managements need to be able to respond quickly to changing situations.
  • Addressing Complex Problems: General Managements are in charge of identifying solutions to challenging issues.
  • Leadership: General Management guides and motivates their staff to meet company objectives.
  • Better Communication: General Management must communicate clearly with staff, clients, and stakeholders.
  • Productivity Gains: Successful General Management
  •  can boost output and foster business expansion.

Disadvantages of General Management

  • Political Difficulties: General Management must negotiate political concerns and contend with divergent interests.
  • Opposition to Change: General Management must get over stakeholder and employee resistance to change.
  • Burnout: A General Management’s hectic workload and excessive levels of stress can cause burnout.
  • Personal Sacrifices: General Management could be required to give up personal things, such as working long hours or taking regular trips.
  • Stress: General Management has a lot of responsibility and has to make tough choices, which is stressful.
  • Time Demands: General Management has busy schedules and must prioritize and balance a variety of activities.
  • Risk-taking: General Management must take calculated risks in order to expand the business, but these risks may fail.
  • Limited Knowledge: General Management may not be knowledgeable about every facet of the business and must rely on others.
  • Reputation: General Managements are responsible for upholding both their own and the business’s reputation, which may be a heavyweight.

Main Differences Between Project Management and General Management (In Points)

  • The use of information, skills, tools, and procedures in a project with the goal of fulfilling the requirements established by the client organization is referred to as project management whereas general management is a procedure that entails keeping tabs on and controlling a variety of organizational activities and operations to ensure cooperation between multiple departments and divisions.
  • While project management is used for projects that are both temporary and time-bound whereas general management is observed in continuing organizational processes or functions.
  • The nature of project management is distinct and non-repetitive since it involves a customized set of actions created to accomplish a specific objective whereas the general management process is routine in that it repeats daily actions that are of a common type.
  • Whether a project is undertaken inside or outside the organization’s walls depends on project management. As a result, the workplace is chosen appropriately. On the other hand, general management is an organizational process that is carried out within an organization.
  • The line of authority is hazy in project management because the team only works for a brief period of time. On the other hand, the chain of command is established in general management.
  • General management has a consistent collection of activities whereas project management has a dynamic set of tasks.
  • The timely and acceptable completion of the project within the parameters set out can be used to gauge the effectiveness of project management whereas the effective achievement of the organization’s targets, objectives, and goals can be used to measure the performance of general management.


In a nutshell, general management has a larger range of responsibilities than project management because the latter has a finite lifespan whilst the former has an endless one. Both of these fields benefit from having experts in them. By choosing a general management program, you provide yourself the opportunity to study everything general managers, vice presidents, and CEOs do to successfully lead their respective firms. On the other hand, a project management certificate allows you to work as a highly qualified and lucrative project manager.


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"Difference Between Project Management and General Management." Diffzy.com, 2023. Thu. 30 Nov. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-project-management-and-general-management>.

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