Project Management vs General Management

Ever wondered what makes a project different from being in a team of an organisation? 

This course aims to explain the differences between general management and project management. At the end of this course the learner should understand the difference and how being in a project has an impact on general management. 

The difference between general management and project management

The difference between general management and project management


In this section new are going to be comparing the difference of a job role to a project role and how the management in these two areas changes.

Keeping in mind that a project is a temporary structure and that an individual could be assigned to multiple projects, it is important to understand the impact this has on the reporting structure and the individual’s job.

General management generally follows a permanent structure and this structure is defined and set. Each role within a department will encompass the roles of the individuals which sets that objectives, are measured and generally non-changing. Generally the hierarchy is from employee to line manager to senior manager all the way up to executive and director level. The strategy and objectives are set for the entire organization and then each department has an individual strategy which will align to the organization strategy.

When an individual is assigned to a project team their role will not necessarily be the same as per the employment role. For each project this role can also vary depending on the individuals strengths and what is required for the project.

A project assumes what is termed a temporary structure meaning that the reporting line for the individual will change based on their role in the project. Whilst the individual still has a line manager to report to for their organizational job role, whilst in a project their reporting line will change to the project manager for all tasks and objectives that are related to the project.

So whilst the employee will still need to engage with the line manager regarding organizational activities like leave, they will report to the project manager for any task related to the project as this is their temporary reporting structure during the lifecycle of the project.


Line manager vs the project manager

The difference between general management and project management


In this section new are going to be comparing the difference of a job role to a project role and how the management in these two areas changes.

Keeping in mind that a project is a temporary structure and that an individual could be assigned to multiple projects, it is important to understand the impact this has on the reporting structure and the individual’s job.

General management generally follows a permanent structure and this structure is defined and set. Each role within a department will encompass the roles of the individuals which sets that objectives, are measured and generally non-changing. Generally the hierarchy is from employee to line manager to senior manager all the way up to executive and director level. The strategy and objectives are set for the entire organization and then each department has an individual strategy which will align to the organization strategy.

When an individual is assigned to a project team their role will not necessarily be the same as per the employment role. For each project this role can also vary depending on the individuals strengths and what is required for the project.

A project assumes what is termed a temporary structure meaning that the reporting line for the individual will change based on their role in the project. Whilst the individual still has a line manager to report to for their organizational job role, whilst in a project their reporting line will change to the project manager for all tasks and objectives that are related to the project.

So whilst the employee will still need to engage with the line manager regarding organizational activities like leave, they will report to the project manager for any task related to the project as this is their temporary reporting structure during the lifecycle of the project.


  • Line Manager
    Is the person you report to directly within the organisation
  • Project Manager
    Is the person that one temporarily reports to for the life cycle of the project and only on tasks related to the project