Categorized | alan's blog

Another confusing week…

Another confusing week…

The client’s Head of IT asked me to comment on a paper he’d received from another part of the Group recently, talking about outsourcing their back office functions to save money.

Fascinating read, and clearly someone has been taken in by the sales pitch. For one thing, they’re planning on moving all the staff across, leaving no local management in house. That seems a touch suicidal for a start. Then they say the staff, protected by TUPE rules, will retain their current pay and conditions, including no redundancy and already agreed annual increases for three years.

So where, exactly, do the savings come from?

Also looking at the two providers in question, and having worked with both at various times… Let’s just say I could think of only one who could possibly be a worse choice. Needless to say the comments were less than flattering with a strong suggestion that my client does not ever consider taking the same route – or if they do, to do it properly!

Then I read that Siemens are balloting “contractors” over strike action. Surely some mistake – they aren’t contractors, they’re employees supporting an outsourced arrangement and being threatened with a pay freeze. I can think of quite a few people who would welcome a pay packet to be frozen, much less whine about it not going up.

That big network contract is still unsigned as well, with an absolute deadline that turned out not to be one. I’ve lost the will to live on this one, to be honest. If you can’t trust the sales team to come up with an accurate and supportable deal, what chance have you got? More meetings tomorrow to discuss the options, but I’m getting to the point where I suggest the client walks away and starts again. At least they have a fully worked design for next time round.

And finally got some workable numbers back from the new project time recording work. Oh look, time spent on projects that aren’t due, no time spent on things that are supposed to be urgent, variations between estimate and actuals of up to 1600% (seriously…). The Project Managers weren’t a bit fazed, though. Early days, not sure the guys are logging time properly yet, give it some time…

Having worked at quite a few client sites over the years, some good, some bad, one (naming no names!) absolutely awful, I’ve long been conscious that UK’s middle management isn’t quite at the leading edge these days. On the evidence of the week just gone it looks like I’m slowly being proven right.

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Image: dockheads by [phil h]

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