2015 PMO of the Year Finalist: Symcor

Matt Schur

When every other project is a failure, it's time to go back to square one.  

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 …

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