Managing tough security projects

For most of the past four years, I’ve found myself in project management positions on security projects.  The work has included managing technical and business teams as they integrated applications into an enterprise Identity and Access Management solution.

These projects have been among the most difficult I’ve had to manage with most of the challenges came from managing multiple teams.  On each of these projects, successful delivery of the work required cooperation from multiple disciplines: business analysts, software developers, infrastructure guys, core integrators, vendors, security analysts and privacy analysts.  On the larger projects (e.g. gov’t healthcare or education) there were up to seven teams involved, often from three or four different organizations.  And, of course, each organization had its own project sponsor and senior management teams to please…

Perhaps enterprise IAM is unique in terms of implementation complexity.  The client organization (government) certainly was complex, and the public-facing nature of the IAM solution required care in planning and execution.  The technology we chose was complicated and new.  The solution was highly distributed.  Our vendors over-committed and, frankly, under delivered.

I found that it was critical to focus on delivery and manage that delivery formally.  For those projects where we used this approach, we were successful.  For others, well, the results eventually were produced but not without hardship and delay…

Mike

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