A project manager for operations is in charge of coordinating and overseeing all aspects of a project. The term is most commonly used to describe projects in the areas of warehousing, transportation, and distribution, but it can also refer to a project manager in the manufacturing, IT, or engineering fields. An operations project manager is in charge of a cross-functional team, scheduling and running meetings, managing communications with internal and external stakeholders, and keeping track of the timeline and deliverables. These project managers are usually company employees, but they can also be consultants on occasion.
The term “operations” refers to the functions that surround product warehousing and distribution, as well as the fulfillment of client orders, in the most traditional sense. An operations project manager, in this context, might be in charge of projects like moving to a new warehouse, converting to a new computer system, or negotiating new vendor contracts. He might also take on projects like evaluating current processes and making changes, or developing a fulfillment plan for a particularly large client project.
When referring to project managers in IT, engineering, and manufacturing, the term “operations” is also used. In these fields, the term usually refers to a project manager who is in charge of special projects that are not related to day-to-day operations. Conversions of technical systems, upgrades to manufacturing facilities, office relocations, and the implementation of new functional capabilities are all examples of this. Operations managers are employed a variety of government and military agencies.
An operations project manager’s main goal, like that of other similar management positions, is to ensure that projects are delivered on time and on budget, with all deliverables met. This usually entails forming or being assigned to a team made up of people from various departments such as IT, shipping, purchasing, design, and sales. A project manager who is also a personnel manager in the traditional sense is uncommon. Typically, an operations manager will simply take over project management for team members, who will continue to report to their regular departmental supervisors. Project managers may have a permanent team, but it is more common for the team to change from project to project.
The core competencies of an operations project manager are usually organization, prioritization, and communication. He must be extremely organized in order to assess a project’s needs and break them down into actionable items. He must also be able to determine the order in which those action items must be completed, anticipate likely areas of delay or error, develop contingency plans for those challenges, and adjust the plan as necessary. He must then be able to communicate the plan and any changes to key stakeholders and those in charge of action items in a clear and understandable manner.