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Organizing a Team and Delivering a Product

Darin Bartholomew (Project Manager with a focus on Information Security Projects) – Technical Project Specialist @ Vanguard

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020.


Defining your Problem Statement

  • You first need to think through “What problem are you trying to solve?”
    • How to do this:
      • Problem statement
      • Project Charter
      • Scope Document
      • Manifesto
    • Once this is done, every single decision you make moving forward will be connected to that problem.


  • Who do you need? What skill sets?
  • What is the impact on the employees or customers?
  • Who are your stakeholders?

Product & Technology

  • What\\\’s your deliverable?
  • What platforms need to be leveraged?
  • Are you equipped with what you need?


  • What cadences do you need?
  • How are decisions made?
  • How/When do you need to escalate?

Risk Identification – What can go wrong?

  • “An uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on a project’s objectives”- Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • Every single risk that you identify needs to have a level of risk identified to it
    • (high, medium, low / severity)
  • Not all risks need mitigation
    • Some are too costly, others don’t matter

Risk Management – How are you resolving?

  • Risk register to keep track of risks
  • Define a level for each risk (high, medium, low, ETC)
  • Have regular process for discussing risk with stakeholders
  • Not all risks need action – what will you accept?
  • Does the process/product cause risks to others areas of the enterprise?
    • (cyber, financial, impact to other programs, ETC)

Change Management – Don’t “throw things over the wall”

  • What will be the impact to all stakeholders?
  • What are you doing to prepare those stakeholders?
  • How are you receiving and incorporating feedback onto the program?

How are you measuring success and communicating status?

  1. Think back to the problem, what are you trying to solve and how can you measure it?
    • SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based
    • Outcomes based – What is the outcome you want to achieve?
    • Strategic Alignment – how does this tie to other objectives of the enterprise?
    • Funding case – if this is a funded project, how do you solve value for that investment?
  1. “Statusing” – how needs to know what and when?
    1. Remember the audience, is it technical status, business status, financial status? What level of the company are they?
    2. Always be transparent even when status may not be ideal (don’t create a personal risk!)
    3. What are decisions that stakeholders need to make?
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