Getting fat – Microsoft style

by admin on September 27, 2006

in General

Reading Mini-Microsoft is like pulling back the curtain on a glory hole and shining a torch inside to see what’s there. Sometimes, it’s grim. Recently, the focus (sic) has been on consulting services. You know the kind of thing we’d all love to sell because of the premium rates. Here are some of the more juicier comments:

I left the group because of extremely dysfunctional management, bullying, sleazy engagement managers, arrogant architects, brutal travel, and a law-firm mentality of billable utilization to the point of fraud.

Ouch – that hurts

…totally agree with sleazy management…filling most of these managerial boxes mostly with cronies from outside who didn’t know their arse from a consulting engagement

Now my eyes are watering

I also saw a lot of victories claimed when nothing of value had actually been delivered

Pass me the motion discomfort bag

It wasn’t really hard to find something I liked (MS like company without the bullsh…)

Anyone want to move?

these are savage condemnations by any stretch but in talking with folk who know far more than I about consulting further up the food chain, it’s no wonder people like Vinnie bat SAP, Oracle and IBM over the head. If it’s true for Microsoft, you can be sure it has more than a grain of truth for these other organisations as well. Even though James has a somewhat different perspective and may well disagree:

If you work at IBM you should read the Mini-Microsoft post linked to above, if only to sit back in your chair and indulge in some deep rich chocolately schadenfraude.

My beef is not with the billable hour thing. It’s about the fact that in the tendering stage, consulting companies know what they plan to get, even if that means the client gets stiffed 10-15-20%. Companies that treat their staff in that manner don’t deserve a buyer’s support.

Vinnie has his job to do, but I wonder the extent to which spend consultants consider the ripple effect to otherwise dedicated staff who really do want to do a good job. I wonder also the extent to which the overhead factor gets examined (I’m sure Vinnie will have something to say about this line item.)

Maybe overhead comparisons and benchmarks should be made between smaller, lean operations and those of the Big Boys. and before anyone says: shut up Howlett, you’re clueless. I’ve done consulting in groups and small teams. I have some idea what goes on. And by the sounds of Mini-Microsoft, littel has changed among the big brands.

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