of business. These meetings include all impacted senior managers to foster better engagement
and communication across Symcor’s divisions.
And while projects are assessed according to how they’re performing, the meetings don’t
put project teams on the spot. Rather, they’re a time for project managers to receive guidance,
coaching and fresh perspectives on stubborn problems.
“A project or program manager has the opportunity to ask for help and assistance, and he
or she can ask for the approvals if there are any changes required,” Mr. Krsikapa says. “So it is
a great help. It is a great tool.”
More engaged executive sponsors have given the company an opportunity to be proactive—
which is especially helpful on complicated endeavors, such as the company’s recent workflow
automation project. The three-year initiative to revamp operations and improve turnaround
on certain project types stretched across various departments in the company and involved
many stakeholders, including clients and customers. Given the scope and number of different
stakeholders, it would have been difficult to manage without a PMO.
The PMO was able to bring in all internal and external customers together on a monthly
basis to ensure that all parties were on the same page and understood the scope, risks and
strategies as the project evolved.
“It was a very complicated project,” Mr. Vaz says. “It was evolving. And because of these
steering committee meetings, we were able to manage the project.”
Buy-in for the steering committee meetings was low at first, but their value—and the value
of the project—has been proven over time. In fact, Symcor recently finished the benefits
realization for the workflow project and found that it yielded an ROI of more than 100 per-
cent. The project also improved turnaround on projects by cutting the time it took to
onboard new clients into the infrastructure from six months to three.
The company’s program management oversight also gave the organization’s leadership a high-level view of the projects on the table. Prior to
the PMO, a formal definition for program management didn’t exist
and made insights into programs difficult. The introduction of clear
standards mirrored project standardization, and defined how a
program is initiated, funded, executed, reported on and closed.
It also clarified the roles and responsibilities between project,
program and portfolio managers.
“A program can have a good overview over lines of
businesses in all other departments like technology,
architecture, procurement, finance and so on,” Mr. Krsi-
kapa says. “And it can bring them together so that they
work as one team.”
Because Symcor now coordinates projects extending
across multiple lines of business, it’s easier for the organi-
zation to seek out and deliver long-term, multi-divisional
projects that bring in bigger profits.
ON THE ROSTER
Other annual, quarterly and monthly meetings have also been set
up to align projects to the company’s strategy. In one such meeting,
“A program can
have a good
overview over lines
of businesses in all
and so on. And it can
bring them together
so that they work as
—Nenad Krsikapa, PMP, Symcor