CWS Technology

In most organizations, a project management tool holds all the project information within a single platform for efficiency and freeing up the flow of this information between the layers. However a clear balance needs to be set between this flow of information and keeping your project secure from unauthorized viewers.

A project manager needs to have this balance worked out; as part of their role is to ensure that the right people have access to the right information in order to complete their job. However there tends to come a time where the information could fall into the wrong hands if the process of information within a project management tool is not monitored correctly. Unfortunately for a project manager, security is less about the technology and more to do with human error.

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So how does the project manager ensure that information associated with a project or projects is being kept fully secure within a project management tool?

  1. Ranking: Identify and rank how sensitive each piece of information associated with a project is initially. This will act as a guide to a Project Manager when it comes to applying access rights to the rest of the project team.
  2. Access Rights: May not suit every organization but if it does it could be very useful in terms of security. Putting authentication measures in place on project information will ensure only authorized personal get access to classified information. The Project Manager needs to put some thought into this step to ensure that the right people have access to the information they need to do their job.
  3. Requests: Having log-in requests on certain areas of the project management tool and only release the log-in details to the individuals who require them.
  4. Is that necessary?: If you want to ensure that confidential information is kept away from prying eyes perhaps it would be good practice to only hold information and documentation related to on-going projects within a project management tool when it is needed.
  5. Training: Up-skill and train all users of the project management software on how to use the tool securely. Although this may seem unnecessary it could in fact prove to be highly successful in the long run of things. Putting best practice procedures in place will help highlight to project teams the importance of being vigilant when it comes to dealing one on one with sensitive project information.

In project work, it is often necessary to act quickly and decisively as things change and situations arise. These changes and conditions might include the loss of a resource without notice, the discovery of a serious design flaw or significant new requirements, all in the face of a committed deadline and budget.

Reactive vs. Responsive

The need to act quickly may be an excuse for reactive behaviour. Reactive behaviour is an action taken without sufficient thought or planning. It is one of the key causes of poor individual and project performance.

Effective performance requires responsiveness. Responsiveness implies thoughtful action that considers long and short-term outcomes. Reactive behaviour is immediate and without conscious thought, like a knee-jerk response. Emotions often drive reactive behaviour.

The Place for Immediate Action

There is a place for immediate action with no more of a second or two of thinking.

You are confronted by a mountain lion out in the woods. There is no time to consider the consequences of your actions analytically. If you are a well-trained woods person, you will immediately know what to do, and you’ll do it. If you are not accustomed to confronting lions in the bush, you might still react, but perhaps not so skillfully. Your fight or flight reaction will kick in, and you might freeze, run, or cry. The lion might take your reaction as a threat or an invitation to chase you down and eat you.

The problem with reactive behaviour is that it will likely be the wrong behaviour for the situation. Responsive behaviour includes immediate “blink” and more measured responses based on analysing options’ pros and cons and consequences.

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In Project Situations, There is Time To Think

Fortunately, most issues confronted in projects are not life-or-death situations requiring immediate reaction. There is time to think. Sometimes there is not a lot of time to think, but usually, there is not only time for one person to believe, but there is time for some degree of collective thought and dialogue.

Of course, we don’t want to get caught up in analysis paralysis, attempting to come to a consensus on every decision through study, dialogue and debate that might take weeks when we only have minutes, hours or days to decide. We want to find the right balance point, degree of analysis, and consensus process for the situation.

Emotional vs Rational Thinking Making

Take, for example, a situation in which a target date has been set for a major deliverable in a project, like a decision on the architectural design for a product that will drive the rest of the project and significantly influence post-project sales and use of the product. As the target is approaching, it is discovered that additional testing of the alternatives is required to satisfy the technical groups who have been asked to compare and score the options based on technical considerations. The testing will take several weeks longer than the time remaining to hit the target. The target has been set by senior executives, who view it as critical to hit for political reasons.

The project manager is faced with a dilemma. Do they make a decision that is unsound technically and may lead to more delays and changes down the road to hit the immediate target, or do they go to the executives and tell them that the target will not be met?

The decision could be made based on emotional or rational thinking. Emotional thinking is driven by anger, fear, greed or aversion. Sometimes, it can appear to be analytical thinking.

There may be discussion, and facts may be looked at, but in the end, the decision is made based on reaction to the emotions rather than the objective realities of the situation.

Rational thinking may consider emotions and subjective issues but is not driven by them. An expert project manager can often make a highly effective decision by weighing his emotional and personal responses and those of his team, clients, and sponsors. Rational thinking is more than just analytical and numbers. The analysis results and numbers are inputs to a complex process.

In our design decision situation, the emotional decision would probably be driven by fear. It would end up telling the technical group that they will have to make their evaluation without having the results of the desired tests – we’ll get to that later, and if worse comes to worst, we will have to change our decision. A rational decision would probably be to advise the executives of the situation and inform them that there will be a delay unless they insist upon meeting the target date, telling them that if they do insist, the consequences may be very costly.

The executives could hit the target date based on their emotions or a measured assessment of the pros and cons. It’s their decision, and they’ll have to live with it (or find a way to blame someone else for the fallout.)

Difference Between Reactivity and Responsiveness

Telling the difference between reactivity and responsiveness is a challenge.

It is necessary to know what it feels like to be driven by emotions and what it feels like to be in the driver’s seat, managing emotions and applying rational thinking. Knowing what these conditions feel like requires emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence, in turn, involves mindfulness that allows the individual to step back from their emotions and the feelings they bring up, viewing them objectively and not getting caught in reactivity.

Knowing the difference, there is choice and responsiveness. Not knowing the difference, there is reactivity.


To conclude, project work requires responsiveness. Responsiveness is the ability to act quickly and thoughtfully, considering the situation’s long and short-term outcomes. Reactivity is the tendency to act impulsively and emotionally without considering consequences. Therefore, project managers and team members should strive to develop their responsiveness skills and avoid reactivity.

To influence a customer, you need to build a relationship on trust. If clients trust you, they’ll be open to your feedback and get a better result.

How often have you suggested a design or functionality, only for it to be shot down, and then end up building something you believe is sub-standard without that input from yourself? If you’ve had these situations (and trust me, nearly all of us have), then it’s very likely that your client relationship wasn’t built on trust.

So how do you go about building this elusive trust with clients? Here are 6 simple steps; follow them all, and you’ll certainly develop better relationships with your customers, which means more influence and greater results.

Show Respect

I don’t mean calling them Madam or Sir; I’m talking genuine respect. Don’t be late to appointments, dress appropriately, don’t duck blame and be polite. Share their vision and understand their reasoning for decisions.

Be Genuine

I mean genuine, not just marketing speak naturally. Next time you talk to your client, be down to earth, shake off that corporate speak and treat them like a valued friend.

Justify Your Work

Don’t just send through a design concept or a dot-point list of functionality without explaining your thought processes. Sure, you can explain to them technically, but give them statistics, case studies, reasons you chose that colour or why you suggest against that 320-field-long contact form. Do the research and arm yourself with statistics, and back up every claim.

Admit Mistakes

We all make mistakes, well, the humans amongst us anyway. I’m sure you’ve made a fair amount of errors on client time like all of us have. How you deal with them makes you better – own up to them, let the client know, and either share or wear the costs of your mistake.

Share ideas

What may work wonders for your client? Share it with them – don’t be afraid of rejection, let them know it’s an idea, and make sure they understand you were thinking of them last night or over the weekend – this proves you are passionate and not just a 9 to 5 thinker.


Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? It’s true, though; nobody wants a supplier who will do whatever they ask, even when the supplier knows it’s a bad move. If your client asks you to do something you know won’t work, then let them know – politely, of course, and explain your reasons in detail.

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If you build a trusting relationship, you will end up with a longer one that goes far beyond this present project. You’ll build influence with your customer and have a loyal client who wants to return and keep working with you.

We all know working with a previous client is cheaper and easier. They know your processes and systems, they don’t need every dollar justified, and they’ll ask for your input, which makes for a better and more fulfilling project.


Building a relationship of trust with clients is essential for effective collaboration and better outcomes. You can foster trust and strengthen client relationships by following six simple steps – showing respect, being genuine, justifying your work, admitting mistakes, sharing ideas, and respectfully disagreeing. 

Demonstrating real concern, understanding their vision, and explaining your thought processes help establish trust. Admitting mistakes and taking responsibility shows accountability and integrity. Sharing ideas and respectfully expressing disagreement demonstrate your passion and expertise. When trust is established, it leads to longer and more fruitful relationships, loyalty, and increased influence with clients. Working with returning clients is more cost-effective, as they are familiar with your processes and value your input, resulting in more successful and fulfilling projects.

CWS Technology is a trusted partner in building client relationships based on trust. They strive to understand client visions, justify their work, and share innovative ideas. Their passion for delivering quality results makes them ideal for fostering relationships with clients. 

  1.  Though Shall Speak Thy Truth
  2.  Though Shall Not Say ‘Yes’ in Haste
  3.  Though Shall Lead Thy Sponsor Down the Path of Reality
  4.  Though Shall Not Present a Single Point Estimate
  5.  Though Shall Pay for Quality, Just as Surely as Thou Payest for Thy Errors
  6.  Though Shall Not Avoid Conflict
  7.  Though Shall Put Thy Stake in the Sand
  8.  Though Shall Not Plan The Unknowable
  9.  Though Shall Rid thyself of Incompetence
  10. Though Shall Not Assume That Which is False