When it comes to customer service, serving our internal customers is just as important as serving the external ones, and there are critical support groups within P1 without whom our associates couldn’t serve their external customers.
One of those critical groups is our P1 Project Coordinators (PCs). A PC supports multiple project managers - and possibly other associates - within the organization. PCs may also carry titles other than “project coordinator” but perform many of the same functions.
As Topeka Project Coordinator Rebecca Venable points out, that requires some special skills.
“The greatest challenge is learning each project manager’s personality and preferences,” Rebecca said.
Despite the challenges, St. Joseph Office Manager Misty McConnell explains how critical PC support is to the success of the company.
“Being a Project Coordinator can be a difficult yet rewarding job, and it takes the right kind of person to do it and handle all challenges within your team and position,” Misty said.
“Our PMs work long days and sometimes weekends to make sure a project stays on track and they meet their deadlines. The PC is their 'go-to'. We help them manage deadlines, workflows, meetings, anything they need to ensure a job or bid goes smoothly.”
Senior Lenexa Project Coordinator Laura Adkins adds that communication is critical. “Communication is very important for a successful project management team,” she said. “Sometimes we feel part of the team and other times we feel left out until there’s an emergency.”
With a job like that, it’s important for our PCs to understand the company and its capabilities, and connect with and learn from each other.
“It’s good to mix the seasoned PCs with the new PCs,” Wichita Project Coordinator Paula Ewy said. “It’s helpful to hear what issues others have encountered, and what steps were taken to remedy them.”
That’s why P1 has offered a “PC Bootcamp” for more than a decade.
“We set out to achieve three objectives,” Director of Organizational and Talent Development Sarah Garcia explained.
“P1 is an amazing organization. Most PCs are just familiar with the group(s) they support and don’t realize all that P1 offers our customers," Sarah said.
“We teach PCs more about our industry and the specific work we perform, including MEP systems and their importance in a building," Sarah said.
“We also wanted to do some team-building to strengthen the PCs’ relationships with one another," Sarah said.
Sarah notes that each PC had to create an “All About Me” power point to present to the group, allowing all participants to walk away knowing each other a little bit better.
Training Specialist Tennille Tegeler works with Sarah to facilitate the training.
“This training really focuses on the whole picture instead of just the PC piece. The thought is that if they understand everything involved in the project process from cradle to grave, they may be able to help with other tasks, understand why we have certain processes/procedures, and get a feel for how important their role is,” Tennille said.
The PCs seem to agree that getting together to trade information, best practices, and work through challenges is probably the most valuable part of Bootcamp, both from a professional and personal standpoint.
Las Vegas Project Coordinator Cristine Douglas said she came away with more understanding of the “why” behind P1 practices and processes.
“The whole Bootcamp was beneficial,” Cristine said. “I enjoyed meeting people from different departments, putting faces to names, and understanding why we do things the way we do. It was great to see how other locations do things.”
“Spending time with the other PCs and making sure we’re all on the same page with policies and procedures helps with issues that may arise,” Lenexa Project Coordinator Vicki Jesse said.
“Getting us all together sparked reminders on little details that we may or may not have overlooked after years in the position,” Rebecca said. “It helped me learn more ways to keep things organized, and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to gather knowledge from the other PC’s.”
“Being a PC from a remote office, I don’t get to see my counterparts, nor have I met everyone,” Misty said. “I love the fact I had the chance to bond with the other PCs and gain friendships. We appreciate P1’s willingness to put time and resources toward our professional and personal growth.”
It was very informative, and fun,” Paula said. “I loved hearing the timeline and history about P1, along with explanations of everything we do. We do amazing things!”
Lawrence Project Coordinator Diana Korbe says she appreciates P1’s investment in the training.
“I think the value of this training is investing in P1’s employees and letting us know that we bring value to the table,” Diana said. “Sarah and Tennille put a lot of work into this to help us learn our roles and ask questions that may not come up when we do one-on-one training.
“Having the PCs from all of the offices come together seems to really create camaraderie, and gives them the comfort level to lean on one another when they need help or have questions,” Tennille added.
“This is my favorite part to witness.”
Our Office Network
13605 W 96th Terrace
Lenexa, KS 66215
3030 S All Hallows Ave
Wichita, KS 67217
2151 Haskell Ave., Bldg. 1
Lawrence, KS 66046
3815 Faraon Street, Ste. A
St. Joseph, MO 64506
2150-A S. Kansas Avenue
Topeka, KS 66611
5685 Cameron Street
Las Vegas, NV 89118