The Project Manager’s Guide to Implementing a Compliance Program

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Since I started in the B2B SaaS industry, my goal has been to grow revenue continuously for almost a decade. Although there are many ways to accomplish this goal, the common factor that is essential to success is project management.
In the past two years, I have been speaking with seasoned professionals at large enterprises and consulting agencies, such Everbridge and Mirai Security, in order to learn more about this niche market called GRC, which stands for Governance, Risk, and Compliance. You’ve likely heard of it, and you may be interested in learning how to implement a compliance plan for your client or company.
This guide was created by me to highlight key areas of project management and best practices that experts believe are essential to successfully implementing compliance programs within any organization.
What is a Compliance Program?
Manual Methods vs GRC Tools
What are the Project Management Knowledge Areas (PMKA)?
What is a Compliance Program?
Although it can be described in many different ways, a compliance plan is basically a “system, policies, and procedures that are designed to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and contracts that govern the actions of the organization.”
Manual Methods vs GRC Tools
A project manager must decide whether to use GRC tools or manual methods. Manual methods for implementing compliance programs (spreadsheets and word docs, emails etc.) are more effective than using automated tools. This method has many benefits, including low up-front costs, customizing to your company’s needs and possibly being completed quicker than an automated system.
Manual methods are not scaleable and can quickly become intractable as compliance requirements grow. You will need more stakeholders and team members to support the compliance frameworks that you have to follow.
This means that you will need to increase the size of your compliance team. This is the most expensive part of managing compliance manually. A whitepaper on compliance costs for mid-sized banks found that 70% of compliance costs are attributed to personnel.
GRC solutions are often chosen by project managers for their ability to scale when managing compliance programs. GRC solutions offer other benefits, such as increased performance, reduced non-compliance and greater visibility across the organization.
The following knowledge areas and best practice will be applicable regardless of whether you implement compliance programs using a manual approach, or a GRC instrument.
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What are the Project Management Knowledge Areas (PMKA)?
These concepts may be familiar to you as project managers use them every day in their work lives, but I’ll give you a quick refresher.
Implementing a compliance program requires careful planning, organization, and execution. This is just like any other successful project. The Project Management Institute (PMI), created a framework called Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). It unites all the terminologies and best practices that project managers use.
You’ll find concepts called knowledge areas and process groups within the PMBOK. Process groups are the main stages of a project, and knowledge areas are specific processes that can be used.
These guides help you to understand the project and break it down into manageable steps. This will allow you to implement compliance successfully.
The Key Knowledge Areas for Implementing a Compliance Programme
Compliance programs require integration. There are many i

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