Table of Contents Ditch the paper, pen and static CAD drawings Scope your project accurately to avoid scope creep Keep an eye on project progress Start with a solid kickoff meeting Implement a robust change management process   If you’re in a security leadership role, you know firsthand that physical security projects are inherently difficult. They require a delicate balance between implementing effective measures to prevent security breaches and minimizing disruption to day-to-day operations. In a recent survey, only 43% of companies reported completing their projects within the established budget and on time. In the enterprise physical security world, nailing your projects on time and within budget is essential to keep your assets and employees safe. So, let’s dive into five proven ways to make sure your security projects are delivered like a pro, with relevant stats to back them up where we can. Security projects often suffer from poor communication, lack of coordination, and failure to meet deadlines. This is primarily due to the lack of a centralized project management system for all stakeholders to collaborate and create a proactive project management environment. In this article, we will discuss five of the most effective ways to bring your next physical security project in on time and under budget. 1. Ditch the paper, pen and static CAD drawings It’s 2023, and relying on outdated methods like paper-based design, pen and ink, and static CAD drawings just won’t cut it. These traditional tools can slow down your project and increase the chances of errors or miscommunication. In fact, companies that adopt digital technologies can expect a 20% reduction in project costs and a 45% reduction in document processing time. Embracing security design software Ditch legacy tools that slow you down and embrace the age of cloud-based security management. SiteOwl allows you to collaborate in real-time while considering your current infrastructure, and you’ll streamline processes and reduce costly mistakes. With SiteOwl you can:  Collaborate with security consultants, integrators and internal stakeholders in real-time. Build designs that consider what you already have so you’re optimizing costs as effectiveness. SiteOwl allows you to see your current infrastructure while creating new designs. Easily approve designs over a video call rather than weeks of back and forth. Standardize your design process across all locations and projects. For example, you can create “favorites” to standardize your door packages. 2. Scope your project accurately to avoid scope creep Your budget for a multi-million dollar security project was approved, and half-way in, you’re realizing that the project is going to cost 20% more than was initially budgeted. Sound familiar? A study by the Project Management Institute found that 52% of projects experience scope creep, which often leads to delays and cost overruns.  Getting the scope right from the get-go is crucial for ensuring your security project stays on track and within budget. By defining the scope of work upfront, you can avoid scope creep and costly change orders down the line. Conversely, incomplete scopes can have severe consequences for project timelines and budgets, ultimately opening the door for security scope creep.  Here are a few tips to make sure you’re on point with scoping: Engage all stakeholders early in the process to identify objectives, requirements, and potential challenges. Do you need to involve IT or facilities to understand what their needs and objectives are? What potential roadblocks are they seeing that you aren’t? Perform a thorough site assessment to understand the existing security infrastructure and identify areas of improvement. Things you should consider are: What is your current warranty status on your devices? How old is your infrastructure? How many of your devices are end-of-life? Are there devices that fail more frequently than others and do you have a plan for replacing them? A physical security lifecycle management platform like SiteOwl provides all this information in a visual dashboard, making it easy to plan your project effectively. We recently published an article on how teams can conduct a physical security lifecycle assessment using SiteOwl, along with a simple downloadable tool you can use. Leverage data from similar projects to make more accurate estimations on time, resources, and budget. With SiteOwl, you can go back to look at past projects and how much they cost for you to make better decisions. 4. Keep an eye on project progress According to the Pulse of the Profession 2018 report by the Project Management Institute (PMI), organizations that use project management software report a 28% higher success rate in meeting the original goals and business intent of their projects compared to those that don’t use such tools. This demonstrates the importance of adopting project management tools to improve the chances of successfully completing your security projects. Visibility of project progress and holding security vendors accountable (e.g., security integrators) is essential to ensuring a successful outcome. SiteOwl helps you stay focused and agile Providing real-time updates on project milestones and completion status. For instance, SiteOwl provides percentage completion reports that are accurate to the minute. Streamlining communication between all stakeholders. With SiteOwl, teams in the field can “flag” issues immediately for speedy resolution. Facilitating vendor performance tracking, ensuring they meet their commitments. With SiteOwl, security teams can ask vendors to submit photos for installations to verify quality of installation and work completion.    3. Start with a solid kickoff meeting A well-organized kickoff meeting sets the tone for the entire project and helps align everyone’s expectations.  Here’s how to make the most of it: Invite all key stakeholders, including internal team members, vendors, and any other relevant parties. Clearly outline the project objectives, scope, timeline, and budget. Assign roles and responsibilities to each team member. Establish communication protocols and reporting procedures. Five key questions the kick-off meeting should answer Are all team members aware of the project objectives? Making sure that they are will help avoid miscommunication and ensure everyone is working toward the same goal.  Do all team members understand their roles and responsibilities? They’ll also want all the knowledge and information