Project Administration:


Traditional Responsibilities and Future Directions



By Bob Prieto

Jupiter, Florida

This article looks at the traditional responsibilities assigned to project administration and how emerging technologies may change or even eliminate many of the activities currently performed. The first section segregates responsibilities between a home office function and a site-based one. This construct is arbitrary and on large complex projects many if not all of the home office functions move to the project office which in some instances may be based at the site.

Traditional project administration responsibilities

The traditional responsibilities of project administration are enumerated below. Different organizations and project teams may organize certain responsibilities differently including which ones are to be site-based. In the following section we will discuss how these activities may change in light of emerging technologies.

Today, project administration responsibilities typically include:

  • Project administration (office)
    • Procedures – administrative; document management; authorized signature list; delegations of authority; travel approvals; expense reports
    • Communications
      • Processes, systems, coding/numbering, forms, templates, required documentation, required distribution, logs
      • Communication workflow management – Contract required communication; external communications (to and from) – clients, subcontractors, supplies, regulatory and administrative agencies, stakeholders; meeting minutes and notes; telephone conversation records and confirmations; project team communications (internal); e-mail (internal and external); faxes; trip reports; job bulletins (disseminate project specific information – additions/changes to the project execution plan or project procedures manual; administrative matters); required notices; trip reports; audio and video project records (recorded audio and video calls); protected (attorney privileged) communication; documents subject to IP or security protocols
      • Administration of project collaboration system (coordination with information manager)
      • Consistency of corporate and/or project branding
      • Project orientation and training calendar and records
    • Coordination with accounting
    • Coordination with legal related to critical decisions related to the prime contract and baseline; changes related to scope, schedule, compensation or terms and conditions (change control log)
    • Insurance and bond certificates and tracking
    • Personnel listing and project network directories with approved privileges; contact information; personnel authorization requests
    • Project files – project and discipline filing systems with required levels of security; maintenance per records retention policy. Files include correspondence; engineering deliverables; project estimates, schedules; purchase orders and contracts; construction related documents; and safety related documents
    • Drawing and document matrix and distribution and form of distribution (electronic or hard copy); tracking of contract deliverables
    • Progress reports (assemble inputs; prepare dashboards and required client reports for review)
    • Action item lists and status
    • Project administrative management – meeting coordination and scheduling
    • Overall administrative setup – home office, workshare, joint venture, module yard(s), site(s)
    • Records closeout and retention at project completion
    • Closeout of administrative tasks, services, facilities and equipment
    • Develop project history and issue at closeout
  • Administrative manager (site)
    • Office services
    • Accounting
    • Payroll
    • Warehousing
    • Local purchasing
    • Personnel

 Future directions in project administration

The increased use of AI and other technologies will likely significantly change project administration in the future. Some key aspects that are likely to change include:


To read entire paper, click here

How to cite this article: Prieto, R. (2021). Project Administration: Traditional Responsibilities and Future Directions, PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue XI, November. Available online https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/pmwj111-Nov2021-Prieto-Project-Administration-responsibilities-and-future-directions.pdf

About the Author

Bob Prieto

Chairman & CEO
Strategic Program Management, LLC
Jupiter, Florida, USA


Bob Prieto is a senior executive effective in shaping and executing business strategy and a recognized leader within the infrastructure, engineering and construction industries. Currently Bob heads his own management consulting practice, Strategic Program Management LLC. He previously served as a senior vice president of Fluor, one of the largest engineering and construction companies in the world. He focuses on the development and delivery of large, complex projects worldwide and consults with owners across all market sectors in the development of programmatic delivery strategies. He is author of nine books including “Strategic Program Management”, “The Giga Factor: Program Management in the Engineering and Construction Industry”, “Application of Life Cycle Analysis in the Capital Assets Industry”, “Capital Efficiency: Pull All the Levers” and, most recently, “Theory of Management of Large Complex Projects” published by the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) as well as over 800 other papers and presentations.

Bob is an Independent Member of the Shareholder Committee of Mott MacDonald and a member of the board of Dar al Riyadh. He is a member of the ASCE Industry Leaders Council, National Academy of Construction, a Fellow of the Construction Management Association of America and member of several university departmental and campus advisory boards. Bob served until 2006 as a U.S. presidential appointee to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC), working with U.S. and Asia-Pacific business leaders to shape the framework for trade and economic growth. He is a member of the Millennium Challenge Corporation advisory board where he had previously served. He had previously served as both as Chairman of the Engineering and Construction Governors of the World Economic Forum and co-chair of the infrastructure task force formed after September 11th by the New York City Chamber of Commerce. Previously, he served as Chairman at Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) and a non-executive director of Cardno (ASX)

Bob serves as an honorary global advisor for the PM World Journal and Library and can be contacted at rpstrategic@comcast.net.

To view other works by Bob Prieto, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/bob-prieto/