Project Coordination: Definition and Tips for Using It

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 27 July 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Project coordination is an important strategy companies use to help them deliver quality project results to clients and company executives. When clients receive quality results, it can help increase their satisfaction and generate the companies more business and revenue. If you're hoping to coordinate projects in a company or organisation, it's important to understand what it is and the best ways to implement it. In this article, we discuss what project coordination is, why it's important and tips on how to perform it effectively in a company or business.

What is project coordination?

Project coordination is the daily management and direction given to a company's departments to help them succeed or fulfil major company projects. Generally, companies give these responsibilities to a project coordinator who oversees major parts of a project, including its budget and schedule. The project coordinator also keeps track of the project's risks or challenges and finds quick solutions to them to ensure the project doesn't face any delays. They might also delegate certain project duties to other employees in order to maintain the project's schedule and overall productivity.

Why is project coordination important?

Coordinating a project is important for several reasons, including:

  • Increasing productivity: powerful coordination can help to increase a project's productivity and quality by maintaining a strict schedule. When the project coordinator knows when every part of the project needs to be complete, they can ensure that employees always have something to do and that deadlines are always met.

  • Maintaining a budget: coordinating projects helps to maintain a budget and ensures that the company doesn't overspend on certain assignments or tasks. Project coordinators are always checking the project's expenses and will notify project managers and executives if the project is about to go over budget.

  • Minimising risk: minimising risks can help companies avoid project delays and continue to deliver quality project results. Project coordinators always keep track of potential project risks or challenges and focus on ways to solve them.

  • Improving customer satisfaction: when companies complete projects on time with high-quality results, they can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customers who are more satisfied with a company's ability to perform its duties are more likely to return to the company and its services again and again.

Tips for effective coordination

Here are some tips to help you perform effective coordination for various projects and assignments:

Encourage communication

Communication is one of the most important pieces to strong project coordination, so company departments can inform one another about project changes or challenges. The sooner a department acknowledges and addresses a problem, the quicker they can resolve it. To ensure communication stays strong throughout the project, it's beneficial for the project coordinator to relay changes to the schedule or budget to the project's team regularly. When the team understands their budget, they know how many resources are available and how best to use them.

It's also important for the project coordinator to encourage communication between departments because it can help the project avoid delays. For example, if the marketing department realises that they won't meet one of their deadlines, it's good to inform the other departments to see if they can help or rearrange the project schedule. Even if a problem doesn't seem like it's a major issue for the other company departments, it's still helpful to communicate it with the rest of the team because it can help them make sure the problem doesn't get worse.

Related: 10 Effective Communication Skills for Career Success

Get to know your team

It's helpful for a project coordinator to get to know their team because it can help them understand their co-worker's strengths and weaknesses. This way, project coordinators can delegate tasks more efficiently and understand which individuals need less supervision or management compared to others. For example, if a project coordinator knows that a few software developers have excellent communication skills, they might have them relay important software updates to the other company departments.

Some great ways to get to know your team include:

  • Observing the team's work

  • Talking with department managers

  • Having employees fill out self-evaluations

  • Talking with team members

Stay organised

Staying organised is an essential part of a project coordinator's role because they constantly need to stay up to date on the schedule and budget of the project. A few great ways for project coordinators to stay organised include:

  • Keeping a checklist or to-do list

  • Maintaining a personal daily schedule

  • Having an organisational system for project files and folders

  • Setting reminders for project deadlines and updates

It's also helpful to talk with company departments regularly to receive helpful updates on their progress and ensure the project is still following its projected timeline.

Use project management tools

Project management tools are software project coordinators can use to manage their projects more efficiently and keep track of important project information. Most often, other department managers and team members can also use the tools to increase team communication and create a more productive work environment. A lot of project management tools have different features that project coordinators and companies can use, depending on their field or industry. If you're hoping to use project management tools, consider researching the different software available to you and which ones might work best for your project.

Clearly define roles

Clearly defining the roles of each department and team member can help the employees understand the tasks they need to accomplish and improve the efficiency of the project. When an employee fully understands what they're supposed to accomplish, they can spend less time asking managers and executives questions, and use the set parameters to know when they can consider the assignment complete.

Establish trust

When employees feel like they can trust one another and the project coordinator, they're often more willing to share new ideas and information, as well as ask questions if they're confused about an assignment or role. Because of this, establishing trust plays a major role in establishing effective coordination for company projects. One great way to establish trust in a company or business is through trust exercises. Trust exercises are games and activities that allow team members to be vulnerable with one another and help them develop trust and teamwork skills.

Another great way is to host employee activities through the company, such as after-work parties or outings. These activities allow team members to bond with one another and establish a beneficial connection that can help them work together more effectively and increase productivity.

Coordinating skills

Here are some of the skills that project coordinators use throughout their workday:

  • Communication: communication is an important part of coordinating projects because it allows the project coordinator to relay important information to company departments. It also helps coordinators listen to crucial project challenges and figure out the best way to fix them.

  • Budgeting: project coordinators need to understand how to budget effectively so they can help limit project expenses and allocate resources to the departments that need them the most. It also helps them to generate accurate budget predictions for future company projects.

  • Prioritisation: prioritisation is helpful for coordination because it allows coordinators to manage their time efficiently and understand which challenges or project deadlines require the company's immediate attention. For example, if two company departments are currently facing problems, the coordinator needs to know which challenge might delay the project the most, so they can focus on it first.

  • Problem-solving: companies and team members often present new problems to project coordinators for them to solve quickly and efficiently. That's why it's important for coordinators to have effective problem-solving skills so they can fix challenges and avoid any potential project delays.

Related: 10 Best Skills to Include on a CV

Project coordinator versus project management

Project coordinators and project management can differ slightly in their job descriptions and responsibilities:

Project management

Project managers often oversee the entire project and work closely with clients and company executives to ensure that everything meets their expectations and objectives. Before the project begins, they also develop an action plan and determine what resources the project will require. During the project, project managers work closely with departments to ensure the project is following the projected timeline. They also meet with clients regularly to present them with project updates and make sure the project is still in line with their scope and objectives.

Related: 15 Project Management Skills Every Project Manager Should Have

Project coordinator

Project coordinators often work underneath project managers and focus their abilities on the project's management within the company. Unlike project managers, project coordinators rarely consult with the company's clients. Instead, they help the project manager with administrative tasks, keeping track of the schedule and budget and helping company departments solve any challenges that arise. During the project, the coordinator also presents reports and information to the project manager to help them stay informed and up to date.

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