Project Expeditor vs Project Coordinator for PMP Exam

project coordinator vs project expeditor

The PMBOK® Guide mentions three roles carrying project management responsibilities, namely Project Manager, Project Expeditor and Project Coordinator. While every Aspirant should be quite familiar with the role of Project Manager (after all, many of the Aspirants are Project Managers themselves), the role of Project Expeditor and Project Coordinator may look very similar to them and the distinction between Project Expeditor and Project Coordinator are not well understood.

Project Expeditor and Project Coordinator

In Weak Matrix organizations, there are usually no “real” project managers; even if there is a post of “Project Manager”, they usually perform the role more of a Project Coordinator or Project Expeditor. For strong matrix and projectized organizations, Project Expeditor and Project Coordinator may exist alongside with the Project Manager.

  • Project Expeditor: A Project Expeditor usually carries the responsibility of staff assistant / communication coordinator.
    • A Project Expeditor is not given the authority (or very low authority) to make or enforce decisions.
    • The Project Expeditor will communicate with various parties of the project to ensure timely action.
    • For larger projects, the Project Manager may have some Project Expeditors assisting them for communication and logistics.
  • Project Coordinator: A Project Coordinator carries the responsibility of partially managing the project under the supervision of other managers.
    • A Project Coordinator is usually given some sort of limited authority to make decision.
    • For larger projects, the Project Manager may have some Project Coordinators reporting to them.

The power or authority of the roles of Project Manager, Project Expeditor and Project Coordinator is listed in descending order:

  1. Project Manager
  2. Project Coordinator
  3. Project Expeditor

Illustrated Example

Let’s again take the project of PMP® Exam preparation as an example. Though there is just one project manager (i.e. that’s you), just imagine there are one project expeditor and one project coordinator working for you. Then their responsibility may be:

  • Project Expeditor
    • Purchase the exam study guide and ensure delivery of the book (chase the seller in case the book is not delivered)
    • Purchase the online course for the 35 Contact Hour of Project Management education
    • Purchase the online mock exam
    • Book the exam date according to instruction of the Project Manager
  • Project Coordinator
    • Compare different online courses for the 35 Contact Hour of Project Management education and recommend the best online course
    • Compare different online mock exams (or called exam simulator) and make recommendations
    • Select which working experiences are to be included in the Application Form
    • Help to fill in the PMP® Application Form

Mock Exam Question

  1. Kylie is working on a project as a project management team member. Her duties involves updating the information of the project progress, communicating with stakeholders for updates and responding to enquiries when the project manager is away. She is given limited authority to make decisions based on the project manager’s instruction. Which of the following title best describes Kylie?
    1. Junior Project Manager
    2. Project Expeditor
    3. Project Staff
    4. Project Coordinator
    Solution: D
    Project Coordinators’ duties include helping the project manager for day-to-day work as well as making decision for certain issues with authority pre-approved by the project manager. Therefore, Kylie should be working as a project coordinator for the project described above.


Project Expeditor and Project Coordinator are roles that facilitate the running of the projects depending on the type of organization (functional, weak matrix, balanced matrix, strong matrix or balanced). The main distinction between Project Expeditor and Project Coordinator is their level of authority given by senior management:

  • Project Expeditors are NOT given the authority (or very low authority) to make or enforce decisions.
  • Project Coordinators are given some sort of limited authority to make decision.
recommended PMP resourcesAdditional FREE PMP® resources: 47+ Commonly Confused Term Pairs with detailed explanations. If you found this article useful, you may wish to reference other Commonly Confused Term articles.

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Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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4 Responses

  1. Bi says:

    I am glad to see your contribution.

    For further understanding, can you please provide some reference so that it is much more convince for everyone.

  2. Stefanie says:

    Hey Edward. Great site. Thank you as you are one of my go to sites for explanation and info throughout my PMP study. One thing with this the article above.. I think there is a small typo in the ranking of the coordinator and expeditor authority.
    Cheers..and thanks again.