If you have a natural inclination to keep things -- and people -- organized, you might want to consider a job as a project administrator. Managing large projects can be as complex and cumbersome as managing a small business. Project managers often rely on project administrators to address details that could otherwise slip through the cracks. A project administrator tracks deadlines, controls documentation and keeps the team focused on tasks, allowing the project manager to function at a more strategic level.
Project administrators monitor timelines and project plans, with the goal of tracking tasks to completion. Paying attention to what needs to happen when, they contact team members for status updates and notify the project manager when there is a risk that something won’t meet a deadline. Complex projects -- such as those in information technology, life science research and construction -- can involve hundreds of tasks, and the project administrator must give close attention to every detail.
Project team documentation includes things like process instructions, forms, customer communications, reports and records. When projects bring new equipment into business operations, additional documentation addressed by the project team could include equipment warranty, billing and licensing agreements. The project administrator keeps all of this documentation organized by categorizing it, filing it where it belongs, forwarding it to key recipients or telling team members where to file it, and then making sure the documentation is uploaded, stored or shared with the right people at the right time.
A project administrator might be assigned the task of budget administration to help the project manager keep track of expenses and other financial issues. The administrator collects information from team members and colleagues to identify and monitor travel, equipment and other expenses directly related to project activities. She might also work with finance to follow invoices through approval and payment processes, and with purchasing to get purchase orders released to vendors in time to meet project deadlines and milestones.
Project activities often involve a lot of meetings, and the project manager relies on the administrator to keep them organized, communicated and recorded effectively. An administrator keeps meeting calendars and appointment notices updated, organizes agendas, and might facilitate meetings on behalf of the project manager when needed. She also records and distributes meeting minutes to attendees. When meetings result in action item assignments, the administrator tracks them to completion.
A careers content writer, Debra Kraft is a former English teacher whose 25-plus year corporate career includes training and mentoring. She holds a senior management position with a global automotive supplier and is a senior member of the American Society for Quality. Her areas of expertise include quality auditing, corporate compliance, Lean, ERP and IT business analysis.