Differences Between Projects And Bau- Feedback Please

Paul Naybour

Hi Paul

I’ve just started this course and thought I’d quickly go through one of the exam questions to pick up some tips. I’d like some feedback on whether I’m on the right lines. I have seen another post that is similar and will incorporate the feedback you left there but, regarding my response, is there anything specific I need to focus on to improve or meet requirements of the exam? Thanks in advance!

List 5 attributes of project management and describe how each differs from Business as usual.
1. A project aims to introduce change
2. The lifecycle of the project consists of a discrete number of steps
3. The project scope consists of all the things the project will do and all the things the project will achieve
4. Projects are time limited
5. The project is often unique, outlined one-off deliverables and requires a business case

A project aims to introduce change or produce a product that might not have been created and is therefore unique ( e.g., a new digital wearable like a Fitbit). Business as usual (BAU) differs as its aim is to provide a stable platform from which to deliver operational success. For example, BAU might consist of HR and IT departments that support a project and be associated with gradual, incremental change. Instead, the project is concerned with the development and testing of a prototype that might create a bigger change to society, health or infrastructure (for example).

A project is time limited and consists of a one-off project that has a start and finish time (eg., opening ceremony of a sporting event). BAU consists of on-going, continual operational processes that support the day-to day running of an organisation, like a HR, finance and IT department.

A project might set out a list of deliverables that are the outputs or benefits of a project (e.g., successful completion of recruitment phase of patients to a drugs trial) but the deliverables are one-off and not repeated. BAU will implement continual deliverables such as ensuring annual renewal of staff’s Health and Safety training in relation to the appropriate rules and regulations.

The scope of a project is to ensure that it lists all the things that it will do and the benefits it will achieve. The project manager will focus on the unique set of task within the project, identify risks and be highly skilled at risk management, which is key to enhancing the project’s success. Instead, BAU could support the project (in a matrix organisation for example) but aim to ensure that the day-to-day complex operational processes are delivered in a consistent way (e.g., IT and Finance department).

The lifecycle of a project consists of a discrete number of steps that is bound by a time frame (e.g., development, recruitment phase, implementation and evaluation of a new drug within a drugs trial during a 3 year project). BAU is concerned with the PRODUCT lifecycle and will ensure a product undergoes the development, operational and disposal phases that will be a continual process that continues beyond the lifecycle of the project. For example, a PhD student might discover a new chemical formula to maximise the growth of flowers in the form of small seed balls (a unique and novel project) but this invention can become BAU as the idea enables a spin-off company to start that continually produces and operationalises the product.

Any feedback welcome

2 thoughts on “Differences Between Projects And Bau- Feedback Please”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Upcoming Courses

Scroll to Top