Managing an ISO 27001 project can be tricky. Nearly all ISO 27001 projects are under heavy limitation of resources and approved quite late, and therefore burdened by impossible deadlines. The project manager usually doesn’t understand the complexities of the project itself, so there is a steep learning curve before he can even start delivering results. On top of that, there is a huge amount of rules, documentation, tasks, and communication that must be handled throughout the project, which can be really challenging, as these elements are dispersed across different systems, tools, and people. This often results in poor coordination, time lost, and project deadline breach.

In this article, you can learn how to address these challenges and stay on track for the final deadline of your ISO 27001 implementation with the help of a SaaS.

Main requirements for managing ISO 27001 projects in your company

Let’s imagine that you planned well for your ISO 27001 implementation project. You have an action plan, you managed to get some clues of which tasks needed to be done, you have chosen the people to assist you with implementation, and you know the deadline. You have done your homework, so when a “Go” decision finally comes from the top management, you are ready to start and you know all the steps ahead. Yes, it does sound like a fairy tale – because it is.

There is no magic potion to help you do everything by yourself, so you need help.

Every ISO 27001 project has some challenges you should count on:

  1. There will be a lot of documentation, versions, reviews, and approvals. So, you can forget about using emails for this.
  2. There will be a lot of activities to track, discuss, and complete before the final deadline. So, you need an effective way to track all the relevant tasks, communication, and statuses.
  3. There will be a lot of questions about what the next task will be and when it is required. So, having instructions about these steps is a necessity to prevent confusion and lost time.
  4. There will be a lot of dispersed data you will need to put into perspective, so having all of this in one place is a goal you should have from the start.

Hiring a consultant or two for your ISO 27001 project will probably solve the problem about knowing the steps needed to finish it, but that’s just one part of the issue. A combination of several commercial or free software solutions, whether on-premise or web-based, can help you address the document, task, and communication part of the project, but it will not solve the problem of dispersed data that you need to dig out to understand the scope and the progress.

The best advice is to have one platform with the following characteristics:

  1. accessible to all project members, anytime, anyplace
  2. specialized for ISO 27001 implementation project management, with instructions about the required steps and their sequence
  3. contains project, task,communication, and follow-up management components
  4. contains risk, document, audit, and nonconformity management components
  5. offers a smart notification system

Addressing the challenges of managing ISO 27001 projects

Having all of this in mind, we were set to construct a single ISO 27001 implementation SaaS solution to address the challenges and help project managers to effectively manage their ISO 27001 projects.

This is how we addressed the identified challenges on Conformio:

  1. Conformio is a web-based platform serviced as SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), so it is available to all project members anytime, anywhere. This means that with just an Internet connection and a proper browser, you can access your documentation, tasks, and communication activities.
  2. Conformio was built around common steps required for implementation of ISO 27001 projects, which means it will provide you with all upcoming tasks, with instructions on how to complete documents and tasks properly and on time. (You can find more details on this in my previous article: How to manage your ISO implementation through project management software.)
ISO 27001 Compliance Procedure in Conformio

Figure 1. ISO 27001 Compliance Procedure in Conformio

  1. Conformio has separate screens for project and ISO 27001 features, covering task, document, risk, audit, nonconformity, follow-up, and communication management, but they are also very much connected, so you can have all important ISO 27001 project management components working together toward a common goal.
Connecting with your colleagues in Conformio

Figure 2. Connecting with your colleagues in Conformio

Document management in Conformio

Figure 3. Document management in Conformio

Adding and tracking all tasks tied to your ISO 27001 project in the Responsibility Matrix in Conformio

Figure 4. Adding and tracking all tasks tied to your ISO 27001 project in the Responsibility Matrix in Conformio

  1. Conformio has an underlying smart notification system, based on a Responsibility Matrix built with information provided during the project setup and elaboration of applicable policies and procedures, which is used to automate tasks and reminders. This way, Conformio can help keep you well informed regarding what happens in the project and when you should react. This smart notification system also has the additional benefit to help you in the maintenance of your implemented ISMS.
Set what notifications you want to receive from Conformio

Figure 5. Set what notifications you want to receive from Conformio

It’s no secret that an increasing number of organizations are choosing to implement ISO 27001 projects by using web-based software tools. Again, all organizations should consider the above-mentioned characteristics to ensure that they select the right tool – not only to help them track the process and progression of the project, but also to act as a reliable adviser at the same time. So, having one SaaS with just the right characteristics can prove to make a real difference in successfully managing ISO 27001 implementation. With these functional and instructional frameworks, provided by Conformio, you have all that you need not only to start and finish a successful implementation of your ISO 27001 projects, but also to keep it up to date with changes in your organization.

If this makes sense, go on and give it a try; it is free.