About Project Management Appreciation Month
November 2015 marks the second annual Project Management Appreciation Month hosted by PSA Security Network’s Project Management Committee. Join us for free webinars lead by seasoned industry experts, weekly tips from our Project Management Committee Members, and a chance to be recognized as a top project manager (with a grand prize awarded to one winner). When you attend a webinar you will be entered for a chance to win up to $300 in gift cards. Giveaways will be announced and rewarded at the end of November.
Project Management Appreciation Month Grand Prize Winner & Recipient of a 32GB iPod Touch
Derek Chynoweth, Project Coordinator, CONTAVA Inc.
“Derek over the past 6 years has embraced personal growth to move from being a field technician into a CONTAVA Project Coordinator. During those years Derek accomplished both the academic and time requirements to earn his
Professional Project Management (PMP) status and today leads annually a portfolio of business well into the millions for CONTAVA. Derek’s understanding for what’s important to all project stakeholders and ability to deliver makes him an ideal candidate for recognition.” – Curtis Nikel, President, CONTAVA
Grand Prize Nominations
|Bill Byington | Project Manager, Northland Controls
“Bill is the hardest working PM I know. He takes care of the customer at all costs and is extremely professional in his approach. He has a good attitude and is an asset to the PM Team he represents.” – Shad McPheters, General Manager, Americas, Northland Controls
|Shaun Haley | Project Manager, Southwest Access & Video
“Shaun Haley is a Project Manager Plus. He not only excels with his own work, but pitches in wherever we need extra help. Recently he undertook restructuring our warehouse, a thankless dirty job. He conquered our clutter and got us on the right track for an organized space. Shaun’s dedication, leadership and teamwork make him deserving of acknowledgement. Please enter him into the drawing because he really is an amazing project manager.” – Heidi O’Brien, Office Administrator, Southwest Access & Video
|Chris Hoover | Project Manager, Northland Controls
“Chris is a natural leader and is looked up to by all of our PM’s. He is handling the largest, most prestigious security integration project in the Bay Area and does it with professionalism, gracefulness and enthusiasm. Chris is a mentor to all the PM’s in our organization without having a specific assignment to do so. He is a good teacher and provides sound counsel in any situation he is involved in.” – Shad McPheters, General Manager, Americas
“Chris is always patient, organized, professional, and goes above and beyond. He’s been in the industry for many years and is willing to share his knowledge with buyers and other PMs. He’s also handling one of our largest projects in 2015 and always keeps the team up to date with the schedules, equipment requirements, etc. I’d like to recognize Chris for all his hard work, efforts and for being a Terrific PM!” – Vivian Hodges – Global Procurement Manager, Northland Control Systems
|Ulises Ramirez | Project Manager, Netronix Integration
“Ulises (Lou) came to Netronix about 2 years ago with no PM experience, however he had 17 years of installation behind him. The company which he was previously employed by was not willing to give him a chance at managing projects. He had a dedicated desire to move up to PM, and we decided to give him a chance. Since he has come on board, he has excelled tremendously and is currently one of our top producing PM’s.” – Kyle Naylor, Operations Manager, Netronix Integration
|Pat Smith | Walsh Electronic Security
“Pat has been instrumental on keeping our projects on time and flowing smoothly. On top of general project management he is also responsible for sales and engineering of electronic security systems. With over 25 years of experience in the industry he has proven himself to be a great asset as well as a pleasure to work with.” – Kenton Straughn, Division Manager, Walsh Electronic Security
|Mark Wickham | Project Manager, Dakota Security Systems, Inc.
“Mark’s attention to detail and dedication to customer satisfaction truly sets the standard in our company for other project managers. His project plans are thorough and detailed, taking into account critical milestones that can impact the quality and delivery of our solutions. He is an extraordinary asset to our team and we expect great things from him in the future!” – Bethany Taylor, Director of Operations, Dakota Security Systems
Webinars On Demand
Tips for Project Success
Alex Solomon, Project Manager, Protection 1 Security Solutions
Lock down appliances in addition to passwords.
Default passwords are often left in machines when installed. This practice is asking for trouble. One effective way to minimize the impact is to change the default password for the administration access. You can then set up the default as a user as well others to prevent unwanted changes. It is in the client’s best interest to stress the necessity of adding additional scripts to help minimize breaches. Get your IT person involved in the discussion to set up a standard to work from. Remember, it’s often employees that make changes to the system allowing for loss or unwanted access to information.
Dustin Twitchell, Operations Manager, Netronix Integration
Ordering parts on a large project.
Typically large projects have a schedule duration that takes 6 months to a year for you to complete your scope of work. With these types of durations, you want to be sure to stagger your ordering. This ensures parts are not sitting in your warehouse causing your warranty period to shorten, but most importantly, it helps with your cash flow. After all, it’s not easy to invoice your customer for parts you cannot install.
Rex Allen, Operations Manager, Securadyne Systems
Confirming Project Requirements
During the project kickoff process, a project manager should have the lead technician explain the project back to him. If the lead technician can’t easily explain the project requirements and tasks, he probably doesn’t fully understand them. This means he can’t clearly convey that information to the technicians working under his supervision on the jobsite. Be proactive about this and you will only need to correct the concept of work, not increase costs doing rework for tasks that were accomplished “as instructed.”
Robert Flynn, Senior Vice President Operations, Aronson Security Group
Planning Your Monthly Revenue
Planning your billing/revenue early in the month (10th at the latest) will give you the time to be able to achieve it. Buying materials early so they can arrive during the billing month, getting a sub on site and getting an invoice out of them takes planning. You, as a Project Manager, need to bill every month or the business will not have the money or revenue it needs to run. Here a few tips to stay on track:
- Get into the habit of reviewing your WIP once a week at a minimum. Pick at day and put in a reminder so you don’t forget.
- Always try to recognize as much revenue as possible (material orders, subcontractor invoices, etc.) Overbilling should be at or about 10% (Billings in Excess of Costs).
- Enter billing projections on or before the 15th of every month.
- Invoicing for labor, materials and subcontractor should be through the end of the month even if your billing needs to be in by the 15th.
As a Project Manager one of the most important parts of your job is generating revenue and cash, and this can only be accomplished by having a plan.
Kyle Naylor, Operations Manager, Netronix Integration
Over communication with a customer is always better than lack of communication.
Customers get very frustrated when they have to email their Project Managers for updates or answers to questions. Project Managers may not have the answers right away, but it is good practice to respond to the customer immediately, informing them that the Project Manager is looking into their request and will get back to them as soon as possible. An expedited response accomplishes two things. It assures the customer that their inquiry was received and that their Project Manager is on the ball with the customer’s best interest at hand.
Bethany Taylor, Director of Operations, Dakota Security Systems
Know Who You are Talking To
The key to successful project management is effective communication. As project managers we interact with a variety of internal and external stakeholders, including clients, subcontractors, executive management and our technicians. Each of these individuals comes from a different environment or educational background which contributes to their own style of communication. Some people will prefer to verbally walk through a project scope and others might want to review the written document prior to the meeting. A project manager is the conduit that routes information for a project, therefore it is up to you as project manager to identify the best method of communication for a particular stakeholder and apply it in each situation.
There are several resources available to help refine this skill. I strongly recommend the following books available online or at any major retailer:
- Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
- Emotional Intelligence 2.0, by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves