Continuous compliance is not a want but a need and to achieve it succinctly requires expert project and programme management.
One Bite at a Time for your Elephant
It is standard advice in project management to have your elephant one bite at a time. However, the response is usually different across individuals upon landing an incredible compliance management project.
Some managers may start thinking about the excellent response they will get on completing the project. Others will sink into constant worrying about one thing or another regarding the project, taking a more extended period than is necessary. Many of them are in the middle hoping for the best and often plan for the unexpected.
Regardless, your primary goal should be to deliver the project successfully. The complexity and the high number of projects may leave you with a handful of implementation options. However, you can always use the PCI compliance program to make it easy for you. Additionally, pay attention to the following three perspectives on all the projects you handle to make it easy for you.
Planning, Action, Delivery
The practical completion of each of these phases will contribute to the overall success of the project. Before picking the project, internalize each of these phases and devise a clear plan on how you will execute each step satisfactorily. Undertake each stage at a time and delegate the duties at every one of them. It is also essential to see each win as critical to the overall accomplishment of the project.
Where to Begin
Regardless of your busy schedule, it is always critical to set aside some time to project planning. Make sure that you are in an environment without distractions to focus adequately, taking in the finer details of the process – nothing should escape your notice. Planning may seem like the least important phase, but the reverse is true.
And just like the foundation of a structure, the compliance project requires proper anchoring through proper planning to ensure efficient execution and reporting stages. Also, many firms fall into the trap of allocating minimal resources to the planning phase, but that should never be the case. It should get the most out of your time. In fact, compliance project planning should take between 35 and 50% of the total time allocated. Review all the sources of the required materials and determine how easy it will be to get them.
The Common Factors in Planning
Below are the common factors when it comes to planning.
- Resources: it is quite critical to establish the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) necessary to complete the process. Don’t forget the time requirements and the approvals required to let the SMEs work on the assignment. If you are working with sensitive data, you’ll need to seek the necessary permissions to access it.
- Maintaining Contact with Stakeholders: before you can begin, ensure all the involved people are available for successful completion. Unavailability is a significant problem for a project’s completion.
- Ascertaining the Scope of the Project: after the necessary consultations with stakeholders and determining all the essentials, you will need to verify the dimensions of the project – the scope. Be sure about the necessities of every stage for the successful completion of the project.
- Prioritizing the Project: after determining the width and depth of the project, the next step is to decide where first to focus your attention. Typically, start with high priority areas for the organization and ensure the availability of all the necessary resources. It is also vital to book appointments with top management to make the project successful.
- Initial Data Request: to avoid complications in the future, you should have solid answers to several questions such as, which is the necessary data? Who will deliver it, and how long will the delivery take? Also, think about the data accuracy confirmation systems.
Having all this information will ensure of mind knowing that the compliance project is on the right track.
Numerous beliefs surround the successful completion of compliance projects. However, just as a strong foundation is critical to a sturdy structure, planning determines the outcome of the compliance project. Up to 90% of a completed project is planning.
And like the iceberg that typically has most of its part hidden, a casual observer may not know about the high-level activities within an organization. The amount of attention you give the planning phase, even though unseen, will determine the efficiency of the execution. Undermining it will lead to poor performance and inefficient project completion. Thus, efficient planning is at the heart of deliverables and sweet small wins.