What’s difference between project management vs project coordination?
The two roles are often confused with each other but are different. In this article, we will look at the role of a project manager, a project coordinator and the difference in scope of work between project management vs project coordination.
What is project management?
Project management is a higher-level activity that may also be referred to as “executive-level” or “strategic”. Project managers are responsible for seeing a project through from start to completion. This includes organizing resources, managing timelines, assigning tasks, ensuring quality control, and much more.
Generally, project managers are expected to have the required soft and hard skills for the job. They include interpersonal, communication skills. They typically deal with internal and external stakeholders.
What is project coordination?
Project coordination is more hands on and may be done by a team member who is not necessarily a project manager but rather someone who works on the details of the project. This person might be called a coordinator, facilitator, assistant or a team lead. While they are not responsible for seeing a project through from start to completion, their role in the project is important as they typically bring clarity to the specific tasks and deadlines needed for success of a particular part of the project.
Project coordination is usually a subset of project management. A project coordinator ensure the tasks withing the project are happening as planned. They work on administrative tasks within the project. Examples of project coordination include helping project manager identify the right vendors, ordering equipment etc.
They typically take on more of an assistant role as opposed to being responsible for the entire project.
Which one to choose?
Project management is necessary when the project presents a high level of complexity and requires a lot of people’s involvement. If you have a project that needs constant organization, it may be best to assign a project manager. A project manager typically holds a certification like the PMI or the CAPM, based on their experience.
Project managers ensure the project gets completed on time and with the the required amount of quality. They typically are associated from the start to the end of the project. They are involved in all 5 phases
- Monitor and Control
Role of a Project Coordinator
A project coordinator is someone who coordinates projects, which are typically large undertakings that require different departments to work together for its successful completion. They will typically be working with other people and organizations to coordinate these projects.
Project coordinators are responsible for identifying stakeholders and making sure everyone is on the same page about their duties and responsibilities. They also have to make sure everyone is aware of any upcoming deadlines or changes that may arise during the course of the project.
Along with those responsibilities, they will also be responsible for meeting deadlines and compiling reports about the progress made on each aspect of the project.
Finally, they are expected to maintain good relationships with all departments so that they can continue coordinating future projects with them as well.
Project coordinator roles, sometimes, do not require any PM experience and can be a good way to get your “foot in the door”.
Responsibilities of a project coordinator
- Make sure everyone on the team is in agreement with the project’s goals.
- Communicate effectively with all departments involved so they have a clear understanding of their duties and responsibilities.
- Ensure deadlines are met and progress reports are submitted on time.
- Maintain good relationships with all departments so they will work with you again on future projects.
Project Coordinator Salary
A project coordinator salary can vary significantly depending on where you live and the type of organization that you work for. The average base salary for a project coordinator in the US is $22.17 per hour.
For example, an entry-level project coordinator who lives in Pennsylvania would make roughly $41,000 per year. A project coordinator living in Washington, DC would make around $70,000 per year. The difference in salaries is due to the cost of living and the size of the company that they are working for.
Project coordinators who work for larger companies are generally paid more than those who work for smaller organizations or in a rural area.
Project Manager Salary
An experienced project manager can earn over $100K annually. However, the median salary for a project manager is $81.00 per hour. The salary of a project manager typically depends on the company they work for and their responsibilities.
Choose Project Management over Coordination when:
1. Your company is a startup
2. Your company has an established business but lacks a formalized process
3. Your company needs to launch a new product or service
If you find yourself in any of these situations, your company might need project management to meet your organizational needs.
If there is a project manger but find gaps in delivery due to their workload, a project coordinator would be helpful. Typically, candidates start their career as a project coordinator and go on to become project managers.
Continue reading: What’s the difference between a Project Manager vs Product Owner?