Bill Jacobs and Ed Chandler both agree.
For them and others, the new day dawned when the Security Industry Association, the Alexandria, Va.-based trade group, introduced the Certified Security Project Manager (CSPM) program earlier this year.
The new program reflects the growing technical complexities of security projects as well as the diversity of people involved in design and decision-making.
Jacobs, corporate security manager at Cisco Systems, told SDM that â€œfirst and foremost, a security project manager has to understand client needs. They need good listening skills, interpret concepts, understand the technology and be able to communicate clearly.â€
He added, â€œA certified project manager must gauge a clientâ€™s security philosophy and design a solution that balances risk tolerance, with financial allocations.â€
SIA has worked closely with Enterprise Performance Consulting (EPC) to develop this three- part certification program, which aims to promote professional excellence for project managers in the security industry.
â€œThe program will empower project managers with the tools, skills and knowledge to successfully manage their projects,â€ said Nadim Sawaya, president of EPC.
Participants will receive 40 contact hours of specialized training, as well as 20 hours of self-study in areas such as estimating and financial aspects of security projects; contracting law; life safety codes and risk management; and security video and access control systems design and application.
Chandler, chairman of Security by Design, is committed to the program. â€œThereâ€™s a desperate need to add to the skill sets of the project manager. The world has changed over the years. With a new group of high-powered general contractors, they really need to understand how to get things done right, to resolve issues and provide effective solutions in the field.â€
Both Jacobs and Chandler see advantages in having a certified security project manager at work.
â€œAs an end user, my expectations are to have people engaged on the team, working on the same goal and with a level of competency that I donâ€™t need to question. A person with a CSPM accreditation will have that professional knowledge base and automatically have the respect and confidence to be able to engage as the clientâ€™s liaison,â€ Jacobs pointed out.
Chandler added, â€œFor systems integrators, there also is a competitive advantage. Having a certified project manager will make each job more profitable, save money; there will be less mistakes and better presentation of information at the right time.â€
Collaboration among all people involved in a security project is critical.
For more information on the Certified Security Project Manager program, contact Jay Hanger, SIAâ€™s director of education, at (703) 683-2172 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.