A Project Coordinator's role is very similar to a Project Manager but not the same. There is a very thin line between a project coordinator and a project manager. A project coordinator will do most of the things that a project manager would do but does not have (or does not need ) the authority to make decisions. We will now have a look at what a project coordinator may be required to do. Some of the below tasks may overlap with each other.
#1 : Keeping the Senior Manager(s) aware of the latest project updates
This is the key task for any project coordinator. When a project coordinator finds out there is an issue in the project the first thing is to notify the senior project managers and ask for advice. The project coordinator must tell the senior Project Manager what the project coordinator is planning do about the issue.
The project coordinator should continue to work with the team to resolve the issue but the senior manager should be informed ASAP.
#2 : Creating and maintaining a detailed Project Schedule or Plan
A project coordinator may be responsible for working with the team to create a detailed project plan or schedule. Creating a detailed project plan may include the following tasks -
- Collecting the estimates from the project team.
- Organizing planning workshops to understands the detailed tasks.
- Understanding the dependencies between the tasks.
- Creating the project schedules in the tool required.
- Publishing the plan to the team and getting their feedback.
Note : The Project Coordinator generally cannot change key dates or milestones in the project plan without consulting the senior project manager.
#3 : Creating and maintaining project documents
A project coordinator may be responsible for creating and maintaining most of the documents but will seldom have the authority to publish them before they are reviewed by a senior project manager or senior manager. The list of documents may include -
- Risks and Issues Register.
- Change Log and Change Requests.
- Budgeting documents.
- Financial Invoices.
- Copy of Business case.
- Minutes of Meetings for Project Related Meetings.
#4 : Project Task Tracking
The project coordinator can be responsible for day to day task tracking which may include -
- Task tracking may include getting % complete on tasks and updating the project plans.
- The project coordinator has to make sure that tasks which were supposed to start have started and tasks which had to finish are complete.
- The project coordinator may also need to work with different systems users to organize user acceptance testing.
#5 : Project Status Reporting
The project coordinator may be responsible for -
- Sending Email Status Updates to the managers or the team or the stake holders.
- Sending Weekly Status Reports to everyone including the project team, senior managers and other stakeholders.
- Monthly Status Reports or ad-hoc status reports as required.
#6 : Organizing Meetings, Scrums and workshops
The project coordinator may be responsible for -
- Organizing client meetings.
- Conduct regular Team Meetings and Scrum meetings on a daily basis.
- Conduct planning or estimation workshops.
- Capture and publish minutes of meeting for all the above meetings as needed.
#7 : Maintain Project Resources
- Maintain Team Vacation calendar.
- Identify and arrange/request any resources required for the project.
- Forecast system user testing requirements and work with respective managers for resource allocation.
- The resource could also be an hardware or software resource like printer or server.
#8 : Managing Communications within(or for) the Project Team
The project coordinator may be asked to manage communications between team members to make sure the team communicates.
A project coordinator can also be expected to communicate with people outside the project team like systems users, testers, vendors or other external parties.
#9 : Monitor Project Scope, Risks and Issues
The project coordinator can be asked to manage the project scope by using change requests process. Maintaining risks and issues register could also be expected from a project coordinator.
#10 : Make sure the project follows the organisational standard
All the organisations have some standards when it comes managing change or projects. A project coordinator may be expected to make sure the project is good from an audit and governance perspective.
After reading the above list one of the obvious question is - if all this is done by a project coordinator then what is the project manager doing? The answer to the question will vary depending on your company, team, project or department needs.
Depending on the need a project coordinator may be required to do all the above tasks or may be asked to do only a subset of the above.
There could be no project manager and the project may be run under a business unit head or senior department manager. If a project coordinator is doing all the above tasks there is a very good chance the project coordinator is playing a project manager's role.