A project coordinator plays a vital role in running a successful and efficient project. Project coordinators work with project managers, business leaders and front-line employees to ensure that the project remains on schedule, stays within budget and meets all of its objectives. They oversee a number of specific activities during the project and help the company to ensure its completion.
One of the primary project coordinator objectives is to lead project-related meetings. From the planning phase all the way through execution, project coordinators send out meeting invitations to important stakeholders. They draft meeting agendas to ensure that time-sensitive and critical issues are covered first within the meeting, followed by other business activities. They may assign a junior coordinator to take minutes during the meeting and distribute them to the project team.
During the project meeting, the project coordinator moderates the conversation. They guide the meeting through the agenda items, focusing on discussing urgent matters first. If troubleshooting of any items is required, the project coordinator invites the necessary stakeholders to the meeting so that they can discuss the issue at hand. If the conversation gets diverted to tangential topics, it is the project coordinator’s role to bring the conversation back on track.
Project manager goals and objectives, similar to the project coordinator, include managing the project team. The project manager may oversee overall human resource management, while the project coordinator usually focuses on tasks and tactical activities. They are there to ensure that the project team is working on the assigned activities and is making progress. If team members run into an issue, they consult the project coordinator first to figure out any solutions to the problem.
In addition to overseeing the project team, the project coordinator often liaises with other departments in the company. They may work with other project coordinators or department managers on specific business activities related to the project. For example, if the project coordinator is working with the development team on a new software project, she may also have to work with the marketing team to ensure that the campaign timelines and messaging correspond with the project’s goals.
Project coordinators are in charge of ensuring that the project stays within budget. They track expenses and costs and add them to the budget so that the company can compare estimates to actual expenses. In some roles, project coordinators may be required to rework the budget at specific project milestones based on the progress and actual expenses of the project.
Keeping the team on schedule is another critical role of the project coordinator. They are often involved in creating the schedule with the project manager, as they have a strong understanding of how long specific tasks take. Project coordinators are intimately familiar with the project’s schedule and important milestones and make sure the team meets all of the deadlines.
If a project is behind schedule, the project coordinator works with the management team to figure out how to increase productivity to get the schedule back on track.
Project coordinators require excellent time-management skills, financial acumen and team-leadership qualities. Their performance goals can include:
- Ensuring successful completion of the project.
- Meeting all key milestones within the schedule.
- Staying under budget.
- Troubleshooting any day-to-day activities with project team members.
- Keeping detailed records of all project activities and correspondence.
To be a successful project coordinator, it’s imperative to work well with others. Project coordinators deal with many different team members of varying levels of seniority. They are often tasked with solving urgent problems and finding creative solutions. Their goals are aligned with the company’s goals, and project coordinators ensure that the projects they are leading meet their planned objectives to help the company succeed.