Process and Project Management: Complementary Disciplines

, and Alan Vercio, CPA, MBA

Project and process management are two disciplines used by organizations to advance the work of delivering value to customers, clients, and patients. Both disciplines have standards and practices established by their respective professional organizations and practitioners, and have more in common than may be realized. This paper presents process and project management similarities, differences, and interdependencies; discusses how they minimize the functional organization’s limitations; and presents an opportunity for best practice sharing between process and project management. For the purposes of this paper, the terms of project manager and project management include traditional waterfall project managers and project management as well as agile and agile scrum masters.          

The functional organization, aligned by skills and responsibilities, is the backbone of the institution. It is where the core customer work is performed and where the majority of the organization’s resources reside. However, the functional organization has limitations that have been described as functional silos and white spaces where customer, product, and information handoffs between functional teams have high failure rates. Exhibit 1 provides a healthcare example. 

Exhibit 1: Functional structure vs…

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