That was the reality for Symcor Inc., a financial services company based in Mississauga,
Ontario, Canada. The company processes roughly 1. 4 billion checks and more than 48 million
customer payments per year—but low client satisfaction was putting the business at risk.
Clients were frustrated that Symcor’s project teams misunderstood their requirements and
had a difficult time managing change requests. A lack of oversight frequently led to schedule
delays, budget overruns and scope creep—and the business had little insight into whether projects were delivering the desired results. Even Symcor’s board of directors had lost confidence
in the company’s ability to execute projects—which made leaders hesitant to fund new projects.
“The board of directors was not confident in Symcor’s capabilities,” says Savio Vaz, associate
director of finance, project management office. “The organization had to earn the right to invest
in the future by demonstrating that it could deliver with a high degree of certainty.”
To bolster business performance—and rebuild client relationships—Symcor established a
project management office, or PMO, in 2010. Its first task was to roll out a standardized project
management framework that gave project managers the tools they needed to increase their suc-
cess rate, says Rory MacLeod, associate director, project management office.
“The PMO gave project managers the ability to go out and manage projects and meet the
expectations of the clients through project status reporting, proper planning and scheduling,”
A NEW PLAYBOOK
Previously, Symcor lacked the governance needed to ensure a consistent project approach. It
offered no guidelines regarding who could start projects. It kept no record of how many projects were currently active. And there was little collaboration between project teams, especially
across business lines.
Drawing on principles from PMI’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge
is a failure,
it’s time to
go back to
1. 4 billion
checks and more
than 48 million