Basic Tasks of a Project CoordinatorMuhammad Zeeshan Ali, PMP, PMI-ACP
A Project Coordinator (PCO) is considered as the “right hand” of a Project Manager. I always consider a Project Manager as good as his/her support team, i.e., Project Coordinator. This is the reason I always emphasize on Project Managers delegating their tasks to their coordinators. Also it is important for PCO to have a proper growth to have a clearly defined career roadmap. I have also previously discussed Project Coordinator’s role in my article “Working under the wings of Project Manager”.
I am quite frequently asked by the Project Coordinators regarding what I think are the baseline set of tasks a PCO has to conduct. So I will take this opportunity to discuss a few activities which can be considered as the basic tasks of Project Coordinator.
Planned Effort & Actual Hours entries
In my experience, the technical resources are most reluctant to record their work hours in the project tracking tools. Since it is a lot of repeated work including making a lot of entries, I always suggest having a Project Coordinator doing this job rather than the Project Manager. Also it is not just the entries, the Project Coordinator has to make but the ones the resources have to make of their respective tasks and updates. Project Coordinator needs to be an “effective follower” to get those entries done through consistent follow ups and reminders.
Data & Relevant Information Collection
Another important task for the Project Coordinator is to gather Data and Status Updates, which are used for preparing reports and updates for meetings and sharing with stakeholders. Again it requires a lot of follow ups to get to the relevant and accurate information.
Project Coordinator should be empowered and authorized to participate in meetings and conduct other Project Manager’s business in his/her absence. The decisions and the feedback by the Project Coordinator should be considered the same as of the Project Manager.
Generally this task is missing from the regular list of Project Coordinator tasks but I feel that if a Project Coordinator can at least keep monitoring the identified risks and keep discussing it with his/her Project Manager, then I think that can prove really effective.
One thing every Project Coordinator should realize is that he/she is destined to be a Project Manager unless he/she decides to change the domain. To be able to become a successful manager, one has to keep upgrading himself/herself. Experience will come with time but another thing that can be added is building the knowledge base through short courses and training. I always encourage Project Coordinators to earn project management related certifications as early in their careers as possible.