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PA Consulting

 
#1 PA Consulting
09/04/2009 08:32

Anon

Folks

Has anyone heard anything about redundancies at PA?

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#2 RE: PA Consulting
09/04/2009 12:27

BOPper to Anon (#1)

I think there was a memory stick with details of all the redunancy offers, but some one lost it

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#3 RE: PA Consulting
09/04/2009 13:15

Ex to BOPper (#2)

They have been cutting people in the US since the middle of 2008, with a load going in Jan this year

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#4 RE: PA Consulting
09/04/2009 15:30

Eric the Viking to Ex (#3)

The approach in 123 has been to use the annual review process to substantially reduce the number of staff being rated 3 or better.

There has been no official announcement about redundancies yet, but it will hit the MC grade hardest, as sales volumes (even in the public sector) have fallen off dramatically, and the partners will look for someone to blame.

We were promised an announcement at half year about redundancies and the length of the pay freeze, but nothing has come out so far.

PA will just performance manage out those that they want to get rid of, through a PIP, rather than a formal redundancy route. That is the normal cowardly route preferred by our partners.

There have already been big job cuts in the Nordic countries, with more likely to follow.

Don’t forget the warning from our leaders about not posting on top-consultant.com.

You naughty naughty people.

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#5 RE: PA Consulting
09/04/2009 16:05

likeduh to Eric the Viking (#4)

"PA will just performance manage out those that they want to get rid of, through a PIP, rather than a formal redundancy route. That is the normal cowardly route preferred by our partners."

Also the route preferred by EY BAS, IBM, ACN, etc. and most rational managers. Get rid of under-performers cheaply before making blanket redundancies which will be expensive and lose you good staff.

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#6 RE: PA Consulting
09/04/2009 17:50

Bob to likeduh (#5)

So Eric, tell us some more about PA leaderships advice concerning Top-Consultant.

This sounds like it could be interesting.

Do tell.

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#7 RE: PA Consulting
09/04/2009 18:06

Erik the Viking to Bob (#6)

I can't.

I shouldn't even be posting here.

It could get me shot

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#8 RE: PA Consulting
09/04/2009 18:35

you've got to be kidding to Erik the Viking (#7)

Surely PA's leadership have more important things on their minds than posting on this forum?

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#9 RE: PA Consulting
10/04/2009 17:03

Brave to deleted (#0)

Would either PA's leadership or any of us on here be brave enough to have the debate on the blogs on the intranet?

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#10 RE: PA Consulting
11/04/2009 12:49

flat eric to Brave (#9)

The first people to go are those employed to surf sites like this and then try and work out who has posted - believe me, I know people who've been pulled up as "suspects". So sad.

PA holding up OK at group level so far, but some very different performances at practice and geography level beneath that. Be interesting to see if they make redundancies, hard to see PA ever making a comeback if it loses say 20%-30% of its staff from here.

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#11 RE: PA Consulting
11/04/2009 18:24

Shirley to flat eric (#10)

Surely no one is employed to surf sites like this and then try and work out who has posted? That would be ridiculous

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#12 RE: PA Consulting
12/04/2009 08:46

Erik the viking to Shirley (#11)

I wouldn't be surprised. Despite always trumpeting the fact that PA is an independent, employee owned company PA's leadership does not actually trust its own people - hence the ridiculous amount of rules, procedures and monitoring that is in place. Although I'm not PA is that different in this respect to other consultancies.

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#13 RE: PA Consulting
12/04/2009 15:22

BAS to Erik the viking (#12)

Sounds like EY :-( although at EY you don't get the financial benefits of employee ownership.

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#14 RE: PA Consulting
12/04/2009 17:21

gobsmacked to BAS (#13)

What - there was a communication to ask people not to post on this site? That's unbelievable. What form did this communication take? I'm assuming there was some form of supporting message with it - if so what?

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#15 RE: PA Consulting
13/04/2009 21:17

Proud to be PA to gobsmacked (#14)

I don't know of any other top tier consulting company that offers all their staff a free, gratis, and for nothing half day on the Thursday before Easter.

This is why I am proud to work for PA

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#16 RE: PA Consulting
13/04/2009 22:46

hardhat to Proud to be PA (#15)

It's very sad indeed that employees of a consultancy of PA's size are advised not to post on this forum. Please do not read this as an anti-PA thread, per se. I hold my own opinions on PA and voice them or not according to my own volition.

Nevertheless it amazes me that free speech is such a low priority. Whatever next?

Supply and demand has no impact on price?

Surely some mistake.

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#17 RE: PA Consulting
13/04/2009 23:11

work for PA but.... to hardhat (#16)

"I don't know of any other top tier consulting company that offers all their staff a free, gratis, and for nothing half day on the Thursday before Easter"

Surely a joke post as that's news to me.

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#18 RE: PA Consulting
13/04/2009 23:16

Whm to hardhat (#16)

I think the whole point behind posters' incredulity in this thread is that there was no such communication at PA. The only vaguely related message I can recall receiving comes somewhere in the annual information security training where it reminds people of the IT policy i.e. don't share commercially sensitive information more widely than necessary for the project, don't post client materials in public places without prior approval, the usual things. Essentially identical to the approach everywhere else I've worked.

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#19 If you get nowt - get out
14/04/2009 16:21

Essex man to Whm (#18)

Equally, all these rumours about no pay rises and redundancies coming are nonsense.

I got a 15% payrise again this year, as did anyone who is any good.

Only the dross got nothing.

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#20 RE: If you get nowt - get out
14/04/2009 18:21

Insider to Essex man (#19)

To get back to the OP’s question…

There are a number of areas of the business suffering now. In particular FS, SMP, and Energy were struggling before the credit crunch, and are almost non-existant now. There are lots of people on PIPs, from what I hear. Redundancies will follow.

What is more worrying for the UK firm is the reliance that some (not all) practices have on the public sector. In particular Government (obviously), POC, and BOP are all very exposed to the inevitable cut backs in government spend once the various easing measures now in place, start to take effect.

Government spending will need to be curtailed quickly, and the easiest thing to do would be to cut back on Casewise “expertise” charged in at the price of a laptop per day. If I was in any of these practices, I would be very anxious about my future with the company.

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#21 RE: If you get nowt - get out
14/04/2009 22:11

clued up to Insider (#20)

"Insider"; you write that -

"POC, and BOP are all very exposed to the inevitable cut backs in government spend once the various easing measures now in place, start to take effect."

I completely disagree with the above.

The Government if anything needs to accelerate its existing change programmes to bring forward early benefits realisation (greater productivity, efficiency savings etc via headcount reductions).

These programmes are likely to require more consultancy, not less. It's probably why things continue to tick along quite nicely in the many PA practices who serve public sector clients.

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#22 RE: If you get nowt - get out
14/04/2009 22:29

Insider to clued up (#21)

"glued up" might be correct to say this is what "should" happen, however we all know that once the upturn commences the government will be under huge pressure to cut discretionary spend immediately, and the result will be that PA and the other public sector reliant consultancies will suffer.

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#23 RE: What do we know about being out?
16/04/2009 23:36

hahahardhat to Insider (#22)

Do "we all know" that "the government will be under huge pressure to cut discretionary spend immediately" ?

Benn said before the Labour party took control of our government something along the lines of governments always tending to look after their own supporters first.

Difficult to argue with that these days, or as cricketers would say, if you want to play in the slip wear a hardhat!

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#24 RE: What do we know about being out?
17/04/2009 10:00

BOPster to hahahardhat (#23)

Is that Mr Benn - the 80's cartoon character?

If you don’t believe that the government (either Labour or Tory) are not going to raise taxes and dramatically cut spend, particularly unwieldy wasteful consultancy projects, immediately once the first signs of an upturn occurs, then you are a fool.

The real problem for BOP, in particular, is that we have almost no private sector clients, and will be royally plucked once government spending stops.

To mis-quote the Kaiser Chiefs: “I predict disquiet”

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#25 RE: What do we know about being out?
17/04/2009 16:55

I'm confuddled to BOPster (#24)

Just to be clear for people who read this outside PA. BOP is just a small part of the company. Not sure why every PA thread goes back to them!

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#26 RE: What do we know about being out?
17/04/2009 18:21

Beats me too to I'm confuddled (#25)

Beats me too - funny how no-one ever mentions PA's great defence, manufacturing and pharma practices, superb technology centres in Princeton and Cambridge or the venture companies that have made a fortune. BOP is quite fankly an irrelevance to PA's future.

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#27 RE: If you get nowt - get out
17/04/2009 19:27

Kent to Essex man (#19)

Essex - there must be a lot of dross about then. Those who get 3s are dross, no?

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#28 RE: If you get nowt - get out
17/04/2009 23:21

Superted to Kent (#27)

Cambridge is in Cambridgeshire, not Essex, you 'nana.

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#29 RE: If you get nowt - get out
18/04/2009 10:32

Cambridge Don to Superted (#28)

"funny how no-one ever mentions PA's great defence, manufacturing and pharma practices"

Great?? What a larf !!!

The defence practice has lost a load of business to EY last year when one of the partners left and the practice is now shrinking , manufacturing is tiny, and pharma only has Pfizer as a client.

Yup. BOP is on the slide, as is the rest of PA Consulting.

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#30 RE: If you get nowt - get out
18/04/2009 14:59

Xpress to Cambridge Don (#29)

I challenge you to name the partner joining EY. I work at EY and do not know of any such individual. In fact, we don't even have a defence practice (or any interest in developing one), so I would be surprised if such a person was bringing any across any work of value.

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#31 RE: If you get nowt - get out
18/04/2009 15:11

Harvard Dean to Cambridge Don (#29)

Nobody has much active pharma work right now. If you knew anything about the industry, you'd know it is in the bedpan.

PA has a lot more and a lot stronger relationships with biotech companies than most firms, and is enjoying a lot more work advising on the future shape of the pharma industry. As the industry bottoms out and starts to reform, I would be surprised if PA's pharma practice wasn't rushed off its feet whilst certain other consultancies struggle to sell their usual tired salesforce-expansion crap.

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#32 RE: If you get nowt - get out
18/04/2009 15:33

Cambridge Don to Xpress (#30)

If you did work in EY, Xpress, you would know that Bjorn Conway, joined from PA in September 08 and has successfully been selling large public sector jobs for EY ever since.

He is one of the few EY partners that seems to be any good.

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#33 RE: If you get nowt - get out
18/04/2009 17:51

hardhat to Cambridge Don (#32)

There is a significant political difference between the areas of public expenditure/cuts to expect under a Conservative government to that of a Socialist government. The former currently has a set of beliefs to improve the country whilst the latter has a seemingly endless list of things to spend money on until (and increasingly after) the money runs out.

That may have escaped the notice of those working on projects like 'how many times can we duplicate a persons identity' but to write off all future government expenditure would be to imagine that the opposition is as narrow minded as the government. I do not see the empirical evidence to support that opinion.

With regard to PA one of their problems seems to be that they suffer from the Accenture failing of being populated with too many inexperienced consultants and graduates who think they know it all.

This is at the expense of consultants that have a few more miles on the clock, realise they dont know-it-all but are still prepared to see a business and/or an organisation for what it is. This is often an essential skill for seeing what it could be.

Primarily many seem too uptight about the internal rivalry between their own teams to see what clients on the outside might actually want from them (wait for the possibility of a muppet that posts back about how PA dont call them teams but some other collective noun for a group of consultants).

One of those is surely about how to invest money and not waste it.

Finally BOPster you do the Kaiser chiefs some dis-service by your mis-quote. What the lyric was actually saying was "I predict a riot" which, given when the song was first released was fairly prophetic. We seem to have quite a few quasi-riots already since then under New Labour, Not-new-now-Labour or whatever it is they call themselves.

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#34 RE: If you get nowt - get out
18/04/2009 18:31

Anon to hardhat (#33)

The truth never seems to get in the way of a "good" story here.

PA hardly employ any graduates and are hugely top heavy. Also the proportion of people they hire from industry is significantly higher than the industry average.

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#35 RE: If you get nowt - get out
18/04/2009 18:44

The reality doctor to Cambridge Don (#32)

Large public sector projects is right for EY, but defence is not. Conway was not a big hitter for defence at PA, and the move to EY seems to have been prompted by a desire to shift career into doing more public administration central/local government work. Fair do's to the guy - you have to be interested in the work you're selling. However, that kind of lateral move would have been difficult coming from a position of low-mediocre performance and trying to move into an area where PA already has a lot of strong public sector sellers. Far easier to jump ship and shift direction simultaneously.

So, far from a coup at PA, much as the tabloid readers would like the world to be that simple.

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#36 RE: If you get nowt - get out
18/04/2009 23:20

not at PA but..... to The reality doctor (#35)

...I do recall seeing their defence practice advertise in the Sunday Times not too long ago - hardly the sign of a shrinking practice! They do seem to polarise opinion on this site like no other which makes me think there's a lot of people out there who would like to work for them or were sacked by them. Either way, their reputation is pretty solid from what I've heard.

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#37 RE: If you get nowt - get out
19/04/2009 11:10

Anon to not at PA but..... (#36)

I do work for PA and have also worked for other tier 1/2 consultancies I am also surprised by the level of criticism PA attracts here.

I personally have had a great time so far at PA and worked on some very interesting assignments - exclusively private sector and mostly at cxo level. Pay including bonus as a high performer is in line with / slightly above what I would get any where else. It's not all rosey and there are a lot of people doing less interesting work and I have been fortunate - but that's no different to any consulting firm! I do agree with the poster that said a lot of the great things PA do which really make them stand out like the ventures business which has built from scratch and sold many a venture are hardly ever mentioned here.

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#38 RE: If you get nowt - get out
19/04/2009 14:42

mack to hardhat (#33)

hardhat, I'd stick to the site hut if I were you as I've never read such a load of old tosh.

The PA demographic sees the bulk of it's workforce sitting in C or PC positions. It isn't a big grad recruiter and certainly isn't awash with wet behind the ears As and CAs?!

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#39 RE: If you get nowt - get out
19/04/2009 19:02

anon to mack (#38)

Hardhat:

"wait for the possibility of a muppet that posts back about how PA dont call them teams but some other collective noun for a group of consultants".

Mack:

"C or PC positions"

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#40 RE: If you get nowt - get out
19/04/2009 21:51

Top tier to anon (#39)

"I do work for PA and have also worked for other tier 1/2 consultancies "

PA are not a tier one or tier two consultancy. They are very definitely a mid-ranking public sector company. In terms of revenue, they don't even rank in the top 20 in the UK, and within the top 100 in the US

In terms of reputation, well who could forget the memory stick ? (Other than PA)

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#41 RE: If you get nowt - get out
19/04/2009 22:02

top tier my a*se to Top tier (#40)

"In terms of revenue, they don't even rank in the top 20 in the UK, and within the top 100 in the US"

Who gives a sh*t about revenue?! Profit talks, revenue walks. And in that context PA paid out record profits to its staff this year. The fact that PA made record profits in 2008 and paid record bonuses makes it top tier me thinks.

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#42 RE: If you get nowt - get out
20/04/2009 03:06

Payperrank to top tier my a*se (#41)

If you're going by revenues, you might as well use the Kennedy Information rankings (that's not a positive endorsement) - they have PwC as the "top consultancy", with two basic flaws in their methodology. 1) They rank "Top" as total revenues. 2) They count all services (auditing, outsourcing, etc.) provided by any firm that undertakes consulting as their total "consulting" activity.

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#43 RE: If you get nowt - get out
20/04/2009 19:22

Shall to Payperrank (#42)

Made record profits does not equal top tier.

Its all relative. Record profits is just a personal best - like become the 2nd best English tennis player is something to shout about

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#44 RE: If you get nowt - get out
20/04/2009 19:23

mack to anon (#39)

errrr........those are consulting grades anon?!!

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#45 RE: If you get nowt - get out
21/04/2009 12:59

A Number to Shall (#43)

"2nd best English tennis player" by what measure? Does every match count, or certain competition series only? Does every tournament in the series count, or only certain ones, such as Wimbledon? What about retired or deceased players - can they be the "our country's best player" if they aren't actively competing anymore?

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#46 RE: If you get nowt - get out
21/04/2009 13:16

Indigo girl to A Number (#45)

Record profits and sales in 2008?? So did everyone else !!

Post memory stick, credit crunch, and the redundancies, I don't think PA will be gloating much about 2009

It's precisely these middle size consultancies, focussed on the publis sector, that will suffer most

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#47 RE: If you get nowt - get out
21/04/2009 23:08

Tier 1? to Indigo girl (#46)

Wtf? Can you please elaborate who you think are tier 1s and tier 2s?

PA is tier 3 at best here.

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#48 RE: If you get nowt - get out
22/04/2009 15:05

too many snobs on here to Tier 1? (#47)

"Post memory stick, credit crunch, and the redundancies, I don't think PA will be gloating much about 2009"

Still making a healthy profit thus far in 2009...is your firm?

I worked at a top-tier firm before and was attracted to PA by the better lifestyle. Sure, there are parts of PA that have poor work like anywhere else, but they also have parts that do better work than the famous names. In short, it's like any other firm, though with less snobbery.

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#49 PA rocks
22/04/2009 23:10

Small is beautiful to too many snobs on here (#48)

Agree there are too many snobs on here. Having worked for MBB and the Big 4 I have to say PA is the most relaxed and friendly consulting company I've worked for. Yes it has its flaws, yes it does come rubbish work (who doesn't) but I don't think it pretends to be anything it isn't. But I can ring a senior partner or Board member and suggest meeting for a coffee to talk about an idea I've got and they will do. It's unbelievably refreshing! I love it.

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#50 RE: PA rocks
23/04/2009 10:48

Rick to Small is beautiful (#49)

Me too. So what if our client list is rubbish, and too focussed on the public sector? At least we’re not stuffed with the snot nosed Oxbridge types. I went to John Moores, and I don’t know of any other Top 10 consultancy that would have hired me.

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#51 RE: PA rocks
23/04/2009 11:53

anon to Rick (#50)

I find PA consultants are generally better educated than those at the Big-4 and there are as many Oxbridge graduates (particularly Cambridge engineers) as at most UK strategy houses. The difference is that they have moved on in their lives from the age of 21 and identify themselves as professional consultants rather than as graduates. As for reliance on the public sector, McKinsey's fate in the UK is tied up with that of the government, and public sector work accounted for well over two-thirds of revenues in the last recession - I don't see anyone noting that as a problem. Public or private sector is irrelevant - professional consultants (like those at PA) add value to the client's business and make money in the process. Consultants who only work for public sector clients grudgingly and then try to rip them off (yes, we all know who those firms are) get burned and fired (sic).

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#52 RE: PA rocks
23/04/2009 12:28

BOPette to anon (#51)

Yes – I don’t see what the big deal is with the private sector. I have worked for BOP for three years now, and did a few months with a private sector client. It was horrible, they really expect you to work long hours and will hold you to the project plan. Since then, I am back process mapping for a big Government department, and it is great to be able to leave the office every evening at 5pm, and never have to travel more than 30 minutes to work.

Also, what is the big deal with Oxbridge? I never went to Oxbridge, and it hasn’t prevented me from doing some really interesting process mapping.

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#53 RE: PA rocks
23/04/2009 13:57

Anon to BOPette (#52)

What is it with you BOPpers? If you hate the company and your work so much - leave.

If you are too lazy or incompetent to land another job, then I suggest you quit your whining and be thankful for what you've got.

PA has never been one to look after people who are not prepared to take control of their own career. The opportunities to do intertesting work are there if you willing to look and work for them. No-one likes a whinger.

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#54 RE: PA rocks
23/04/2009 18:37

BOPette to Anon (#53)

Sad but true – our lovely partners in BOP don’t care one jot about the quality of work they sell, which is why we are nearly all on cruddy public sector work…. Other than those of us who aren’t on the bench.

Why is any criticism of BOP treated so aggressively on here? Is it unreasonable to expect our partners to give us some good quality work?

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#55 RE: PA rocks
23/04/2009 20:42

Brian Cant to BOPette (#54)

Why don't PA sell BOP? Presuming the dead sea scrolls allow it.

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#56 RE: PA rocks
23/04/2009 23:44

Playaway to Brian Cant (#55)

"Why don't PA sell BOP? Presuming the dead sea scrolls allow it."

For starters, a lot of the BOP staff I've worked with actually seem to enjoy the work they do.

For all the nonsense spouted on here, there are quite a few smart cookies in BOP - presumably too smart to waste their time groaning on like broken records here.

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#57 RE: PA rocks
24/04/2009 09:54

Playathome to Playaway (#56)

Well put – and they also produce some really really colourful process maps for "top end" clients in the local government sector

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#58 RE: PA rocks
24/04/2009 18:38

BOP off to Playathome (#57)

Wow ! PA sounds like a really lovely place to work, remind me never ever to send my CV in there.

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#59 RE: PA rocks
24/04/2009 22:25

BOG off to BOP off (#58)

Don't bother - you wouldn't get in winnit.

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#60 RE: PA rocks
27/04/2009 10:39

BOP off to BOG off (#59)

You’re probably right. PA have a policy of not hiring good quality staff.

If I lost a memory stick on the way to the interview, do you think that would help my chances?

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#61 RE: PA rocks
30/04/2009 16:11

my dad's bigger than your dad to BOP off (#60)

Great comeback.

If you're 12 years old and on a playground.

Maybe PA should adopt the model of hiring solely from MBA schools and then throwing the people out after 2 years after they realise that you can't learn business just in a textbook. The sad thing for you is, if you did lose your memory stick on the way to the interview, one suspects your entire knowledge base would disappear with it.

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#62 RE: PA rocks
05/05/2009 10:43

anon to my dad's bigger than your dad (#61)

“Great comeback. If you're 12 years old and on a playground.”

Oh dear ! Why is it that every thread that discusses PA Consulting degenerates into this sort of personal slagging? Sounds like PA hire a lovely bunch of people, and probably explains why they have failed to grow market share over the past decade

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#63 RE: PA rocks
05/05/2009 21:23

IL to anon (#62)

Why is it that some people who don't work at PA have such a problem with PA? Jealous at all?

I don't work at PA, by the way.

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#64 RE: PA rocks
05/05/2009 22:29

Dogtanian to IL (#63)

Don't try and resurrect this chain, please. It's so boring, and there's umpteen near-identical chains already on this site.

Why don't we just agree never to mention PA on this site ever again. Not because the boss may or may not have demanded this. But because it is so effing boring, regardless whether there's truth or balance in the comments or not.

Make sense?

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#65 RE: PA rocks
06/05/2009 08:47

Wanna be BOPper to Dogtanian (#64)

Yup - all my life I've dreamed of using my degree from some second rate ex-Poly to draw process maps ad nauseum for some cruddy local authority, "applying commercial best practice to the business operations of [insert obscure county name] council, driving true value for local citizens"

Nope - the reason why PA, and BOP in particular, get such a slating here is because they are rubbish, and any attempt to discuss the organisation is dismissed as "boring"

If you don't like what you see, then don't read the thread

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#66 RE: PA rocks
06/05/2009 09:00

Anon to Wanna be BOPper (#65)

I didn't like the attitude of their staff at the recruitment event. On that basis alone, I decided not to apply. Which was a shame - because prior to meeting the people, I was really enthusiastic about PA. I thought the pay wouldn't be the best, but at least it would be a good working environment. Now I'm not sure about either. But, I would really like to be proven wrong on this.

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#67 RE: PA rocks
06/05/2009 20:55

Meshmesh to Anon (#66)

I got interviewed by PA a couple of years ago and they were very professional. The package was not very competitive hence why I did not go for it but the HR team and the Supply Chain partners and PCs impressed me. It is very surprising to see how much negative press PA gets on this site.

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#68 RE: PA rocks
06/05/2009 20:57

Dogtanian to Anon (#66)

I'm not denying BOP and PA are rubbish. There are 50 chains on this site that establish that. They may or may not be true. But nothing new is being added, it's just the same old same old. And that is why it is boring and should not be inflicted on the general populace any longer. It's not about suppressing comment, it's about preventing repetition. No one needs to be told again that BOP does process mapping in the public sector or the bonuses include the company's NI contributions blah blah blah. We know all this already. Say something new or original, or shut up. Same goes for the E&Y BAS is rubbish chains too. And what is MBBB chains. So what if there are only two chains a week on this site in future?

Make sense?

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