Policies and Training

Be a Better Security Project Manager: Experts Share Top Tips

Are you ready to take your security projects – and career – to the next level? It takes more than just knowing the technology; successful project management involves budgeting, client management, timeline execution and more.

Security Project Manager Directing Team

KeyStock / Shutterstock.com

Below are some key tips for being a better security project manager, shared by some of the experts supporting the Security Industry Association’s (SIA’s) training and certification programs.

Fred Harris, Member, SIA Certification Committee

  • Too often, project managers rush into how the work will be performed (the schedule) before ensuring stakeholders have agreed on the what (the project scope). Unresolved scope issues increase the risk that a project will fail. Confirm requirements with stakeholders using a work breakdown structure before developing a schedule.
  • To communicate effectively, you must know your audience. Audiences fall into three groups: stakeholders, supporters and spectators. If communications are not carefully planned and executed, you can introduce confusion by communicating the wrong information to the wrong audience group at the wrong time. An audience list is a communications planning tool that can help you ensure you communicate to the right audience group at the right time in the most appropriate format.

Tracy Larson, Instructor, SIA Security Project Management Training

  • Take advantage of time from the start. You have the most time at the beginning of a project!
  • Always be closing! Think about successfully closing at each stage and take action to close successfully.
  • Document communications. Having a “paper trail” will ensure memorialization of what was discussed and agreed to.

Steve Oplinger, Instructor, SIA Security Project Management Training

  • Be aware of all stakeholders involved in a project – they all have valuable input at some point and collectively will be of help in a successful project.
  • You are a security project manager – that makes you a leader, and you will wear many hats. Don’t get a big head or the hats won’t fit!

Rodger Schmidt, Instructor, SIA Security Project Management Training

  • Always be willing to learn. Our industry is continuously evolving from construction standards, hardware, electronics and security needs to codes, all of which we have to consider and in many situations be responsible for to ensure a successful project.
  • Be willing to listen to both the young and older generations, from the blue collar to the white collar; many have experiences from which we can learn and grow. Project managers are expected to be leaders, and leaders are there not only to lead but also to develop future leaders. A good leader is a good mentor.

 SIA’s Security Project Management Training is essential for security project managers and can be taken online or in person. Don’t miss the remaining 2019 Online Training sessions, December 3, 4, 5, 9 and 10.

Want to learn more about SIA’s security project management training offerings? Visit securityindustry.org/SPM. And learn more about SIA’s Certified Security Project Manager certification here.

Katie Greatti is the Associate Director of Certification at the Security Industry Association.