Operations are an organizational function performing the on-going execution of activities that produce the same product or provide a repetitive service. Examples include: production operations, manufacturing operations, and accounting operations. Though temporary in nature, projects can help achieve the organizational goals when they are aligned with the organization's strategy. Organizations sometimes change their operations, products, or systems by creating strategic business initiatives. Projects require project management while operations require business process management or operations management. Projects can intersect with operations at various points during the product life cycle, such as:
1. At each closeout phase;
2. When developing a new product, upgrading a product, or expanding outputs;
3. Improvement of operations or the product development process; or
4. Until the divestment of the operations at the end of the product life cycle.
At each point, deliverable and knowledge are transferred between the project and operations for implementation of the delivered work. This occurs through a transfer of project resources to operations toward the end of the project, or through a transfer of operational resources to the project at the start.
Operations are permanent endeavors that produce repetitive outputs, with resources assigned to do basically the same set of tasks according to the standards institutionalized in a product life cycle. Unlike the on-going nature of operations, projects are temporary endeavors.
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