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What does a project coordinator do in a web design agency
Unlike project or account managers, web project coordinators are dedicated managers in a web design agency and it is a lead role that is usually part of the sales team. They are responsible for planning, executing and supervising the project, which means that they are accountable for its success and failure. Effective web project coordinators are more than project managers as they are required to have strong non-technical skills such as the ability to compartmentalise, negotiate, facilitate and manage conflicts. In addition to that, they play both managerial and advisory roles when dealing with the different stakeholders involved.
Before the project formally begins, the web project coordinator has to identify a list of potential hiccups that could be faced during the site build and bring it up to both client and the design team. They’re accountable for tracking the problem and its solutions while being extremely responsive in communicating with the multiple stakeholders which is why it is important that the project coordinator has the emotional bandwidth to work under stress. It is the job of the web project coordinator to remind parties involved to constantly trust the process in order for delivery to be smooth and on time. One of the important elements of troubleshooting project challenges is to avoid any unnecessary costs on the client’s end and this is vital to keeping within the project budget.
Project coordinators plan the timeline of the project, from conception to the launch of the site and they communicate the specific durations to the client and clarify any doubts that include expected delays or phases that might require more buffer time. Scope management is important as it organises and gives a specific breakdown of the tasks that need to be delivered according to the project objectives. Outlining these tasks is one of the responsibilities of the project coordinator and translating them back to the agency and the client is part of the scope management. One of the key drivers of a project includes the project coordinator strategising high impact actions to actively reach deadlines, open and close all phases of the project and monitor work quality.
It matters to the agency when deliverables are handed over successfully and that quality is satisfactory to the client. Maintaining the integrity of the project is not as simple as supervising designers and checking in occasionally on the drafts, it requires consistent focus to keep the project as close to the desired objectives as first discussed at the beginning of the project. Occasionally, as it happens, there would be changes regarding priorities and objectives as unexpected hiccups would require trade offs in order to meet the launch date. The Project coordinator’s responsibility here would be to re-assign and re-prioritise for the team as he informs and updates the client on the progress of the project and guides them through on what to expect.
Web project coordinators are required to know the relevant programming languages such as HTML/CSS/Java and its applications in order to advise clients appropriately on what needs to be done for their site and what challenges to expect along the way with each software. Service wise, it is a form of reassurance for the clients to know that they are serviced by a professional that knows the ins and outs of the technical requirements and is not just smoking through. Especially for businesses that are digitalising their sites for the first time, the project coordinator’s role is to guide the client on the different phases of the project and advise accordingly for the clients to successfully reach their desired outcome.
Sourcing for the different stakeholders it takes to bring the project to a fruition is part of a project coordinators responsibility. Depending on the agency chosen, most web design agencies do outsource parts of the project and choosing professionals to execute these elements requires the ability to select, develop and manage the team. For example, at Lemonade, we outsource our content writing to a freelancer and the project coordinator liaises with the writer on deadlines and client briefs. To source for the freelancer, the project coordinator has to go through tons of job postings on sites and vet resumes in order to find a good fit.
Working on a case by case basis requires the project coordinator to be an excellent communicator as they do not necessarily pick up assignments with regular clients. This would mean that there is a required interpersonal competency for the project coordinator as they are supposed to be able to work in the gray. What does it mean to work in the gray? To do so would represent the kind of ambiguity they have to deal with when managing conflict between stakeholders. In web design agencies, full cooperation between the design team and client is necessary in order to finish the project. So the project coordinator has to learn to speak the language of both sides, translate expectations, concerns and personal opinions while respecting boundaries to get important information across. They have to be well-versed in preventing miscommunications and this requires plenty of tact but it is vital to maintaining morale in order to see through the site launch.
Translating the web design agency’s competencies is not as straightforward as delivering an elevator pitch in order to sell the client an eccentric site design or the latest package. To put it simply, to translate the agency’s competency is to deliver the essence of the agency’s core values. Web project coordinators that represent the agencies have internalized these values and are there to execute company-identified values. They are essentially strategic partners in promoting the company as a brand and letting clients know what the agency stands for. Every web design agency has different strengths and some are more focused on user interface while others prefer quirky aesthetics. It is crucial that the project coordinator informs the client on what the agency can bring to the table and whether this aligns with the client’s project objectives. This is productive particularly during conceptualization and finalising of details before the site built begins.
At the final stage, the project coordinator is responsible for delivery of the project and closing of the client’s account. Firstly, to deliver the site, the project coordinator has to go through a thorough rundown of to-do boxes to test the site and ensure that it runs smoothly before the launch. Any site errors that were previously unanticipated have to be resolved here and now, final debuggings of the site are done as well and loose ends such as finalising of colours and graphics are also triple confirmed in this stage. Before the launch, the web project coordinator has to alert the client of any upcoming payments and inform them of the maintenance package and its details. The key here is to close the account on a strong and encouraging note as it is vital that an open working relationship with the client is formed to ensure that any future partnerships will be a success.