From a project manager (PM) viewpoint, a project coordinator (PCr) is the “Sunshine that makes me happy” throughout the day…And every project manager that I know would say: “Please don’t take my sunshine away”!
A PCr is a critical component to a project team’s success and one of the hallmarks of a netlogx project team. A netlogx PCr is the sun, and all the other participants and stakeholders on the project orbit around her/him. They touch every member of a project team, connecting, communicating, designing, coordinating, scribing, and reporting daily. The PCr is the center of the project team, and all other PMs and project team members orbit around to obtain advice, assistance, support, and solutions in managing project activities.
A PCr is a brilliant beam of light which connects project team members to get the right things done right to help support and manage the project towards closure. The PM, project team members, and client internal and sometimes external stakeholders share the PCr’s warm rays of light. As well as their knowledge about project activities, from project planning, standardization and documentation management to communication and action item management to help accomplish their objectives throughout the project.
There is a difference between a PM and PCr. Having performed both roles on a project, I can assure you that a project coordinator is pivotal to success. A PM manages the activities of the project team and consults with the project team members to ensure Project Management Plan (PMP) processes and activities are followed to complete the project objectives and satisfy client needs. Specific duties of a PCr include:
- Liaises with the client and vendor
- Attends meetings
- Reviews documentation
- Supports scheduling
- Manages risks and project changes
- Produces reports and guides
A project manager needs a project coordinator to be reliable and organized, to be honest, trustworthy, and to hold team members accountable for their project contributions. A project coordinator is in the center of the project team who supports the PM, developing and coordinating processes, connecting, and communicating so that project artifacts are in an organized project repository, and meetings are scheduled, and action items are completed. Just like the sun helps a tree grow, a PCr helps the project team achieve its objectives, while the PM is the gardener, who takes what the “sun” provides and cultivates, manages, and maintains it for successful project completion.
Without the “sun” a tree does not grow. Without a PCr, on large projects with multiple stakeholders and vendors especially, the project team would not grow in its ability to communicate, document, report on, and manage project coordination activities; risking the ability of the PM to deliver quality service and deliverables, on time and within budget.
On the other hand, a small project may only need a PM or business analyst to perform project coordination activities. What is most important for any size project is that the project coordination activities take place for a successful outcome, just like the sun is needed for the tree to bear fruit!