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Decision Trees, algorithms, software code, risk management, reports, plans, drawings, change control, presentations, and analysis- all useful tools and efforts but time consuming, resource intensive, and potentially costly for projects that have absolute schedule and budget constraints. What are necessary and prudent efforts when a customer calls with a major security problem that needs to be fixed with a proven, off-the-approval-list, multi-layered integrated system with high visibility and limited funding and expires at the end of the Fiscal Year? Whether driven by budget cycles, safety, or by management decree, many such projects begin with generic scopes and funding allocated based on a rapid management "guestimate." Then a Project Manager (PM) is assigned a project with a predefined and potentially limited scope, compressed schedule, and potentially insufficient funding. The PM is tasked to rapidly and cost effectively coordinate a requirements-based design, implementation, test, and turnover of a fully operational system to the customer, all while the customer is operating and maintaining an existing security system. Many project management manuals call this an impossible project that should not be attempted. However, security is serious business and the reality is that rapid deployment of proven systems via an "Extreme Project" is sometimes necessary. Extreme Projects can be wildly successful but require a dedicated team of security professionals lead by an experienced project manager using a highly-tailored and agile project management process with management support at all levels, all combined with significant interface with the customer. This paper does not advocate such projects or condone eliminating the valuable analysis and project management techniques. Indeed, having worked on a well-planned project provides the basis for experienced team members to complete Extreme Projects. This paper does, however, provide insight into what it takes for projects t- - o be successfully implemented and accepted when completed under extreme conditions.
Date of Conference: 5-8 Oct. 2010