What Is the Difference Between Project-driven And Non-project-driven Organizations?

There are several differences between project-driven and non-project-driven organizations, including:

  • Project Management in project-driven organizations is mature and respected. On the other hand, in non-project-driven organizations, Project Management is still in its infancy, and is often looked at with skepticism.
  • Project-driven organizations make the lion’s share of their income through projects, non-project-driven organizations mainly make their income through production.
  • The Project Manager is responsible of the profitability and loss in project-driven organizations. In non-project-driven organizations, the responsibility for profitability and loss is ambiguous.
  • Project-driven organizations adopt either fully projectized or matrix organizational structures. Non-project-driven organizations usually adopt a functional organizational structure.
  • Project-driven organizations have flexible career paths, where one can ascend quickly to higher positions. Non-project-driven organizations have traditional career paths, where moving upwards in the company ladder is very difficult. Quite often, one has to wait for his manager to get fired/resign/retire/die to ascend the company’s ladder and assume a better position.

Examples of industries where project-driven organizations are predominant include:

  • Construction
  • Aerospace
  • Research

Examples of industries where non-project-driven organizations are predominant include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Services
  • Farming
  • Natural resources

IT (Information Technology) organizations (that fall under the services industry) are considered to be hybrid, where parts of such organizations are considered to be project-driven (such as the development of a new software), while other parts are considered to be non-project-driven (for example supporting applications).


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