Project coordinator is a very important role in project managerial hierarchy. In small projects, the role is often associated with project director (manager). Project coordination implies that the coordinator acts as a central point that ensures close contact and collaboration between stakeholders, performers, director and assistants. Coordinating means proactive identifying, developing and maintaining stakeholder relationships, managing personnel and finances to check/ensure that project meets time & budget, quality assurance, facilitating at meetings and workshops etc.
A person pretending to this role should monitor health and efficiency of the project, make important decisions on-the-fly, search for possible solutions and apply them in life. Project coordination is a continuous organizational and administrative job function that requires great organizational, interpersonal and professional skills. This job also requires the candidate to be familiar with special software that helps analyze project data, create spreadsheets and report on team performance.
Coordinate Project Effectively with Software
To effectively manage project of any scope, the coordinator should be a highly organized, skilled and informed person. Project coordination can be facilitated by using of proper software products. Project coordination software should support the activities related to gathering of up-to-date data such as data about the actual project budget and monitoring of time parameters. In the case of a big project in which a big workgroup is involved, a project coordinating software should work in a collaborative multi-user manner as far as only this technology can support project coordinator with stream of actual information. In the case of a small project, project coordinator may use simpler solution in order to coordinate project, such as individual project coordinating software.
For example, VIP Task Manager is a powerful client-server project coordination product with convenient interface. This efficient software can be used by project coordinator for planning, scheduling and controlling project in terms of tasks completion, time and costs, sharing project calendar and project evolution among multiple performers/stakeholders.
Another example is CentriQS that provides a complete solution for managing projects and other business entities in organizations. CentriQS lets you create and keep your business data in a single database. Your projects can be linked to tasks, schedules, customers, products, documents, and other entities available in your database, so you can access all of the data right from single Project Detail view.
Who is Project Coordinator? The Role of Project Coordinator
This role involves you in planning, monitoring and controlling all aspects of your project. You need to provide motivation to the team, keep track whether the project objectives are achieved on time and to the specified cost, and ensure that quality and performance are at expected levels. When you are assigned to the role, you need to consider the following aspects of your new job.
Effective Project Planning
The project plan creates links between the objectives, scope, and methodology that will be used throughout the project to determine how the project activities need to be performed, what roles and responsibilities are assigned to what people, and what amounts of time and cost are allocated. As a project leader, you must make sure that the plan is well developed and serves as a basis for the team to carry out their duties and make decisions.
In particular, make sure that your project plan supports:
- Project budget that outlines the anticipated costs of the work to be done
- Human resources so that the project is provided with the required type and number of staff
- Communications that explain how project participants will communicate with each other
- Risks and issues that may jeopardize success of your project
- Quality evaluations that let ensure whether the work is done as expected
Right Organizational Structure
Your project needs to be organized in a way that ensures hierarchical arrangement of levels of authority, communications, and duties among project participants. The organizational structure of your project helps you determine how well the roles, rights, and powers are allocated among the team and how information flows between different lines of management.
Ideally your project’s organizational structure should determine at least the following roles (including related responsibilities and authorities): Sponsor, Customer, Project Manager, Team Member, Facilitator, and Expert. In other words, your project has the customer who is interested in getting some solution upon project completion, while the sponsor provides all necessary resources and guidance for the team. The project manager takes full control over solution implementation, works closely with the team, and gets necessary advice from the experts and facilitators.
Staffing and Management Committee
The project staffing process establishes right selection and training of individuals for specific tasks and job functions. It ensures that all roles identified and described in the organizational structure are assigned to personnel that have right skills, experience and knowledge to carry out their duties and responsibilities. As a coordinator, you must keep track of this process and be informed of any changes in staffing. Your ultimate goal is to keep the project staffed with the required number of full time or part time employees. CentriQS will help you make right assignments and use priories to focus your team members on right tasks.
To complete this goal, you can (and should) join the management committee of your project. Being part of this committee, you can participate in discussions and strategic decision making regarding the project. Other members of the committee will also communicate with you to agree on the work to be done, coordinate team activities and develop strategic actions.
Coordination through Meetings
An effective way to communicate with the stakeholders and coordinate the project work is through participating in meetings. This type of project event can help you inform team members about current progress of the project, review the deliverables already produced, and explore possible outputs or issues. Meetings also help you plan further actions in the project development and facilitate effective communications and networking between the stakeholders. In CentriQS you can create and share meeting agendas and notify attendees of upcoming tasks and events.
The following kinds of project meeting can help lead and coordinate your project:
- Kick-off meeting helps you keep the project on the right track from the very beginning when the objectives and activities are presented to the team and discussed.
- Status meeting lets you explore achievements to date and explore pending issues.
- Stage meeting provides a clear idea of what outcomes are received upon completion of a project stage.
- 'End of project' meeting helps you review and discuss the results of your project and agree on date when the project should be terminated and the product should be handed over to the customer.
- Thematic meetings let you focus project staff on certain topics or concerns, e.g. quality evaluation or performance measurement.