Here’s How to Build More Effective Project Coordination Skills
Project Management

Here’s How to Build More Effective Project Coordination Skills

May 1, 2024

So you’ve launched a new project and have chosen an effective project management framework. You have a project plan, budget, and timeline in place. You’re well on your way to project success, right? Not so fast. There’s another set of skills that often gets overlooked or lumped in with project management: project coordination.

Sometimes, the project manager is also responsible for coordinating projects, while in other cases there’s a dedicated project coordinator role. If you’re applying for a project coordinator job, or are simply trying to build your skills, here’s what you need to know about project coordination and how it differs from project management.

What Is Project Coordination?

Project coordination: Mr. Simmons from Hey Arnold talking

Project coordination refers to the management of tasks on a day-to-day basis, including administrative tasks and project milestones. It’s about translating the entire project plan into achievable project tasks, and problem-solving when things get off track.

The responsibilities of a project coordinator may include:

  • Delegating tasks to the project team
  • Delivering status reports to stakeholders
  • Conveying project information to team members
  • Monitoring project progress and the state of deliverables
  • Keeping the project on schedule and under budget
  • Scheduling and documenting team meetings
  • Streamlining workflows to improve productivity

A project coordinator needs good communication skills, and a deep understanding of the project scope, schedule, and budget, to ensure a successful project outcome.

Project coordination vs. project management

At first glance, project coordination seems to have a lot in common with team project management, and it’s true that many of these skills overlap. The difference is that a project manager is responsible for setting the project budget, project schedule, and project objectives, while the coordinator is in charge of implementing them.

A project manager has more control over project planning, but may spend less time on administrative tasks and interacting with project team members. The project coordinator, on the other hand, is involved in every part of the project: monitoring the project status, fostering teamwork, and communicating project goals to team members.

What Are the 5 Stages of Project Coordination?

The process of project coordination will vary on the project, but you can expect to move through the following five stages of the project lifecycle:

  • Project initiation, in which you come up with the idea for the project and identify the project goals, project team, and stakeholders
  • Project planning, in which you create the project budget, timeline, and scope
  • Execution, in which you implement the project plan
  • Monitoring, in which you ensure the plan runs smoothly
  • Closing, in which you supply deliverables, get final approvals, and ideally, run a post-mortem meeting

4 Skills a Project Coordinator Needs to Have

Project coordination: woman saying, should we sync our watches?

Being a good project coordinator comes with many of the same leadership challenges as other management positions. In addition to choosing the right project management software and using an effective project management framework — such as scrum or agile methodologies — you’ll need the following five project coordination skills.

Big-picture mindset

First, project managers need to be able to hold a lot of information in their head at once. From project budgets to project timelines, you’ll need to understand the big picture and see how it all fits together. Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to make sure that project tasks align with overall project goals throughout the project lifecycle.

Clear communication

Next, you need to be able to communicate clearly, both with external stakeholders and with other team members. If a project milestone is behind schedule, it’s your job to let stakeholders know and take steps to improve team accountability. You’ll be the main point-of-contact with team members from project initiation to project completion.

Detail-oriented thinking

Those big picture goals need to be turned into achievable action items on a day-to-day basis. As a project coordinator, it’s on you to delegate tasks to team members — or use an AI project management tool like Anchor AI to do it for you. With Anchor AI, you can streamline task allocation and priority management using artificial intelligence, saving time and reducing your administrative workload.

Good time management practices

Good time management practices include everything from task prioritization to accurate time-tracking. You’ll need to be just comfortable with Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and other project management tools as you are using problem-solving skills to streamline inefficient workflows and facilitate cross-functional collaboration.

Day-to-Day Responsibilities of a Project Coordinator

Project coordination: man saying, love it when a plan comes together

Now that we’ve covered the skills you need to be a project coordinator, what will your daily responsibilities be? Here are just a few of the things you’ll be responsible for, in collaboration with your project manager and other team leaders.

Task tracking

Task tracking is more than just assigning tasks and seeing what happens. It involves allocating the workload fairly based on skill sets and availability, keeping an eye on deadlines and due dates, and stepping in if someone needs a hand.

Of course, you can use task tracker software to help you out. Task tracking tools like Anchor AI allow you to create tasks automatically, send out reminders, and generate reports so you can monitor task completion rates and other relevant metrics.

Risk management

In your role as a project coordinator, you’ll be expected to prepare status reports and keep stakeholders updated on potential risks. Some of these risks may include going over budget, failing to meet a deadline, or losing track of project goals.

Effective risk management involves identifying likely risks in advance and coming up with a plan to avoid, reduce, or respond to them. When you use Anchor AI as your AI project manager, you can Ask Max to identify red flags or offer you advice on which areas of your project need a little extra attention.

Meeting facilitation

Project coordinators are usually responsible for planning and facilitating meetings. You’ll need to schedule the meeting, put together a meeting agenda, and take notes or use an automated meeting notes tool like Anchor AI to do it for you. Anchor AI can take notes or meeting minutes, or even provide a full transcript of the entire meeting.

Remember to use the right template for each type of meeting, since a formal meeting with stakeholders may require more detailed minutes than a daily scrum meeting.

Communication and documentation

Project coordinators are in charge of communicating expectations and providing clear documentation of processes. It might fall on you to create a process map or workflow diagram of an inefficient process and find ways to automate or streamline it.

Use asynchronous communications channels like group messaging platforms to share updates outside of meetings and maintain a centralized record of communications. You can also use tools like Anchor AI to create follow-up emails with key takeaways and action items to ensure everyone’s on the same page about the project.

Expand Your Project Coordination Skills with Anchor AI

Dr. Emmett from Back to the Future saying, precisely on schedule

Project coordination involves the management and monitoring of day-to-day tasks that contribute to your overall project goals. Project coordination has a lot in common with project management, but the focus is on the implementation rather than planning.

Project managers are in charge of developing the scope, timeline, and cost of a project, while project coordinators help put the project plan into action. In some cases, the two roles may be performed by the same person.

If you’re feeling stretched for time or energy, you can expand your project coordination skills with the help of AI. Anchor AI uses artificial intelligence to help you identify and track action items, send out follow-up emails, take meeting minutes, and more.

You can even Ask Max, your AI project manager, for a status update or an analysis of how your project is going. Sign up today to try it out for yourself and learn more!

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