Tag Archives: project managers

Considering Cybersecurity in Project Design

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: October 17, 2015

Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/freepress/7419840396

Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/freepress/7419840396

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and we wanted to discuss this topic on the blog today to make this national issue something you and your business should be monitoring…right down to security issues in your project designs.

Cyberattacks seem to be on the rise in recent years and businesses are trying to ramp up their defense efforts. The annual cost of cybercrime globally is over $100 billion and by 2017 it’s expected to be $120 billion. As project manager, it’s becoming more necessary than ever to ensure the safety of your plans. If you don’t already, now is the time to begin incorporating data security into your project planning process along with setting aside time to have discussions with your team.

What needs protected?

It’s easy to view your systems with a mindset geared toward user-friendliness, but what about user-unfriendliness? Do you look at your data through the lens of someone with malicious intent? What parts of your project would be most affected if you were to experience a data breach? Identifying these risks can help you determine where to focus your security efforts.

Does your team have someone who can devote all of his/her time to strengthening the protection of your data? It can be expensive to hire an expert, but depending on the importance of your project or the sensitivity of the data, it may be necessary to account for this role in the budget.

Since not sure? As yourself this: Is the risk of losing your data greater than the cost of hiring experts? If so, sit down with your client or your organization to determine what is the best course of action for keeping your information safeguarded.

Do your research no matter how large or small your organization!

Hackers are the new con-artists who view this crime as a profession and oftentimes, something to brag about. Follow stories of other security breaches as a way to learn from other organizations’ mistakes. Although larger corporations, and even the government, have made headlines because of cyberattacks this doesn’t mean that you are safer as a small to medium sized business.

Don’t view security as an add-on step toward the end of the project. It should be integrated throughout the entire process and given the proper amount of time and attention. Constantly test your projects and review what is and isn’t working.

Want to read more on cybersecurity? The Project Management Institute and PM Times both have articles with helpful information on this topic.

Plus, you owe it to yourself during National Cyber-Security Month to think about other areas of your daily life that might be at risk: sdfghsfdghfsghsfghsf
How to protect your smartphone data
How to shop online safely

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Discussing Project Failure and Mindsets

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: September 23, 2015

Last week we tuned into #PMchat on Twitter (a weekly Twitter chat on project management with talented professionals joining from all over the world) and found the content to be particularly inspiring. Naomi Caietti, founder and managing editor at The Glass Breakers, author, and project manager hosted the chat, guiding the conversation from project failure to moving forward afterward, to your mindset after mistakes.

Below are some highlights and recommended reading for those of you who find yourselves stressed day in and day out while on the job.

Is it possible to fail your way to success?

Is embracing failures a path to success?

Participants chimed that it isn’t possible to “fail your way to success” repeatedly but learning from project failures is a very good skill to apply, and arguably what builds strong leaders.

Moving Forward after Failures

It’s important to consider what has to happen after the failure of a project. Why did the project fail: was it poor communication? Going over budget? Lack of time management?

We particularly enjoyed viewing responses to this question and learning how others move forward after a rough end to a project. One thing that everyone agreed on was the need to review the project from the big picture, avoid blame, and meet as a team to regroup.

Your Mindset after Mistakes

Carrying mistakes with you can sound like a negative attribute, but for some it is a way to remind themselves of what hasn’t worked in the past. Push yourself to rise above a misstep keeping your lessons learned as ammunition for more successful project planning and execution in the future.

When it comes to a failing project, taking responsibility and acknowledging what went wrong will build trust with your team and clients making you a stronger leader. A clear, thoughtful mindset will only help you grow stronger.

If you’re interested in this topic, be sure to check out our recommended readings: 10 Questions Every Project Manager Should Ask to Define a Project, Project Review, Methods for Managing Project Risks or any of the related posts below.  Tweet us your thoughts on Twitter. We definitely recommend you join in on the chat this week!

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Setting a Timeline for your Project

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: July 17, 2015

Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/kissthelove/8558683407/

Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/kissthelove/8558683407/

Keeping a project on time and on budget is a fine art in project management. It can be one of the trickiest tasks and it is the most important in order to keep clients and shareholders happy. Setting a timeline for your project means getting organized and getting serious about what lies ahead. Compare our checklist for setting a timeline with your own and see if you’re already practicing what we’re preaching or if we can help you add new steps to your timeline process:

Step One: Prepare for the basics. When you are initially given a project, sit down with your team and review what resources it will need. Determine which ones are expendable and which are worth spending time and money on. Preparing a rough draft of the basic necessities needed is a great way to try to stay on budget.

Step Two: Record the milestones. Recognizing important phases and documenting when they should be completed throughout your project is important for guiding everyone to stay on track. Once the milestone has been achieved, don’t hesitate to celebrate it! Although some team members will have more significant tasks than others, everyone will appreciate taking a deep breath and acknowledging what has already been completed before moving forward.

Step Three: Anticipate disaster. Always, always plan for hiccups along the way. Rarely do things in life play out exactly as planned. Soften the blow of setbacks by allowing for extra time during each phase from the beginning. Allotting extra time for each phase will create a cushion for you in case disaster strikes. If not, then you may be on target to finish the project or certain phases ahead of schedule which makes everyone happy.

Step Four: Construct the timeline backwards. You will most likely know from the start when the final product is due and if you’ve recorded your milestones and you know what resources are most important now is when you should start creating the timeline. Starting with the final due date and filling in with your milestones is a great way to make sure tasks throughout your timeline are distributed evenly and realistically.

Step Five: Rally the people. Communicate the timeline to your team and make sure everyone is in agreement with the details. When everyone is clear on exactly what resources will be needed, how much time it could take, and the deadlines for their individual roles, you can feel secure in knowing that you have created a stable foundation.

Once you’ve created your timeline what should you do to motivate your team? Read more here!

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10 Questions Every Project Manager Should Ask to Define a Project

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: December 15, 2014

10 Questions every PM should ask

Image courtesy of: https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcobellucci/

In project management, the questions asked upfront can determine the success or failure of a project.  Many drawbacks can be avoided if questions are articulated completely and if the answers are detailed and coherent.  Before jumping into a project, make sure all areas are defined, so that there are no assumptions on anyone’s part. Asking the right questions is an important skill to learn. Get started thinking about how you’ll approach your next project with our sample question set below:

  1. Who is working on the project, and who are on their teams?
  2. What are the business goals that the project is aiming to achieve?
  3. What business benefits will these goals deliver if achieved?
  4. What are the potential risks and roadblocks, and what can be done to prevent or overcome them?
  5. Are there any easy-to-implement alternatives to this project?
  6. Will new equipment/products be required to facilitate project delivery?
  7. Will existing staff require re-training?
  8. Will the project deliverables need to be tested and, if so, by whom?
  9. Who is the main stakeholder, with ultimate responsibility for driving the project forward?
  10. Will there be any necessary staff changes (redundancies or new hires)?

How do you approach newly assigned projects?  Tweet us and we’ll share.

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