The Project Coordinator's Job
A project coordinator is the team member who is responsible for keeping a collaborative enterprise organized and running smoothly.
Working alongside the project manager, a project coordinator tracks the work throughout its lifecycle and makes sure that critical information is shared among the various team members.
Project Coordinator or Project Manager?
Generally, the project manager selects the project coordinator and the two work side-by-side throughout the process.
The coordinator is responsible for tracking, recording, and disseminating information about the current status of every piece of the project. The project manager has greater responsibility for overall planning, budgeting, and staffing requirements.
The Project Coordinator's Tasks
Project coordinators must be adept at multi-tasking, as they are generally required to perform a wide variety of tasks on a daily basis. While the specific role varies from company to company, the following tasks are generally assigned to project coordinators.
- Organize meetings and team celebrations
- Arrange meetings between team members and with clients
- Record meeting minutes
- Keep detailed project notes and records
- Develop project strategies
- Create project schedules
- Create task lists for team members
- Monitor progress
- Track and manage paperwork
- Keep team members updated on current information
- Manage information flow within the team
A formal degree in project management is not generally required. However, most employers look for several years of experience in the industry they are part of, and preferably a degree or certification in that field.
In addition, employers look for expertise in various project management techniques and in the software used by professionals in the field. These include PRINCE2, Microsoft Office or Primavera.
Successful applicants have excellent verbal and written communication skills, organizational skills, and the ability to multitask effectively in a fast-paced environment.
A project coordinator's job is busy, fast-paced, interesting, and challenging. They are expected to complete a variety of tasks, many of which vary on a day-to-day basis.
While project coordinators typically work with other people on the project team over the course of the day, parts of the job could potentially be done from home if the company allows it.
Some companies expect project coordinators to work overtime and outside of normal business hours, which can interfere with family life and responsibilities.
The Next Step Up
Successful project coordinators soon pick up the skills needed to manage projects. They often graduate from small projects to bigger ones, and gradually move up to project manager.
Some prefer to move into a more central management function outside the project management department. The skills learned in project coordination are highly valued.
The role of a project coordinator is an important one. If you are organized, efficient, good at multi-tasking, and driven to succeed, project coordinator may be the job for you.