Why is it important to understand the difference between projects and operations?
The important thing to understand is the financial impact each of these have on your organisation.
A project is a once-off endeavour and has, by definition, a start time and a finish time and will therefore also have a set budget allocated to the project.
Operational activities are ongoing and repeats daily, weekly or monthly and can result in ongoing expenses to keep your business afloat.
A project can lead to operations, for example, if you have a project to implement a new CRM system in your company, the project includes the setup of the new CRM system, ensuring all clients are listed on the new system and making sure everyone receives the necessary training to use the new system. Once the project has been implemented some change management might be necessary, but the project deliverables will have been met and the project closed. Now, making use of this new CRM system becomes normal operations and can lead to monthly subscription fees and ongoing support fees.
You need to make sure you plan for these different types of expenses.
Project fees are often higher than operational costs and can seem like a big expense once-off and therefore people tend to plan and budget better for projects, however it can be the operational costs that catch you off-guard…
The thousands of small debit orders that goes off the bank account every month is what can be misleading, the R100 here and the R200 there; it seems so small in essence but can spiral out of control when there are too many.
Ensure you keep track of your expenses by making use of proper accounting systems with decent reporting tools, these can seem like a lot of money at first, but can save you so much more in the long run.
If you need assistance with proper financial planning and choosing an accounting system, talk to our team of Nyfti professionals.