The Project Administrator: Perspectives to Project Support Services

Gerrit van der Waldt
Department of Public Governance, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Series: Marketing and Operations Management Research
BISAC: BUS041000

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The application of projects in various organizational settings and for multiple purposes is accelerating at a rapid pace. Increasingly public and private sector institutions and enterprises appreciate the value of projects to render services and products on time, within budget and according to quality specifications. The ultimate success of projects is, however, dependent on the professional expertise of dedicated support staff. The role and responsibilities of project administrators are therefore rapidly growing to establish administrative support structures, systems and processes, as well as adequate project controls, document management, and stakeholder communication.

Project host organizations, project managers and governance bodies, such as steering committees, need to be strongly supported to ensure that the hands of key role-players are strengthened through accurate record-keeping, archival services, project management information systems, control systems, and team support. For this purpose, organizational arrangements such as project management units, project support offices, and project management offices are established to facilitate institutional memory and to embed the principles of a learning organization as far as project best practices are concerned. The body of knowledge of Project Management is also highly dynamic and is expanding to incorporate the exciting world of project support services.

The purpose of this publication is to provide an overview of the nature of project support services with particular reference to the roles and responsibilities of project administrators. The publication covers the following key areas:

• the fundamentals of project management including concepts, principles, life cycle phases, PMBOK, and methodologies;
• the nature of project support services, including the typical job profile and responsibilities of project administrators;
• support through organizational and project governance arrangements;
• project planning support;
• project controls, reviews, and reporting support; and
• project team support and self-management.

This publication is a must-read for project practitioners in the field of project support services and business administration, and also serves as an invaluable text book to train project support staff. Various self-assessment exercises and practical examples are included to aid this purpose.

(Imprint: Nova)

Preface

Chapter 1. Project Management Essentials

Chapter 2. Project Support Services and the Role of the Project Administrator

Chapter 3. Support Through Organizational and Project Governance Arrangements

Chapter 4. Support Services for Project Planning

Chapter 5. Project Controls, Reviews and Reporting Support

Chapter 6. Project Team Support and Self-Management

Index

“A well-researched, authoritative and comprehensive explanation of the Project Administrator’s role within the project environment.” - Rory Burke, International Project Management expert and author (www.burkepublishing.com)

“This timely book creates context and direction for the sometimes undervalued role of project administrator. It identifies a career path for those predisposed to the specialized functions of project support services, guiding practitioners to be complimentary—even essential—to the project management role, rather than aspiring to it.” - Taryn van Olden, Chief Executive Officer: Project Management South Africa (PMSA)

“This book is designed to equip the reader with the competencies needed to undertake a range of project support functions. It is therefore an essential guide to the establishment of carefully designed project management support services and the appointment of competent project administrators to assist project managers and their teams.” - Karolien Nell, Independent Project Management Consultant

“Written by a seasoned academic, this book provides a brief but complete overview of the role, functions and responsibilities of the project administrator. It is set against internationally-accepted Project Management standards for a simple exposition of the project support function. The simple, to-the-point discussion of the role of the project administrator throughout the project life cycle simplifies a potentially complex concept, and provides the reader with guidelines on how to master this function. It is written with the intent to simplify and provide advice. The author offers practical examples and templates you can apply today; and the learning outcomes, quick review questions and additional reading in every chapter make this book an essential one on your bookshelf.” - André Knipe, Business Consultant and Training Facilitator

The book has been designed for people working (or who plan to work) in a project management environment at a project support level, thus ensuring that they have the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to operate more professionally in project settings. More specifically the book is aimed at preparing individuals to meet the qualification requirements for the designation Project Management Administrator (PM.Admin) or the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM). It will also open up further career paths for people within the project industry and more advanced career opportunities. This include various project management support positions such as junior schedulers, planners, cost engineers, and estimators.

The role and contributions of Project Administrators (PA) may be limited to a single project or may extend to multiple projects and programmes. Project Administrators generally support project managers to realise the project’s objectives and to establish an administrative control system. In some organisations the Project Administrator may be an official position (i.e. job title), while in others, it may simply be an assignment for the duration of a particular project. The position may also be termed differently in different organisations. Project Administrators may, for example, be referred to as Project Controllers, Project Assistants, Project Coordinators, or Project Officers. These positions may be filled by specialists appointed for a specific project, may be members of a project team, or be permanent appointees in project support structures of the organisation such as project management offices (PMOs) or project support offices (PSOs). Whatever the permutation of the position, Project Administrators are generally responsible for project controls and general administrative support services.

Project administration
Project Administrator
Project management
Project support services
Project Management Office

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