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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Guest Post: 7 Tips for Effective Project Coordination

Project Coordinators wear multiple hats. They need to undertake the role of a manager, mediator, trouble shooter, and reporter all at the same time. 

Project managers define the project from inception to delivery. Project coordinators, on the other hand, ensure an effective project development cycle.

The project coordinator is the central point of contact and information: the team, project managers and stakeholders. This can result in a tedious process.

Managing a project well can save a project coordinator from facing unnecessary phases of stress and chaos. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial for the project coordinator to be as meticulous and thorough about the process.  

Take a look at these tips to make your project coordination easy.

1. Stay Organized
Michelle Long has helped many companies recruit project coordinators. A Technical Recruiter at Vaco Technology, she once shared that the main thing recruiters look for in a project coordinator is being organized.[1]

As a project coordinator, you need to be on schedule. Clearly define the timeline and have it communicated clearly to the team.

Keep records of the team and the tasks assigned. Make sure you know exactly when what is to be done and keep a log of alternative solutions.

2. Manage Change
When asked about change management, Frank Calderoni said he believed that all companies have to change at some point. We couldn’t agree more with this CEO of business planning/forecasting platform provider at Anaplan.

It is important to be ready to adopt it and be well prepared to manage through it.

Jaimin Doshi is the principal consultant at AppleTech Consultants. Doshi advises to keep track of critical changes and managing them to keep your projects under control. Not only that, you should be aware of minor changes that can be postponed lest they add up substantial hours of unnecessary work.

3. Encourage Communication
Look for processes that can limit or improve the project flow. When you do find them, take initiative and inform the relevant authority.

Unfortunately, the reason for failure of 57% of projects is breakdown in communications.

Which is why it is important to communicate the issues at hand and those that are likely to happen. Discuss possible alternatives with the team and update the schedule.

4. Promote Trust
When teams work together on projects, there is inevitable level of information exchange. Getting the right information at the right time is crucial to efficient project delivery.

According to a study, if your team members trust one another, they are more ready to share knowledge and to communicate. Unfortunately, only half of employees in a company claim to trust staff working above and alongside them.

It is important that your team trusts you enough to approach you for issues or ideas. Maintain a friendly approach and welcome out-of-the-box input.

5. Implement a Framework
Make coordinating your projects easier by implementing a project management framework, such as SCRUM or XP.

These frameworks provide standards for executing the project management life cycle. They define meeting schedules, daily follow up and autonomy amongst the team.  

Also, predefined activity logs for multiple projects encourage faster execution of regular tasks. This, in turn, avoids unnecessary problems and time wastage.

6. Understand your Team
To enable a smooth project delivery, it is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team.

The CEO of PsychsoftPC, Dr. Tim Lynch declares this to be one of the most important things in keeping projects under control.

It will help you assess the team members need minimal supervision and those that need to be managed.

7. Use a Management Tool
You can try a project management tool to plan out the project. There are some excellent options for online tracking tools that save you physical space as well.

Using such a tool can help eliminate the tedious and time consuming tasks of the entire project development lifecycle.

The team can even follow up on and exchange information on their own through easy collaboration platforms.

What’s more is that everything would be in one place: the plans, the activities define, the teams assigned and the project progress report. This is especially handy when you have to assess a project flow or assess the best and worst practices for future projects.

Do you have any project coordination experiences you would like to share? Tips maybe? Let us know, in the comments below.

About the Author: Fred Wilson is an Agile & Software Consultant at nTask. I work with teams to streamline workflows and enhance team collaboration. I am an avid reader and often write about productivity, project management and collaboration.

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