Production Manager Jobs vs Project Manager Jobs
Interested in having a career that spans both project and manufacturing work and has management elements? A job as a project manager or production manager offers various opportunities and the chance for career growth in the industry. Read on to see what both entail and how you can get started in both project and production manager jobs.
A Project Manager vs a Production Manager
A job in production management involves planning, co-ordination and handling all responsibilities relating to the manufacturing of products, from staff management, processes and quality standards. An emphasis is placed on ensuring that the product is manufactured in the most efficient and cost effective manner.
On the other hand project manager jobs involve being responsible for projects, its objectives and managing and ensuring the best results. These professionals are in charge of planning and executing a project and also minimising costs and ensuring the best results, benefits and processes of a project.
Building a successful career in Production Management
So what exactly do production manager jobs involve? We explore the role of production managers, what they do, what their work involves and the type of industries they work in.
As production managers are primarily responsible for technical supervision and management of various processes, they have a wide range of responsibilities and roles, in various manufacturing industries.
Some of their most important responsibilities include assessing upcoming projects, creating production schedules and estimating budgets and costs related to the project. They are also involved in the purchasing of various materials, overseeing production, quality and supervising the overall project.
If you choose a career in production management, you are most likely to find yourself in a job in the food, engineering, food production or manufacturing industries in a factory most of the time. Your working hours may include some hours that aren’t in the traditional 9-5 as certain projects may require overtime due to a deadline.
Education, Training and Characteristics
A job as a production manager is open to a range of graduates from various fields and you can also take the opportunity to specialise in production management. These are all beneficial when linked with a range of skills required for the job.
You’ll need to be adept at problem solving, managing a team, as well as teamwork, and understanding and thinking on your feet in high-pressure situations.
You’ll need to have attention to detail, grasp concepts quickly, have project management skills, technical skills, IT skills as well as numerical and organisational skills, as they are all vital to a role as a production manager.
The ability to motivate others, work systematically and make the best use of time in various situations are also key skills.
When starting out, most production managers start out in junior posts and gradually build their way up the corporate ladder.
The qualifications best suited for production manager jobs are linked to chemistry, engineering, food science, logistics, business and management. Work experience would definitely be a bonus if you haven’t had any experience in the area, this can be obtained through internships or graduate programs.
However, if you choose to specialise, you can do this via a range of colleges and courses in South Africa.
You can study a Diploma in production management, which is recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority. You can also take a short learning course in Production and Operations Management Programme through Unisa, or Production Management for Industry through CPUT.
The duration of the courses ranges from a few weeks to a year, depending on the level of the course.
Interested to see how project manager jobs differs from those in production? We take a look at the role of project managers, what they do, what their work involves and what type of industries they work in.
A career as a Project Manager
Project managers are responsible for accomplishing certain projects. This involves organising and ensuring that projects are completed within a certain time period and within a reasonable budget. They have a host of responsibilities and can be found in different industries across the board.
Project managers look at both the team and the project and ensure that all elements come together to work efficiently to get the job done.
While project managers’ responsibilities differ across industries and companies there are a few key responsibilities that will always be associated with project manager jobs. These include developing project plans, managing the communication, risk, and overall schedules and ensuring the best project delivery possible.
The various responsibilities also include quality, budget and time related project measures. They carefully manage each, along with a team, to ensure the best results. They also focus on the possible risks that might hinder the project and minimise any possible issues that may occur.
A project manager is often in charge and manage a team, which involves supervising, monitoring and appraising work. They also plan, review and compile action plans regarding the project at hand.
Along with all this, they keep an eye on production, the levels of productivity on the project and overall quality measures. They also keep an eye on current trends to see if and how they affect the project and how best to implement various changes.
The key roles and responsibilities are to ensure that the project parameters stay within the project management triangle and include: time, scope, quality and cost.
The ability to adapt and perform under pressure is also key.
There is a range of careers and industries you can go into and if you choose a career in project management, you can find yourself in a job in marketing, property, software and business industries.
Education, Training and Characteristics
Like seen with production manager jobs, being a project manager requires a certain education, training and characteristics. You can find out more below.
While it varies, you’ll find yourself able to apply for project manager jobs if you have completed certain business or bachelor’s related degrees, along with the various skills achieved.
You’ll need to have leadership skills in order to manage a team, attention to detail, great time management, as well as problem solving and numerical skills in order to achieve the best results.
To increase your chances of a job in project management, you can also specialise and take a course through a variety of colleges and universities.
You can study a Programme in Project Management through the University of Pretoria, or the online Advanced Diploma in Business Project Management through UCT.
Each of the courses ranges from a few weeks to around a year, depending on the intensity of the course.
How Project Management and Production Management Overlap
Production managers, project managers, and even product managers, have overlapping skillsets. While they are vastly different, there are many similarities in the roles; aspects of the job and characteristics needed for the various jobs.
These overlaps include having excellent time management skills, being able to oversee and handle a team, as well as organise and plan efficiently. Where all of these, most importantly, overlap are in overall management areas and ensuring quality in all processes.
Interested in getting a start as a project or production manager? You can apply for a range of project as well as production manager jobs on Job Mail. Don’t hesitate, register your CV and start your new career path today.
Job Mail Staff Writer
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