Before delving into comparisons, about most asked questions like Is project coordinator and project manager the same? or Does Project Management Require Coding? it may be helpful to briefly review their roles. Project leads and coordinators perform similar tasks, but there may be some important differences. It is important to note that different companies define roles differently. Some companies even use both terms interchangeably, but even in workplaces that distinguish between the two positions, there is a lot of overlap. Both work to turn the project into a successful venture for their employer, and each has different responsibilities to make it happen.
A project lead is a professional who directs and supervises the execution of a project on behalf of an individual or organization. A project lead is the leader of a project and is responsible for it from start to finish. They plan and delegate tasks to ensure each component of the project is on time. The client holds them accountable for the quality of the project.
Project Lead’s Tasks
A project lead brings project ideas to life and his role includes all aspects of project implementation. A project manager’s responsibilities include:
• Design a project execution plan.
• They set the schedule for each part of the project.
• Identify and procure the necessary resources.
• Work with various vendors and suppliers to obtain resources.
• Divide the project into various components and delegate each to a team.
• They oversee all overlapping elements of the plan to ensure progress.
• Perform risk assessment and quality control on all aspects of the project.
• Provide updated reports to supervisor or client.
Skills Needed to Be a Project Lead
Project leads manage people, processes, and resources. Here are the skills you need to become a project lead:
Strategic Thinking: Project leads consider relevant variables and develop strategic plans to achieve long-term goals. Both of these tasks require strong strategic thinking.
Resourcefulness: Project lead purchases and manages resources to carry out projects. It takes ingenuity to work optimally with minimal waste.
Communication skills: The project lead communicates and executes plans with various team leaders, project coordinators, and vendors. Giving direction and getting feedback requires strong communication skills.
Leadership Qualities: A project lead supervises and directs everyone involved in a project. Leadership skills are required to lead people and handle situations effectively.
Project lead design project timelines to ensure everyone is on time. They also need time management skills to supervise all parts of the project and plan their time effectively.
A project coordinator oversees the implementation of the project. Perform administrative tasks related to the execution of various components of the project. Your role is to help project managers focus on the larger task and oversee the details of the entire project.
Project Coordinator Responsibilities
After the project manager drafts the project plan and assigns schedules to each component, the project coordinator executes the plan.
The role of the project coordinator is to:
They oversee various processes, communicate with customers, and guide workers.
Report any problems with the plan to the project manager.
Encourage employees to use resources within budget and develop cost-effective ways to complete tasks.
They arrange meetings and ensure staff attendance.
They create spreadsheets and reports detailing project progress.
They recruit workers and design employment policies.
Required Skills for Project Coordinators Project coordinators are responsible for the day-to-day management of projects. Skills required as a project coordinator include, Dispute Resolution Skills: Project coordinators handle the day-to-day operations of a project and often interact with workers, suppliers, and customers under pressure. They use their conflict resolution skills to manage stressful situations while completing tasks.
Project coordinators may encounter challenges that project managers did not anticipate when creating plans. Project coordinators need problem-solving skills to overcome these challenges and deliver quality work.
The project coordinator needs the initiative to make the necessary changes to the project plan to ensure quality. You also have to make decisions about the details of the project execution, which requires independent thinking.
Project coordinators handle all administrative tasks such as creating spreadsheets and reports. Technical skills and knowledge of data entry are required to effectively create, understand and manage paperwork.
Project coordinators handle multiple tasks and manage many documents. Organizational skills are required to complete tasks with minimal errors while ensuring files and schedules are in order.
Differences Between Project Manager and Project Coordinator
Although many of the roles of project manager and project coordinator are interchangeable, there are some important differences between the two roles. Here are some differences:
The main difference between the two roles is the scope of the tasks. The project manager designs the project strategy and hires coordinators to complete each component.
The project coordinator makes sure everything is in place to ensure the smooth execution of the project plan. Project coordinators report to project managers, who report directly to supervisors or clients. The project manager is therefore responsible for the overall success of the project.
Project coordinators typically have 1-4 years of work experience and a project-related degree. Project managers usually study management or business administration. They often also have master’s degrees and project management qualifications.
The salary ranges for both roles are also different. For example, the average yearly salary for a project manager he/she earns $77,740, and some earn as high as $86,448. On the other hand, the average annual salary for a project coordinator is $54,002, and some locations have project coordinators earning up to $58,250.