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Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?

 
#1 Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
30/11/2008 09:19

BOPper

With all the people on the bench in BOP right now, and our pipeline looking so weak is it likely that redundancies will start soon?

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#2 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
30/11/2008 12:05

n to BOPper (#1)

I would've thought BOP is one of the most sellable services so I'd be surprised if business didn't pick up.

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#3 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
01/12/2008 11:43

TBA to n (#2)

BOP is still heavily reliant on smaller public sector jobs, particularly since some of our larger government jobs have finished in the past month or two.

Given the whole memory stick debacle, and the pressure on government spending, I’d say that BOP business is unlikely to pick up any time soon. Expect more pressure from our partners to take holidays and training well into the New Year.

PA’s heavy focus on bonus though, should keep redundancy numbers low. The model is designed so that in hard times, such as these, the bonus amounts dry up, and staff are encouraged to leave of their own volition. This saves the business a lot of money on redundancy payments.

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#4 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
01/12/2008 22:54

On anon to BOPper (#1)

Not sure what data you're looking at "BOPper" but weekly revenue for BOP is hitting budget give or take a few percent.

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#5 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
02/12/2008 05:58

??? to On anon (#4)

Pipeline may not be the best but looking on the system it's been a pretty decent year for them all told. As above, if it's a slow start to the year PA banks on people taking the bonus and leaving which will cull the numbers significantly.

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#6 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
12/12/2008 11:56

Old Timer to ??? (#5)

With bonuses likely to be very weak next year, if you're not getting at least a 3.5 then you'll get very little. I’d say we will see a lot of people get a 1 and go on a PIP in the new year, which would result in an increase in attrition.

This is the approach that PA used in the last downturn, so they’ll probably do the same this time. It saves on redundancy costs.

We're also getting same pressure we got in the early noughties from the partners to take long holidays around Christmas, to massage the year end utilisation figures. Not a good sign.

We’re in for a real rollercoaster over the next six months

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#7 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
12/12/2008 13:30

anon to Old Timer (#6)

so did the person who lost the momory stick get sacked?

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#8 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
12/12/2008 14:26

mr burns to anon (#7)

As also an "old timer" I'm surprised you say about bonuses, the year has been pretty good and there are clear rules about how much profit should be paid out (unlike friends elsewhere whose companies seem to be taking 10 months of good performance, 2 months of bad performance and making it equal little or no bonus).

Also, you should know the number of 1s is limited by the bell curve.

The last downturn they just stopped hiring, given 30% attrition rates in consultancy anyway headcount drops off pretty quick, it's only the crap that get pushed out by PIPs.

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#9 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
12/12/2008 15:56

PAer to mr burns (#8)

PA still seem to be hiring new people, the Project Mgmt Practice is anyway!

It doesn't seem like the strategy of a company that wants to make cut backs in the new year

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#10 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
12/12/2008 20:49

MH to PAer (#9)

At least 3 got sacked

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#11 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
13/12/2008 09:42

tommy to MH (#10)

what is a PIP?

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#12 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
13/12/2008 10:05

Johnny to tommy (#11)

A PIP is an APL / CID

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#13 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
13/12/2008 10:43

RH to Johnny (#12)

A PIP is a method of

a) weeding out low performers (and, occassionally, improving their performance);

b) culling headcount by stealth without paying redundancy while minimising the risk of getting sued for constructive dismissal (doesn't always work though)

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#14 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
13/12/2008 10:58

anon to tommy (#11)

PIP = Performance Improvement Plan

This is the formal way of getting under-performing employees back on track by addressing the specific underperformance issues. The plan should set out clear steps, goals and performance measures/levels. If, at the end of the plan period, the employee has met those goals and demonstrated the required performance, they come off the PIP and are regarded as "meeting expectations". If the employee has not met the goals, a new PIP may be drawn-up, or the employee may be dismissed.

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#15 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
13/12/2008 13:55

anon on on to anon (#14)

PA have a staff turnover rate of 30% ???

That really can't be sustainable, even if PA's pipeline of new business has collapsed since the recession and the memory stick.

No need for redundancies if you can only keep your staff motivated and happy for 3 years

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#16 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
13/12/2008 14:56

mr burns to anon on on (#15)

30% is the average consulting industry rate. PA's rate is closer to 10-15%.

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#17 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
13/12/2008 15:43

not bad to mr burns (#16)

30% is pretty average for the industry, average career of 3 years. Think of all the MBBB people on here who stay 2 or less even before being booted, sorry, moving on to "better" things.

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#18 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
14/12/2008 12:29

anon to not bad (#17)

For those that went to the staff talk on Friday, you will have heard that financially this year for PA is set to be the highest on record.

As a company that operates globally in 30 or so countries, across 11 or so industries and 5 or so major service areas, there is a lot more to company than usually discussed here.

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#19 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
14/12/2008 14:18

anon to anon (#18)

"For those that went to the staff talk on Friday, you will have heard that financially this year for PA is set to be the highest on record."

Though that's not necessarily any great commendation or unusual in the industry - all it means is that the business hasn't shrunk. The industry as a whole is still growing and a rising tide lifts all boats. Market share and profitability, both of which fell this year, would have been more convincing statistics.

"As a company that operates globally in 30 or so countries, across 11 or so industries and 5 or so major service areas, there is a lot more to company than usually discussed here."

True - this thread is only meant to be about BOP.

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#20 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
16/12/2008 13:06

bonus pool yey! to anon (#19)

Market share almost impossible to calculate (where are the boundaries of what is “consulting” and what sectors/ industries/ countries do you focus on) but profitability up at PA this year.

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#21 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
19/12/2008 06:23

Compared to what? to bonus pool yey! (#20)

All compared to last year though? Was last year so good? Didn't a load of people get booted last year because the bonuses didn't look so clever?

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#22 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
19/12/2008 11:00

BOP beater to Compared to what? (#21)

Looking around the 4th floor last week, there wasn’t much desk space. Not a good omen for the new year.

At least the BOP Christmas party was good fun last night. If things really tank in 2009 like most commentators seem to think, it might be the last cause for celebration we have for a while.

What a number of contributors on this thread have overlooked is that 2009 is likely to be a lot harder than 2008. Just because we, like everyone else in the market, had a respectable year, we are unlikely to see the same conditions in the immediate future.

Deloittes, Accenture, and everyone else are starting redundancies. It’s only a matter of time before PA, and generalist body shopping practices like BOP and POC in particular, start to shed people. There wont be much room for generalist process mappers to hide.

Now I must get back to nursing my sore head. This hangover could take a long time to clear.

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#23 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
20/12/2008 03:20

sigh to BOP beater (#22)

"All compared to last year though? Was last year so good? Didn't a load of people get booted last year because the bonuses didn't look so clever?"

Compared to last year being a record year for the company.

The reason you may think that PA does badly in the market is that it works a pretty clear meritocracy system. Do good work, get a good bonus. The ones on here sniping that there is no money and everything is doomed are those with too much time on their hands, hence get poor pay rises and bonuses. PA actually makes a lot of money.

PA rode out the last downturn with only a few redundancies, could be worse this time but the part of the business I'm in has a very healthy pipeline next year.

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#24 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
20/12/2008 08:58

PA-er to sigh (#23)

"PA rode out the last downturn with only a few redundancies, could be worse this time "

How many people were made redundant last time?

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#25 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
20/12/2008 09:44

PA-er to sigh (#23)

"PA rode out the last downturn with only a few redundancies, could be worse this time "

How many people were made redundant last time?

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#26 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
20/12/2008 13:39

Yawn to PA-er (#25)

Sigh - you too are wasting time on this site. I guess that makes you a complete loser with an invalid opinion, no?

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#27 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
20/12/2008 18:26

sigh to Yawn (#26)

"Sigh - you too are wasting time on this site. I guess that makes you a complete loser with an invalid opinion, no?"

Many of the opinions on here completely misunderstand PA's business model, history and pipeline , hence it's easy to pick holes. They're either put on by outsiders or junior staff as everyone above PC can see the performance of the company updated weekly and would know things are pretty good.

PA had minimal redundancies last time. Officially, it didn't sack anyone but that's not quite true. Still better than competitors laying off double digit numbers before things have even really got bad.

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#28 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
22/12/2008 12:57

anon to sigh (#27)

I spoke with someone in HR recently, and there is a real push to increase the numbers of 1 ratings for 2008.

Constructive dismissal by another name.

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#29 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
23/12/2008 18:51

Yawn to anon (#28)

Sigh - you say "Many of the opinions on here completely misunderstand PA's business model"

But that suggests some opinions do completely understand, eh?

"I spoke with someone in HR recently, and there is a real push to increase the numbers of 1 ratings for 2008. Constructive dismissal by another name."

Anyway, no one really cares about this debate - half a dozen disaffected people vs a couple of brain dead corporate drones. No one cares. Enough already! Start your own PA blog in your own playground and keep out of this site and boring the rest of us to death!

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#30 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
24/12/2008 12:05

Scrooge to Yawn (#29)

Is PA the only consulting company that forces you to take Christmas eve as a holiday, unless you are on client site or in the office?

Nice that we trust our people so much!!

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#31 RE: Redundancies at PA's BOP practice?
24/12/2008 12:11

Scrooge to Yawn (#29)

Is PA the only consulting company that forces you to take Christmas eve as a holiday, unless you are on client site or in the office?

Nice that we trust our people so much!!

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#32 PA's Dinosaur approach to its people
24/12/2008 13:31

Bopper to Scrooge (#31)

"Is PA the only consulting company that forces you to take Christmas eve as a holiday, unless you are on client site or in the office? "

Probably.

It's also the only consultancy run on principles straight out of A Christmas Carol whereby the Scrooge like Managing Partners:

- give their staff significantly less annual leave than competitors - 23 days compared to 26 at Deloitte, 28+ at Accenture et al

- give pay rises based on the average income the previous year, thus avoiding actually paying out the full amount

- take back 20% of bonuses from staff into some Byzantine scheme for ensuring staff can't spend the money they are entitled to for the following three years

- Charge employees the 11% Employers NI cost on Bonuses - using the same logic it's surprising they haven't started charging staff for desk space or heating the offices

- haven't increased the travel allowance for 18+ months

Sadly, it would seem that despite the ongoing high levels of voluntary turnover in the more junior consulting grades, there's no inclination to at least match the remuneration packages offered by competitors.

Personally, I've had enough, so despite the brilliant people this will be my last xmas PA.

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#33 RE: PA's Dinosaur approach to its people
24/12/2008 14:14

Be Bop to Bopper (#32)

Travel allowance was last increased in 2003

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#34 RE: PA's Dinosaur approach to its people
27/12/2008 13:55

Another BOPper to Be Bop (#33)

Word is that the so called bell curve will be massaged to ensure lots more 1's and 2's this year to save on redundancy costs.

Specifically to get back to BOP - nice to see the practice partner didn't leave everyone stranded at the Christmas party like he did the previous year.

The BOP pipeline for January is looking very weak, especially since we've had so many people come back from projects before Christmas. I don't think prospects will be good for 2009.

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#35 RE: PA's Dinosaur approach to its people
29/12/2008 22:10

a while to go to Another BOPper (#34)

On the plus side for poor performers, they do have time to get another job. Scores come through in March, then you'll have at least 3 months of PIP to turn it around (if you even want to). PA also don't provide any commentary in references as to your performance so your new employer would never know if you're Coco the Clown or not.

Of course, it's hard finding alternative employment at the moment, but PA's stinginess in not paying redundancy does at least keep the wolf from the door for a while.

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#36 RE: PA's Dinosaur approach to its people
07/01/2009 16:47

New yr at PA to a while to go (#35)

So here we are in 2009, and my oh my how it has begun with a bang.

NOT !

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#37 RE: PA's Dinosaur approach to its people
09/01/2009 20:45

nc to New yr at PA (#36)

Has anyone actually been made redundant yet?

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#38 RE: PA's Dinosaur approach to its people
09/01/2009 23:24

pc to nc (#37)

I think its unlikely that anyone will need to be made redundant. The easiest thing for the company to do is to increase the number of 1 grades, and to freeze pay for all but those on top end 3 or 4

That's what PA did in 2001 - 2003, and it worked then. They will likely do the same thing during this recession.

Although if we can't sell any work, more drastic measures will be needed.

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#39 RE: PA's Dinosaur approach to its people
10/01/2009 13:24

nc to pc (#38)

A great place to work, then?

The grass is rarely greener though

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#40 RE: PA's Dinosaur approach to its people
17/01/2009 12:40

BOPster to nc (#39)

As ever, negativity from (presumably) those current poor performers or disenchanted folk who have already left?

The facts are these:

1. BOP had a very good financial year last year, significantly better than 2007

2. Yes, 2009 is going to be more a difficult year for everyone (congratulations to those who spotted that - absolute genius)

3. BOP are currently recruiting. Admittedly, as with any other year they expect natural attrition.

4. There have been opportunities which have dried up as clients tighten their purse strings which in another year might have developed - hardly rocket science.

5. There's still plenty of work about for those of us who are any good.

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#41 RE: PA's Dinosaur approach to its people
17/01/2009 13:12

Eee Ore to BOPster (#40)

"There's still plenty of work about for those of us who are any good. "

Not true. Most of the Principal Consultants have been on the bench since the start of December.

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#42 RE: PA's Dinosaur approach to its people
18/01/2009 11:09

Query to Eee Ore (#41)

Hi BOPster

How did the lost memory stick affect PA's relations with central government?

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#43 RE: PA's Dinosaur approach to its people
18/01/2009 12:36

Bopster to Eee Ore (#41)

I'd have to agree, December was a quiet month.

I hardly think that a slow month is cause to hit the panic button? Most (if not all?) of the PCs you mention are now sold....

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#44 RE: PA's Dinosaur approach to its people
20/01/2009 10:09

Query to Bopster (#43)

Hi BOPster

Do you have an answer for how the lost memory stick affect PA's relations with government?

It must have really hurt the credibility of the organisation. Looking at it from the outside, it was a complete farce.

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#45 RE: PA's Dinosaur approach to its people
20/01/2009 19:16

EXPAt to Query (#44)

Literally not a jot. For right or wrong, none of the government clients gives a sh*t - to the extent that the same PA consultants have already been brought back onto the affected project, albeit under a different project's contract. Sure, wining and dining with partners had to go on hold for a couple of weeks but the thing was out of clients' minds as soon as it was out of the press (i.e. a couple of weeks). Frankly, you can hardly blame them - they'd be taking as much or more of a gamble if they entrusted civil servants or any other "contractancy" with the data.

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#46 PA Consulting - Recruitment Open Evening
22/01/2009 00:04

mba0809 to EXPAt (#45)

Guys

I've been invited for this Recruitment Open Evening on Jan 28, London.

http://events.top-consultant.com/UK/careerconference.aspx?ID=389

I'm a current MBA student and I'll have to travel to London to attend this.

What are you takes on this event. Would it be of any use to me in accordance with a job or a summer project. Or should I just stay back and attend my Economic lectures :) ???

Please help.

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