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How Technical Project Managers Can Take the Pain Out of Complex Security Technology Implementations

By Northland Controls, Jun 08, 2021

At Northland Controls, providing a streamlined and supportive client experience is our top priority.

For our Professional Services clients, that experience lies in the hands of our Technical Project Managers (TPM). We spoke with our TPM’s to find out more about their role and how their position provides a heightened level of support for our clients from the first moments of their project to the final wrap up.

So, what is a Technical Project Manager?

A TPM serves as a project manager for the Technical Engineering team. Our goal as a department is to keep our clients and their systems at the forefront of security technology by providing solutions to difficulties otherwise thought overly challenging or even impossible to solve. As a TPM, we work with the client to implement and optimize their security ecosystem, creating a smarter system that saves both time and money.

We are here to serve as a dedicated point of contact, consultant, and liaison for these highly technical projects. Because we are involved with the project from the kickoff stages through the final delivery of the system, we get to build relationships that support the entire customer journey. By having a single point of contact, our clients know exactly who they are working with to remove any confusion and instill confidence throughout the process. Most importantly, we serve as a liaison (and translator, if you will) between the technical engineers and the client to clearly communicate timelines, processes, and updates in a way that makes sense to security directors with varying levels of technical background.

Over the years, we have overseen a multitude of projects on different systems, within different industries, and even in different countries. Armed with this experience, we can not only oversee the project but serve as a technical consultant and advisor to our partners, using our knowledge to share industry trends and propose outside the box solutions to their biggest security challenges.

What is your role during a project?

As a TPM, our involvement really starts from day one as we are directly involved in the scoping and delivery of these highly specialized projects so there is no handoff from a salesperson or another department once the project begins. During this process, we can lend our experience and technical knowledge to help our clients communicate their vision and goals and create a plan to make them a reality. This means we really have a firm understanding of what our client wants and what it takes to accomplish it even before the project begins.

As a trusted partner, we are responsible for everything from creating project schedules, leading frequent status update calls, providing ongoing progress updates, and, most importantly, simplifying the technical language and relaying it to the client for a better level of understanding. At the end of the day, it comes down to bringing together all the resources needed, both internal and external, for a successful project.

How does a TPM differ from a traditional project manager?

The Technical Project Manager is a unique role created within Northland to better serve our clients. Communication is central to what we do, and we have to speak, understand, and translate information into a language that each stakeholder on the project understands. With emerging technology, there has been an increased need for technical expertise in the installation, guidance, and optimization of systems – this is where the TPM comes in. Compared to traditional project managers, a TPM brings their technical expertise to the table to serve as an intermediary and consultant not only between the client and Northland’s team of engineers, but in many cases, with the client’s internal IT department as well. The convergence between IT and security has become increasingly prevalent over the past decade and that can cause some internal confusion for our clients. Our TPM’s are a tremendous asset to navigate those internal IT requirements set forth by the company itself without any added personnel from their side of things.

What are some of the types of projects you have recently worked on?

With COVID presenting new and unique challenges for many of the companies we work with, we have been able to help them find solutions that have, in some cases, never existed before. For example, we worked with many of our clients on their return-to-work strategy and how to safely bring people back into the office in a time when so many factors were uncertain. It has been amazing to work with some of the largest brands in the world to bring back thousands of employees by consulting, implementing, and delivering the systems needed to safely get back to “normal.” Because we are delivering highly technical projects on a daily basis, we can take our experience of working on these projects, like enterprise migrations, complete system standups and cut overs, and custom integrations, and use it to help our clients achieve their security goals – even as they continue to evolve.

What would your message be for any future Northland clients?

I would say that if a company is lacking the technical expertise to develop a vision for their system or if they have a vision but need help implementing it, communicating it with their internal stakeholders, or identifying the requirements needed to meet the vision - that is where we come in. We are here to pull together the relevant resources needed to provide a proposal and to see that vision through from start to finish.

Learn more about Northland Controls and the role our Technical Project Manager's play in our client experience, email!