Monday, 10 June 2013

Is It Deja Vu All Over Again?


Over the last few months many new comments from what looks like CSC employees have been made about how the restructuring is going. While any restructuring gives opportunities for any disaffected employees to make negative comments these seem to have a thread of authenticity about them. 
Here are a few, ranging from current to older as they appeared in the comments pages. Make your own judgement about the situation.


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“I know the UK employees still feel confused and demotivated..at least the ones I speak to !

Clearly they know how to take cost out, but growing the top line in this competitive market is tough for anyone so my guess is they are looking to steady the ship so they can find a buyer, and the CEO and his chums sail away into the sunset will millions of $ each - while my old friends and colleagues who work hard and have shown long term loyalty to the company get shafted.

I just hope for the sake of those left they don't get sold to IBM.”

…………………..

“To answer the question on restructuring, well its complete officially & many have been laid off on some pretext or the other. And having said that, this seems to be a failed project as many still don't know what role they are going to play & what will happen to the grades and promotions...very confusing for employees & I guess even top management. May be the Bonton guys are best to answer if they understand what they did :) “

………………..

“CSC in the UK, which contains a fair amount of EMEA leadership is in chaos and stasis.

Far too many clueless managers and executives focused only on safeguarding their jobs, as they are struggling to find jobs in the open market, at the expense of capable and effective employees.

It's about time the corporate leadership realised that they need to rip out the middle managers and country / region execs and their cronies and start fresh. Last years redundancies and subsequent job losses should have been executed with these people top of the list. In allowing them protection, CSC has not only lost a year, but has enabled another 12 months of new business stagnation.

Short term cost cutting at the expense of long term capability, effectiveness and success. The corporate leaders need to cut through the shroud of BS from regional leaders / middle managers and realise that its these groups that are responsible for CSC's predicament.“

…………………

“> To answer the question on restructuring, well its complete officially

Is it? Maybe you can tell me which division/department I work in and who my manager is, cus nobody else has?! It might be "complete" in the US and in the smaller divisions (legal, hr, marketing etc), but the bulk of the 60K people in GIS and GBS outside the US are in the dark. “

…………………………

“The cost cutting continues, with Liz Benison announcing 'up to 750 potential redundancies' today, 7 June '13.

That'll help morale.”

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“You know what they say, the beatings will continue until morale improves.”

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Just wait, soon you will hear of another panicked move to make UK staff redundant in similar numbers to last year with the focus being offshoring to India, although you probably wont hear the word offshore. They have not got a clue what they are doing at the top. We have a situation of many people being pulled off other work to produce a particular ill thought out and rushed system. Targets are being missed, promises broken on projects and work that we have expertise in supporting and producing results within as a freeze on all new development or roll out was introduced. There was lots of money to be made and good customer perception to be had and its all been blown out of the water. There will probably be some more CSC sites being shut down also. The company is being stripped down to the bare bones so a few people at the top can make a killing by selling what looks on the face of it, a lean and efficient company. I have witnessed new offshore staff coming in at a senior level but a lower cost than those working under them and there have been many communication issues on the conference calls and much confusion. In fact, the progress goes much more smoothly when they are quiet and those underneath end up taking over whatever they are there to do. If it wasn't so serious it would be laughable. I have heard time and time again about people saying such and such a person has suddenly been offered redundancy and gone and people saying why have they let one of the best Project Managers go or one of the best Release Managers etc. CSC can ill afford to let its best people go, as there are a few bad ones who make the same mistakes over and over, but then again its a symptom of not listening and that should bode well for them with a future with the higher echelons of the company. Any company buying CSC will simply be buying an order book or the existing contracts, as what is left will be very disgruntled long serving staff and a lot of cheap new staff who have yet to pick up the skills and experience to avoid projects failing, when things could actually have been turned around by listening to talented workers.

…………………………………

It is Deja Vu all over again!


Cassandra comment:
Is this one big death spiral starting with previous management but not apparently stopped by new management?
This spiral consists of:-
1. Bad investments and badly managed or concocted deals (CSC has/d a mantra "You can surely take a 10% challenge on these costs", when finalising deals, then hurting profits when said ‘challenge’ never worked out because it was pure fiction.
2. Leading to cost reductions all round from wherever.
3. Leading to poor services impacting reputation and poor sales plans on big deals.
4. Leading to declining sales.
5. Leading to too many people and too much infrastructure and too much over-capitalised  and under utilised kit and real estate on the books.
6. Leading to more cost reductions - probably not enough cuts in overhead functions like HQ's and over paid execs.
7. Leading to being behind the curve on getting costs out.
8. Leading to poor profits.
9. Leading to yet more late night management reviews with hastily offshored services, and little time to manage the business properly.
10. Leading to coming full circle at 1 but further down the Death Spiral.

Questions we have previously posed have yet to be answered.
They include:
1.    What is the scale, in numbers of heads and locations, of the people reductions?
2.    What is the cost of these reductions and where can they be seen in the forecasts?
3.    What is the full year revenue and profit impact of the reduced number of revenue generating staff?
4.    What is the full year revenue and profit impact of the selling of unwanted businesses?
5.    Have reductions in all the overheads; from back office functions to capitalised items, been included in forecasts?

Perhaps the Wall Street Analyst Watch Dogs ought to ask them.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

The only thing thats visible in the "re-org" is sell offs and lay offs.

Its all destroy, the recreate is absolutely missing.

Perhaps it might be acceptable to have a period of chaos when attempting something this big, but this is now 18 months of chaos with no end in sight.

The "great visionary" the market once thought had come to save CSC is just another clueless idiot with eyes on his take.

There are no plans, except for destruction - and you can ask that question wherever you like in the "spans and layers", the answers are the same. The "new plan" is yet to be agreed - even after 18 months.

A power vacuum has been created but anyone daring to step into that and try to sort out their own corner is neatly picked off and binned.

Power has become concentrated at the very highest levels, nobody is being trusted to delegate. From these people "the new plan" will emerge - apparently.

Anonymous said...

How about this for an explanation of why CSC is still not fixed? It is long and a bit rambling. But read it all for some grains....

https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/saturday-essay-people-not-systems/

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more with the above comment.

I've said all along that the one thing the esteemed corporate leadership seems to forget:

People. Human Behaviour.

I even understand HOW CSC can get out of this mess of it's own creation, and would quite willingly create a plan that would successfully engage all employees to join in with the turnaround.

My rate unfortunately for the leadership would be too high.

They'd have to forgo their bonuses for the next 3-5 years, and swallow their pride as they admit their mistakes & acknowledge the fact that they are perpetuating a lie from Mr Lawrie.

Yes, Mr Lawrie who told such cold-faced lies on one of his corporate videos (I think it was the preamble to the "Ethics" training....what irony). And don't argue Mr L, your 'tells' were obvious to someone experienced in psychology & human behaviour.

Anyway, he's rapidly trussing up the CSC golden goose ready for serving up to dinner to another big player like IBM or HP - perhaps even Dell.

The only thing the market is missing is that the goose is no longer laying golden eggs.

Anonymous said...

Layoffs are not demoralizing for themselves. The problem is that they are making a fat man thin by chopping off his legs. Corrections are happening only at the very top, and at low contribution levels. Real issues are right in the middle, mid managers, and country "mini Gods". We are seeing arsonist being kicked up to another "apparently better, but hollow" position, and replaced by people from the same clique they created.

Anonymous said...

Hey folks,
who would be such a fool to buy a company who satisfucked clients and employes and shareholders claiming itsself professional?

Just in case someone is stupid enough to dare, for the simple employee at the lower end of food scale, this might present chances to get back into IT after years of pencil pushing.

Anonymous said...

I know for a fact Mike Lawrie wants to move 3rd level support to India from UK and remove the most expensive techies from the pay role.

Most expensive may also in some cases - mean the best.

Likewise Lawrie also wants to move management roles to India - from account managers, service execs to department managers. He says because they are "experienced" - but we all know CHEAP!

Anonymous said...

So the question begs....
What is considered to be expensive for a UK techie?
A) 30K GBP to 50K GBP ?
B) 50K GBP to 70K GBP ?
C) 70K GBP +

Anonymous said...

Not difficult to get from HR a list of all techies - salary, benefits, overtime.

Then in excel you can sort from high to low.

Match that against role grade.

Highlight top 30% - then see who is expendable.

Then make the selection pool fit, job done. Not difficult.

Wonder if anyone has the balls under data protection act to ask for reports/emails where they have been named etc. Would be an eye opener.

I would say anyone with an RBS over 40k would be seen as high end compared to India.

I reckon my days are numbered so may bring more to the table before I go.... lol

Anonymous said...

Oh..... My rbs is 60K and i am a senor consultant techie. Not looking good for me then. I am amazed that the vr deal is so poor. The DPA approach is very interesting. Could cassandra open up a thread specificlly for uk redundancies please?

Anonymous said...

Another one to look for is if colleagues suddenly go to visit a client site... or an assignment away for a few days... job done - MOBILITY points go up for selection criteria for them to stay ... have a look round - has anyone seen this happening?

If your manager stops you going on client sites etc.... WARNING!!!

The union - lets face it they can say people take VR - when your told going any extra you would take... so compulsory versus voluntary statistics are a LIE!

Anonymous said...

Ethics, Values and Respect. HR worked for many years establishing these in CSC and changing management behaviours. That was 12 years ago. There was respect for employees in those days. HR had influence in UK and across Europe. Even when there were lay-offs, those affected were treated with repect, received counselling and support and legal and contractual compensation. Now, it seems, people are fired by e-mail, on conference calls or informed by very junior staff. Management has lost the respect of employees; that will inevitably lead to loss of loyalty and committment. Wake up, Mike. People ARE your most important asset and you are destroying their support and goodwill by your behaviour. Mike laphen did the same.....and look what happened.