Wednesday, 13 February 2013

A comment that is so good it needs highlighting as a posting.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "How long will the CSC plane stay in the air?":

The greatest failure of CSC's executive management is one of a failure to understand human behaviour.

Laphen introduced a culture of penny-pinching & short-term financial performance at the cost of long-term investment, growth & ultimate results.

Result:
1. Unhappy customers where accounts are pillaged for profits early in the contract lifecycle, leaving teams the difficult task of turnaround in the final year or 2 before contract renewal, with an already damaged relationship.

2. Disillusioned staff working in an organisation where career progress & development, reward & recognition are either non-existing or an insult to intelligent professionals. Is a £50 voucher really a valid reward to a professional on £40-£60k who has just worked a 6 month contract putting in hundreds of hours above her contracted hours?
I've also heard of many staff willingly working roles of increased responsibility above their pay-grade, or extended hours, for months & years, with no promotion or proper recognition of their achievements. In fact, worse, I've heard that many have done so to abject criticism from middle & senior management. Consequently, staff morale has plummeted.

3. Continue replication of this same culture from the top down across the organisation. Culture spreads from the top & is encouraged by the behaviour of senior management & the associated pressure placed upon subordinates.

So.....
What Mike Lawrie really needs to do is to change the short-termist culture that is now pervasive in CSC, before all of the good leadership staff that are capable of re-starting the engines come to their senses and leave. He needs to introduce means by which staff who are willing to take on challenges of all shapes and sizes are recognised and rewarded.

He then needs to simplify the organisation in terms of focus. Not necessarily by grouping together roles of a similar type, but by understanding what services customers really want from IT service providers and aligning service groups focussed on these, with control over more of their own resources, and far less use of global "leveraged" resources.

Leveraged resource models sound wonderful in principle. However, they remove the requirement for any proper day to day staff management, and staff become increasingly removed from the technology teams within which they are supposed to be working, moving from account to account with no real sense of belonging. This leads to a tendency of staff being treated as a "resource" and NOT as people.

Finally, India.
When will CSC wake up and realise India's honeymoon is over? Other service industries came to this conclusion several years ago, with problems of language & culture coming together to reduce the customer service experience.

Many of the more progressive outsources are already using Filipino resources, where the accent is less pronounced, and the culture strongly Christian & much more Westernised than India. It's laughable that CSC manages to get into Gartner's Leaders Quadrant as it does. A little bit of strategic understanding & vision immediately highlights CSC as not a leader but a lagger.

To end, this comment, I'd like to say that in my experience, CSC's greatest asset is it's people & until more than lip service is paid by the excutive board to this fact, then the plane will continue it's downward spiral.

I, for one, am out. 

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately for CSC the current management are focused solely on cost. As Mike Lawrie stated on his arrival, Shareholders come first then Clients then Staff. All of the management past and present in CSC are so focused on using low cost resources to meet financial goals they have forgotten how to differentiate between competent experienced people and body shopping, or worse they simply ignore the obvious reality to meet short term goals. For the current management India = bodies and low hourly-cost, end of story!

Anonymous said...

Further to the above testament on the scourge of the modern shareholder-focused business practices of the modern age (am I the only one that remembers the words of Henry Ford that corporations have the responsibility of improving the lives of their customers and their staff?) there are examples from across the globe that highlights these failures - offshore (did he really call it "rightshoring"?) Project Managers who look cheaper on paper, but no one notices all the other resources are utilizing more hours as they do the roles the PM isn't ... the migration that should have cost 500 in Indian engineers who failed (repeatedly) to complete the work involving engineers, account leads and support staff finalizing the costs at over 30,000 ...

The morale is the lowest I have ever seen it. Standard greetings in the offices are now "Still here?" responded with "for today at least".

I would like to see it get better, but wonder how long that would take.

Anonymous said...

CSC S&W Region case.
How anyone can explain that CSC S&W President is at the head of France since more than 14 years while loosing market share ? While IBM, Accenture and smaller IT companies are growing and getting additional market share, CSC is just increasing its revenue BUT loosing marketshare !
Again, the full power in this region is at 100% with this President who decides who will get huge bonus regardless of individual achievements and value brought to CSC !

Anonymous said...

I for one cannot wait to get off this sinking ship.

Anonymous said...

The company needs major change, I think most people can see it. It was hard to do business with, CSC's greatest competitor is itself.

But this change process is taking so long..... seems its really US centric, heavily structured, and all regions have to do the layering all at the same time. Its have a REALLY disruptive impact on the business. Decisions can't be made, projects at risk, because exec sponsors not there, etc. It filters right down to simple things like forecasting and budgeting. People are continuously getting caught up in issues relating to the restructure and its impacting the business. I see people sitting there without much to do, in a waiting game. I wonder whether Mike and his team understand the real impact of this drawn out process on our customers, and its people?

Communications are saturated, but not delivering the information we're needing. I've switched them off, and check in with people around me to see whether anything useful has come out.

I DO understand, that implementing a change like this is hard. CSC is complex and large. What's not clear, is why its taking so long, dates are put out for announcements, like level 5 & 6, then hear nothing. Why are they get all regions to do the changes at the same time? One side of the world is been held up by EMEA legislation changes (or whatever the delays are). Can we segregate regions and press the fast forward button for those that can get on with it?

Anonymous said...

Internally, where offshore teams are involved there seems to be high levels of incompetence. Mistakes are made yes, but there seems to be no learning from these mistakes.

The current example of the change to the payroll system, with a payslip that no financial institution will accept, and benefits payments cock-ups just highlights that for an IT services company, we cannot even do our own internal projects justice.

The basics have to come first, and whilst I accept that change MUST happen, the evidence points to the latest "re-org" to be failing to get buy-in from the most important stakeholder of all - the employees.

CEOs all too often prioritise shareholders and clients, and forget that in effect they are not just a figurehead for steering the ship, but that they are also meant to be senior LEADERs.

Lawrie needs to do something significant to get the employees onside, perhaps he should read the dictionary definition of "leader" & strive to set himself apart from his penny-pinching predecessor, and thereby earn the respect of the staff & prove that he is the inspirational leader that CSC needs at this time of difficulty.

Anonymous said...


When you see five colleagues sitting about you being made redundant in the last four months it is very discouraging. Employees learn of the body count after each round of redundancies. Shell shock is becoming a very real thing for some employees.

Anonymous said...

solihull to close with the possible loss of almost 500 jobs, while in the US this happens -
http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/q/it?s=CSC

no wonder the staff have NO trust in the management teams !

cant wait to leave !

Anonymous said...

leave then

Anonymous said...

CSC is titanic ship and will sink, not because something has hit but because of its weight(oldyies heavyweights).
Indian IT companies are catching up they are now in products development too. they have fair HR policies. CSC is losing business. Last 5 bids in which i was part, went to Indian IT vendors as they went to Clients to understand them better and we were chanting "COST CUTTING" it's business Cutting.