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Topics: Communications Management, Construction, PMI Standards
Project Coordinator
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Do you think that having a Project Coordinator on large projects adds value ? How / Why (From your own experience)?
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Rami -
Great question. I think as with all project team members, it is vital to have solid roles and responsibilities defined. If you have a large enough project that you feel it is necessary to add a PC, what would this person be responsible for? I could see this role quickly being relegated to doing the menial work that the PM "doesn't have time for". In that case, I think the role doesn't add value. However, as an opportunity to mentor and help someone grow into a full PM or Junior PM role, this could be a great way to learn the ropes.

Interested to hear your thoughts on the subject.
Thanks!
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2 replies by Michael Perdunn and Rami Kaibni
Nov 28, 2016 7:18 PM
Rami Kaibni
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Michael,

Thanks for your great input - I do agree with you especially on the mentoring part. Mostly project coordinators assist in many ways but if as you said, he is required to do the menial work then yes, that doesn't add value.

Briefly, what do you believe should be the role of the PC ?
Nov 30, 2016 9:43 AM
Michael Perdunn
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While I think that communication is certainly a ton of work on a large project, I would resist the urge to delegate those tasks to a PC because the relationships developed through communication management are vital for the success of a project.

For me, I look for opportunities to extend the reach of the PM. Attending meetings where there is a conflict in the PMs schedule. Researching issues/risks that may require in-depth analysis. Keeping documentation up-to-date. Perhaps adding value to a project that would be useful for the organization (Earned Value, test case oversight, gathering project metrics, etc.)

For stretch opportunities, I think managing one of the sub-teams would be a great chance to grow. Giving them the opportunity to handle some status updates for mid-level stakeholders would also be a great opportunity.

Hope that makes sense...
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I believe that the project coordinator will add value for a large project in the case that the project involves many stakeholders and frequent deliverables, and requires a participation from external organizations. The main role for the coordinator is related to the project communications.
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1 reply by Rami Kaibni
Nov 28, 2016 7:18 PM
Rami Kaibni
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Adel,

Very good point. Part of the PC responsibilities should be communication with various stakeholders.
Network:98478



Nov 28, 2016 4:26 PM
Replying to Michael Perdunn
...
Rami -
Great question. I think as with all project team members, it is vital to have solid roles and responsibilities defined. If you have a large enough project that you feel it is necessary to add a PC, what would this person be responsible for? I could see this role quickly being relegated to doing the menial work that the PM "doesn't have time for". In that case, I think the role doesn't add value. However, as an opportunity to mentor and help someone grow into a full PM or Junior PM role, this could be a great way to learn the ropes.

Interested to hear your thoughts on the subject.
Thanks!
Michael,

Thanks for your great input - I do agree with you especially on the mentoring part. Mostly project coordinators assist in many ways but if as you said, he is required to do the menial work then yes, that doesn't add value.

Briefly, what do you believe should be the role of the PC ?
Network:98478



Nov 28, 2016 5:45 PM
Replying to Adel Almufaiz
...
I believe that the project coordinator will add value for a large project in the case that the project involves many stakeholders and frequent deliverables, and requires a participation from external organizations. The main role for the coordinator is related to the project communications.
Adel,

Very good point. Part of the PC responsibilities should be communication with various stakeholders.
Network:104392



It can be a great laughing pad for a junior PM. But roles and responsibilities need to be clear otherwise the PC won't stay!
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1 reply by Rami Kaibni
Nov 30, 2016 12:04 AM
Rami Kaibni
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Of course the duties and responsibilities should be clear but what is meant by a laughing pad ?
Network:98478



Nov 29, 2016 10:52 PM
Replying to Vincent Guerard
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It can be a great laughing pad for a junior PM. But roles and responsibilities need to be clear otherwise the PC won't stay!
Of course the duties and responsibilities should be clear but what is meant by a laughing pad ?
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2 replies by St├ęphane Parent and Vincent Guerard
Jan 16, 2017 9:12 AM
St├ęphane Parent
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I think Vincent meant launching pad, Rami.
Feb 05, 2017 9:22 PM
Vincent Guerard
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Launching pad, sorry for the typo.
Stephane got it
Sorry, just saw you comment
Network:606



Nov 28, 2016 4:26 PM
Replying to Michael Perdunn
...
Rami -
Great question. I think as with all project team members, it is vital to have solid roles and responsibilities defined. If you have a large enough project that you feel it is necessary to add a PC, what would this person be responsible for? I could see this role quickly being relegated to doing the menial work that the PM "doesn't have time for". In that case, I think the role doesn't add value. However, as an opportunity to mentor and help someone grow into a full PM or Junior PM role, this could be a great way to learn the ropes.

Interested to hear your thoughts on the subject.
Thanks!
While I think that communication is certainly a ton of work on a large project, I would resist the urge to delegate those tasks to a PC because the relationships developed through communication management are vital for the success of a project.

For me, I look for opportunities to extend the reach of the PM. Attending meetings where there is a conflict in the PMs schedule. Researching issues/risks that may require in-depth analysis. Keeping documentation up-to-date. Perhaps adding value to a project that would be useful for the organization (Earned Value, test case oversight, gathering project metrics, etc.)

For stretch opportunities, I think managing one of the sub-teams would be a great chance to grow. Giving them the opportunity to handle some status updates for mid-level stakeholders would also be a great opportunity.

Hope that makes sense...
...
1 reply by Ajay Gosain
Dec 01, 2016 1:15 PM
Ajay Gosain
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I could not agree more, Michael. PC can play significance role in big projects at release some pressure of work from PM and help out on tight deadlines. I had myself played this part in past and Honestly saying I have learned a lot regarding project management. I believe putting a PC in place also gives an opportunity to have future PM with very strong skills and experience. Hope I am on the right path..
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Rami,

The interesting part of your question is the condition that the Project Coordinator is included on large projects. That would seem to point to roles and responsibilities that are less visible to the customer(s), who will most likely want to have a Project Manager in the forefront. Which leads to my agreeing with the other responses that cite the importance of well defined roles and responsibilities.

A project coordinator is a position within an organization, so the level of experience and technical competence - or certification - will vary among organizations.

From my perspective, in my current position, I would expect certified project managers for a large implementation.
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1 reply by Rami Kaibni
Nov 30, 2016 2:47 PM
Rami Kaibni
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John,

Great input, thanks.

Of course I totally agree with you that the PM should be in the front and that if there is a project coordinator, there should be well defined duties & responsibilities. However, my question is: From your experience, besides having a certified PM, do you think having a project coordinator adds value ? and how he adds value (Like what roles & responsibilities do you believe a project coordinator should carry).
Network:98478



Nov 30, 2016 1:22 PM
Replying to John Murphy
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Rami,

The interesting part of your question is the condition that the Project Coordinator is included on large projects. That would seem to point to roles and responsibilities that are less visible to the customer(s), who will most likely want to have a Project Manager in the forefront. Which leads to my agreeing with the other responses that cite the importance of well defined roles and responsibilities.

A project coordinator is a position within an organization, so the level of experience and technical competence - or certification - will vary among organizations.

From my perspective, in my current position, I would expect certified project managers for a large implementation.
John,

Great input, thanks.

Of course I totally agree with you that the PM should be in the front and that if there is a project coordinator, there should be well defined duties & responsibilities. However, my question is: From your experience, besides having a certified PM, do you think having a project coordinator adds value ? and how he adds value (Like what roles & responsibilities do you believe a project coordinator should carry).
Network:1780



Rami:
Thanks for sharing this question; I'll share my personal experience.
How? I'd say the easy answer is with sponsor approval. The sponsor is accountable and PM is responsible for success of the project delivery of value, Also, organizational maturity plays a big part in what competencies a PC Coordinator may be able to perform in a variety of roles with required skillsets/behaviors.

Why?
So many reasons: i.e. Create a career path to create bench strength, keep PM strategic focused not tactical, create a pm culture at all levels, engagement, innovation at all levels, and more. Possible roles for purpose of discussion: http://www.cupe.co.uk/pmo-roles-and-responsibilities.html

Let's peel the onion back a little to open this question up.
Value is something that is important, useful and worthwhile. The makeup of a project team sometimes includes a village for a large complex project in size, scope and budget.
PMs today should be focusing on delivering value, benefits and ROI so the approach for the makeup of a team is important. Organizations should be focusing on a project culture which would make it easy to tap into resources to fulfill pc coordinator roles.

First of all a pc coordinator could simply be defined as an administrator level staff, little to no project experience, task oriented focus and journey level.


Internal staff inside the organization:
PM may be assigned to a project with a variety of team members selected or assigned to the project. Lower level staff with limited project experience (pc coordinator) can fill a variety of roles to aide the PM in the management and control of the project.

External Contractor/Systems Integrator:
In the public, private and nonprofit sector a pc coordinator is normally a journey-level role with no certification, intern, limited hours of training and experience managing task oriented assignments. Many contracts will provide additional lower level staff to support the internal/external PM and the core team.

Gig economy: A PC coordinator can do anything from managing communication to managing a project.
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1 reply by Rami Kaibni
Dec 01, 2016 10:07 AM
Rami Kaibni
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Naomi,

I truly appreciate your input, this is just great and you've touched so many good points. I very much like the Why explanation.

For the how, I meant how a PC can add value him or herself even though it is the sponsor and the PM responsibility.
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