Security Project Management - Benefits of Experience

10.28.2016 by Mike Pokas

Over the course of the last several years, I have been involved in the planning, development, implementation and assessment of cyber security strategies both internally and externally.  During one fairly recent client engagement of this type, we were asked to assess their current corporate security strategy and to make recommendations with regard to improving their security posture.

Project Manager Role in Implementations

Not surprisingly, the assessment yielded a number of recommendations regarding technology upgrades, additional policies and controls, etc.  The client was insistent they would utilize a current internal resource to serve as the Project Manager (PM) to manage the planning and implementation of these initiatives.

As several of these new projects were launched and execution started, it soon became apparent the internal PM was struggling and several of the projects started to experience problems and fall behind.

The Value of an Experienced Project Manager

It then occurred to me, a number of the issues the organization was experiencing could have been reduced, and possibly eliminated altogether, if they had retained the services of an experienced PM.

Effective project management requires a qualified project manager possessing a thorough understanding of a broad body of specialized knowledge, who is also well-versed in project management techniques and best practices.

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There is substantial benefit to be gained by using an experienced PM (preferably PMP-certified) to manage implementation of the program. Some of these benefits include, but a not necessarily limited to:

  • Projects will be more predictable. The planning, scoping, scheduling and tracking of each project will be more efficient leading to more predictable outcomes
  • Proactive scope management will save time, cost and also help control scope creep. Scope changes will be reviewed and addressed in an efficient and timely manner resulting in cost and time savings
  • Pre-emptive risk management resolves problems more quickly. At the outset a risk identification and management plan will be created and managed. This will not only help resolves issues and problems more quickly, but also help to head off future problems before they occur
  • Project related status reporting and stakeholder communication will be more effective
  • A PM experienced in the finer point of financial management will be more effective in project budget planning and financial tracking
    The overall project and deliverable quality will be higher
  • An experienced PM will put more emphasis on effective project metrics leading to a fact-based decision making process

This is not to say, a project cannot be managed to a successful completion through the use of a less experienced or unqualified PM. However, an experienced PM can greatly increase the chances of successfully delivering a quality project on time and within the established budget.

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About Mike Pokas

Mike Pokas is the Vice President of Consulting and has 28+ years of information technology experience and education spanning a diverse range of technologies and industry verticals. For the past 10 years he has been in the information security sector. He currently holds a number of key industry accreditations including CISSP, CISM and PMP certifications.

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