project expediter vs project coordinator

You may not work in a projectized or strong matrix organization where you have full authority and access to resources. Your organization could be a balanced matrix functional organization.

In a balanced matrix, you have to request the resources for your project.

In a functional organization or weak matrix organization, your authority is reduced further, and your role can be a project coordinator or a project expediter.

You can have project coordinators or project expediters in a projectized or strong matrix organization for larger projects. They will report to the project manager or management but they will have limited authority.

These two titles have different roles, which we will discuss.

Project Expediter

A project expediter works as a staff assistant and coordinates communications. They cannot make or enforce decisions.

You can find project expediters in a functional organization or in a weak matrix organization.

Project expediters can communicate the progress reports, be involved in discussions with stakeholders, and can provide input in the decision-making process. Once the decision is made, they will communicate it to the relevant stakeholders.

If the project expediter reports to the project manager, they can manage logistics and material management for the project. They will communicate with the contractors or suppliers to ensure the timely delivery of materials.

Simply put, the role of a project expediter is to facilitate communication.

Project Coordinator

Project coordinators have the power to make a few decisions and they report to a higher-level manager.

In most cases, the role of the project coordinator is similar to the project expediter, but they have some authority over the decision-making process.

A project manager can have a project coordinator to help them in monitoring and controlling project progress.

The Differences Between the Project Expediter and the Project Coordinator

Let’s look at a few of the differences between the project expediter and the project coordinator:

?        The project expediter has low or no authority, while the project coordinator has limited authority and is involved in the decision-making process.

?        In large projects, the project expediter manages logistics and communicates with suppliers for the timely delivery of materials. On the other hand, the project coordinator helps the project manager in controlling project-related issues.

It is not true that expediters exist in functional organizations and coordinators exist in matrix organizations. They both can exist in a strong matrix and projectized organizations. However, in this case, both will report to the project manager. The expediter can help the project manager deal with non-technical jobs such as material management and logistics handling, and the coordinator helps them manage the project.

Summary

The project expeditor and coordinator each have an important role in project management. Both are connected with the project manager or higher management. They are very helpful and, when the project manager is absent, they can assume the role of the project manager. A project manager can share a few responsibilities with them if they are busy with other activities or during emergencies.

Here is where this blog post on the project expediter and project coordinator ends. If you have something to share, you can do so through the comments section below.

This topic is important from a PMP exam point of view. You may see a question on this topic on your test, so understand it well.

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Speak Your Mind

  • Dear Mr. Fahad,

    A project coordinator may typically be found in what type of organization?
    A) Weak Matrix
    B) Strong Matrix
    C) Functional
    D) Projectized
    Can you please guide the correct answer with reason?
    Source: passionatepm

  • Dear , you mention that project coordinators and project expediters can exist in projectized organizatin and they report to PM , but according to Head First PMP , page 44 , project coordinators and expediters dont exist in a projectized organization , pls can you explain to us which idea about them is correct ?

    • In projectized organization, the project manager will have the highest power. Here, a project manager can or cannot have the coordinator or expediter.

  • Hi Fahad,

    I am curious to know why are you saying PE and PC report to PM. PMOK Guide is silent on this. PMBOK guide only says PC reports to a “higher level manager”. Generally accepted meaning of “higher level manager” is someone who has a higher position than a PM or FM.

    BR
    Praveen Malik

  • Fahad, this is pretty much good to understand concept. I think, the project lead/team lead etc mentions in different organisations/companies do either expediter/coordinator jobs . In the PMP exam, the expediter questions asked will be something like this. There was a meeting with CEO, customer etc and in the end of the meeting the person shared the minutes of meetings to stakeholders. What is his role? Ans: Expediter. My two cents 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment, but the information given in your question is insufficient to reach on a conclusion. An expediter communicate the MOM but a person who share the MOM is not necessarily an expediter.

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