Project Coordinator vs Project Expediter

Project Coordinator vs Project Expediter
Project Coordinator vs Project Expediter

Project Coordinator vs Project Expediter

Most of the projects involve several working groups that must be managed to meet schedule, communication, transportation, logistics and cost requirements. Different types of organizations give different levels of authority and responsibility to their executives. Project Manager, Project Expediter and Project Coordinator have different roles and access to project resources. In Projectized Organizations, project manager has full authority on the project and resources. In a similar manner, strong matrix organizations also give the project manager full authority. Therefore the strong matrix structure has a lot of the characteristics of a projectized organizational structure.

However, in a weak matrix organization or a functional organization the project manager’s authority level is reduced.

According to PMBOK Guide, both Project Expediters and Project Coordinator carry project management responsibilities. The role of Project Coordinator and Project Expediter may look very similar to many of the PMP aspirants thus, they usually misunderstand and mix up these two different roles. Sometimes they think that both of their responsibilities are the same. In this article we will discuss each concept and clarify the difference between project expediter and project coordinator.

Project Expediter



As per the PMI PMBOK Guide, a project expediter works as staff assistant and communications coordinator. He cannot personally make or enforce decisions.
Project Expediters usually take part in functional organization structures and sometimes in weak matrix organization structures .

The main function of a Project Expeditor is to communicate with stakeholders and the various parties of the project.

A project expediter can not make the decision himself. He can provide inputs for decision making.

In large scale projects, Project Managers may have some Project Expeditors
assisting them for logistics and communication.

Project Coordinator



As per the PMI PMBOK Guide, Project coordinators have power to make some decisions and have some authority. They report to a project manager or a higher-level manager.
A Project Coordinator has the responsibility of partially managing the project by the support of other section or department managers.

A Project Coordinator has limited authority to make decision himself/herself.  The role of the project coordinator and Project Expeditor are almost the same . However, project coordinator participates the decision making process.

In large scale projects, Project Managers may have some Project Coordinators
assisting them for making decisions about the project management issues.

What are the Differences Between the Project Expediter and the Project Coordinator ?



The following are a few differences between the Project Expediter and the Coordinator

  • The project expediter has no authority to make decisions while the project coordinator has limited authority to make decisions.
  • The project expediter assist the project manager for logistics and communication. On the other hand the project coordinator, assist the project manager for managing and controlling the project.

What are the Similarities Between the Project Expediter and the Project Coordinator ?

  • Both of them can exist in strong matrix and projectized organizations.
  • Both of the carry project management responsibilities.
  • Both of them are reporting to the project manager.
  • Both of their authority level is limited.
  • Both of them work under the project manager.
  • Both of them are supervised by the project manager

The project manager delegates responsibility for tracking and keeping activities running smoothly depending on the type of activity to be completed.

Example

Asssume that you are a project manager of a power plant construction project and there are one project expeditor and one project coordinator working for you. Their responsibility may be as follows;

Project Expediter



  • Creates a procurement plan and purchases materials and service required to perform the tasks.
  • Communicates with suppliers for the delivery of material and services.
  • Communicates with the stakeholders and involves in discussions with various stakeholders.
  • Creates a logistic plan and ensures the delivery of the goods and service according to the plan.

Project Coordinator

  • Updates the information of the project’s progress.
  • Communicates with the important stakeholders when you are away.
  • Compares the planned and the actual performance of the project and shares his recommendations to improve.
  • Involves in decision making process related with the goals of the projects.
  • Involves in decision making process to improve the quality of the output.
  • Analyzes the cost performance and recommends and shares his recommendations to improve.
  • Monitors changes in the project.
  • Ensures that the schedule is followed.

Summary



Project Manager, Project Expediter and Project Coordinator carry project management responsibilities according to the PMBOK Guide. A lot of PMP aspirants are familiar with the role of Project Manager. However, they have limited knowledge about the roles of Project Expediter and Project Coordinator.

Both of the Project Expediters and the Project Coordinators are reporting the project manager. The main difference between them is their authorization level within the organization. The project coordinator partially has the project management’s authority within the organization. On the other hand the project expediter can only assist the project manager for logistics and communication processes.

Most of the projects need coordinators, however large and complex projects need expediters because they have significant logistics and materials management needs.

In this article, we analyzed both roles and their importance in project management. Note that this topic is very important for the PMP Exam point of view. You may encounter a question related with it. Therefore be sure to understand the difference between Project Coordinator and Project Expediter. If you want to share your opinion related with the topic, you can do through the comments section.

External References

Core competencies of a successful project manager

See Also

Skills Needed For Project Managers

Skills Needed For Project Coordinators

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