Project ManagerSkilled Project Managers Orchestrate Implementation of ISA Campaigns AND Nurture Strong Client Relations  

Prior to deploying your Information Security Awareness (ISA) initiative, you are most likely to rely on a dedicated project manager, whose primary mandate is to provide support as you implement an ISA campaign within your organization. Your ISA solutions provider will typically assign a project manager who will guide you every step of the way as you launch campaigns and implement your overall ISA program. This signifies that your project manager serves as your primary contact person before, during, and after implementation.

Developing a thorough security awareness program is no easy task. Therefore, you want to start talking with your dedicated project manager at the preliminary stages of implementation. As you analyze your organization’s risk landscape and plan your program’s objectives, your dedicated project manager provides direction. For example, the kickoff call should involve all key actors, notably, representatives from various departments: HR, communications, legal, compliance, and IT. Together, you select metrics and target audiences, plan objectives, map out campaigns, and estimate deadlines. Project managers have the responsibility of setting expectations to ensure that all parties are aligned regarding a common end goal – according to a shared roadmap.

3 signs your collaboration with your ISA project manager is on the right track

Project ManagerThey listen ACTIVELY

The role of the project manager is multifaceted, especially in the quick-paced field of cybersecurity. They are attentive to needs and carefully listen to clients as they express concerns. Skilled project managers often go the extra mile, anticipating questions to find the best solution.

By making a point to understand their clients’ business culture and individual risk landscape, skilled project managers bring fresh perspectives to the conversation, making recommendations regarding deployment, launch dates, and customization details.

For example, organizations that are in the process of developing their information security awareness campaign often require expert support regarding content customization, including language selection, corporate logo, as well as written and visual texts. In this case, project managers act as liaisons between clients and the production team of the solutions provider.

In the article 15 Killer Project Management Best Practices to Make You a Better Manager, author Sylvia Gindi underscores that empathy is a key quality which defines the proficiency of a project manager. We second such a point of view. In fact, we suggest that empathy is invaluable to a successful ISA program implementation as project managers must understand needs to effectively assist clients and schedule timelines accordingly.

Project ManagerThey are responsive to your queries and provide sound advice.

When working toward the launch of ISA campaigns, questions will surface. That is expected. In fact, queries and curiosity will often end up optimizing a methodology as elements that have often been taken for granted – a specific procedure, for example – end up being questioned. Project managers will see this as an opportunity for improvement and will welcome the challenge. If improvement is needed and possible, then, they will forward such indication to the appropriate department or colleague.

Freedom to personalize the interface and content of a Learning Management System (LMS) is a determining factor in the selection of one solutions provider versus another. Project managers expect to receive questions along the lines, “to what extent is the LMS customizable,” or “to what degree is my project manager supporting me in configuring LMS customizable features?”

Skilled project managers will anticipate such questions and will engage with clients. They might even reach out to account managers for extra details – “what inclusions are contained in a particular contract of purchase?” Receptivity implies that project managers are open to receive questions from their clients, and in turn, offer ongoing support and adjust timeline or implementation detail, if necessary.

Project ManagerThey set expectations

Project managers are responsible for bridging the gap between ideal and real expectations. Ideal here refers to the initial expectations entertained by clients, regarding deployment timeline, customization possibilities, as well as testing and launch timelines. In contrast, the term real alludes to the actuality of events in an implementation calendar. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that all parties – clients, project managers, and account managers – come to an agreement regarding the evolution of implementation.

In the case of multinational corporations, setting expectations is vital when it comes to developing training content in multiple languages, representing diverse cultures. Project managers should establish a clear timeline, instructing clients as to when each linguistic adaptation will be available to go live. That way, clients know when to launch each regional ISA campaign.

Collaborating toward a common goal

As you select an ISA solutions provider that best suits your corporate culture, keep in mind to ask about additional options, such as Professional and Managed Services, and the levels of partnership and implementation that are available. In this field, clients often forget to ask such questions as they are primarily preoccupied with the ISA solution itself – understandably so. Nonetheless, their relationship with a project manager is equally important, since such professionals offer an official introduction to the ISA experience.