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Project Management vs. General Management: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on November 27, 2023
Project management focuses on planning, executing, and finalizing projects, while general management oversees ongoing, broader organizational operations.

Key Differences

Project management is a discipline focused on planning, executing, and closing specific projects with defined objectives and deadlines. General management, on the other hand, involves overseeing continuous, wide-ranging functions of an organization, encompassing strategy, operations, and personnel management.
The scope of project management is usually limited to specific projects with clear goals and timeframes, requiring specialized skills to manage resources, risks, and schedules. In contrast, general management entails a broader perspective, dealing with the day-to-day operations and long-term strategic planning of an organization.
Project management often involves cross-functional teams assembled for particular projects, emphasizing teamwork, and project-specific goals. General management, however, is concerned with managing diverse departments and functions, focusing on overall organizational effectiveness and efficiency.
In project management, success is measured by the project's completion within its scope, budget, and timeline. General management success is gauged by the overall performance and health of the organization, including profitability, market share, and internal processes.
Project managers are typically responsible for a single project at a time, concentrating on deliverables and outcomes. General managers have broader responsibilities, overseeing multiple areas of the business and ensuring alignment with the company's long-term objectives.

Comparison Chart


Specific projects with defined objectives
Ongoing organizational operations


Limited to project duration
Broad, encompassing entire organization

Team Structure

Cross-functional, project-based teams
Managing diverse departments and functions

Success Measurement

Project completion, adherence to scope/budget
Overall organizational performance and health


Managing resources, risks, schedules of a project
Overseeing company strategy, operations, personnel

Project Management and General Management Definitions

Project Management

Oversight of a temporary endeavor with a specific beginning and end.
Project management was key in orchestrating the international conference.

General Management

Coordinating the integrated activities of different departments in a company.
Effective general management was key to the company's smooth operation.

Project Management

Coordination of resources, schedules, and activities to complete a project successfully.
Through project management, the construction project met all its milestones.

General Management

The administrative handling of various business functions and teams.
Her expertise in general management led to increased operational efficiency.

Project Management

The application of methods, skills, and knowledge to achieve project objectives.
Her project management skills were crucial in the product development phase.

General Management

Overseeing and coordinating the overall operations of an organization.
His role in general management involved streamlining company processes.

Project Management

Managing the planning, execution, and closure of a project.
The project management team navigated challenges to deliver the project.

General Management

Management of a company's day-to-day activities and long-term strategy.
Through general management, the company improved its market position.

Project Management

The process of leading a team to achieve specific project goals within given constraints.
Effective project management ensured the new software was launched on time.

General Management

Leading and developing strategies for overall organizational success.
General management played a crucial role in the company's expansion.


What is project management?

It's the discipline of planning, executing, and completing specific projects with set objectives and timelines.

How do project management and general management differ in scope?

Project management has a defined, temporary scope, while general management is ongoing and broad.

What skills are important for general management?

Strategic thinking, leadership, and a broad understanding of business functions are key.

Is project management more specialized than general management?

Yes, it's more specialized, focusing on specific projects rather than broad organizational functions.

What skills are essential for project management?

Skills like planning, resource allocation, and risk management are crucial.

Can a project manager become a general manager?

Yes, project managers can transition to general management with broadened skills and experience.

Do project managers need technical skills?

Yes, technical skills related to the specific project are often necessary.

Are leadership skills important in general management?

Absolutely, as they're essential for guiding and motivating diverse teams.

How do project managers measure success?

Success is measured by the timely, within-budget completion of a project's objectives.

What are the primary concerns of general management?

They include long-term strategy, overall performance, and organizational health.

Can the principles of project management be applied in general management?

Some principles, like resource planning and risk assessment, can be applied.

What does general management entail?

It involves the overall administration and strategic planning of an organization's operations.

How do project management and general management view team structure?

Project management focuses on temporary, project-specific teams, whereas general management deals with permanent, functional teams.

How does general management impact company culture?

It significantly shapes and influences the organization's values and work environment.

What role does decision-making play in general management?

It's vital, as it affects the entire organization's direction and success.

Does project management involve financial management?

Yes, managing the project budget is a key aspect.

Are project managers involved in strategy formulation?

Typically, they focus on strategy within the scope of the project.

How does general management contribute to a company's growth?

By effectively managing resources and directing strategic initiatives towards growth.

How important is communication in project management?

Extremely important, as it ensures team alignment and stakeholder engagement.

What role does innovation play in general management?

It's crucial for developing strategies and maintaining competitive advantage.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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