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Director of Operations vs Financial Director/CFO vs Program Manager

Primary Role:

Director of Operations: Oversees day-to-day operational activities within an organization

Financial Director/CFO: Manages financial health, including strategies and operations

Program Manager: Oversees specific programs, ensuring they align with organizational goals

Reporting Relationship:

Director of Operations: Typically reports to the COO or CEO

Financial Director/CFO: Reports to CEO or executive board

Program Manager: Reports to a senior manager or director

Scope of Responsibilities:

Director of Operations: Broad operational scope, including managing resources, processes, and budgets

Financial Director/CFO: Responsible for financial planning, analysis, and reporting

Program Manager: Manages program objectives, resources, and timelines

Decision-Making Authority:

Director of Operations: Considerable operational decision-making authority

Financial Director/CFO: Key decision-maker in financial matters

Program Manager: Decision-making within the scope of program management

Strategic Planning:

Director of Operations: Participates in operational strategy and its execution

Financial Director/CFO: Integral to financial aspect of strategic planning

Program Manager: Participates in strategic planning of program objectives

Team Management:

Director of Operations: Oversees operational teams and departments

Financial Director/CFO: Oversees the financial team or department

Program Manager: Manages program teams and coordinates with other departments

Meeting Involvement:

Director of Operations: Leads operational meetings and strategy sessions

Financial Director/CFO: Attends executive meetings, particularly around financial planning

Program Manager: Leads program-related meetings and updates

Project Management:

Director of Operations: Responsible for operational project oversight

Financial Director/CFO: Involved in financial projects and initiatives

Program Manager: Responsible for end-to-end program management

Communication:

Director of Operations: Oversees operational communication within the organization

Financial Director/CFO: Communicates financial information to stakeholders

Program Manager: Communicates program goals and updates to stakeholders

Professional Development:

Director of Operations: Focuses on operational management and process improvement

Financial Director/CFO: Develops financial management and strategic skills

Program Manager: Develops in program management and strategic coordination

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