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6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—October 13, 2007

  • CNN/Money PRNewswire: IBM Honored With 2007 PMI Distinguished Project Award. Excerpt: Project Management Institute (PMI(R)), the world's leading membership leading membership association for the project management profession, today awarded IBM with the PMI Distinguished Project Award for IBM's role in the design and delivery of the Stockholm Congestion Tax Project. The award recognizes successful projects that have advanced project management concepts, techniques, practices or theories through the effective application of project management principles.
  • IT Jungle: Patently Absurd: IBM Tries to Patent Outsourcing, Then Kills It. By Timothy Prickett Morgan. Excerpts: Sometimes, you have to laugh so you don't cry. Last week, Barron's, the weekend investment rag put out by Dow Jones and the companion to the Wall Street Journal, picked up on a story in the Westchester County, New York-based News Journal that detailed a patent application that IBM filed on July 12 concerning business methods to perform technical and economic analysis and recommend outsourcing options to customers.

    India is, of course, the hot spot for outsourcing in the IT sector these days. IBM already has 55,000 employees in India, having added 10,000 new jobs this year in that country, and Sam Palmisano, IBM's chairman and chief executive officer, is very much enamored of India because of the cost savings it brings to Big Blue's own operations as well as those for the services engagements it does for other customers in their IT operations. Westchester County, as the News Journal points out, is where IBM's own headquarters is located and many of its facilities are scattered around the county, which is north of New York City. Those IBM facilities have around 7,500 employees today--far fewer than IBM has in India, which had only a little over 9,000 IBMers four years ago. IBM has over 355,000 employees worldwide, and its presence in India is significant. These kinds of statistics make some people, who think IBM should do more employing back here in the States or in Europe, a bit crazy. [...]

    So now we can all figure out how to outsource our own jobs with a rigorous and professional methodology--and do so for free. I feel much better now. At least there is one less stupid patent in the world, and IBM deserves some credit for that.

  • The Register (United Kingdom): IBM drops attempt to patent outsourcing. By Chris Williams. Excerpts: IBM has abandoned a ludicrous attempt to patent outsourcing after an internet outcry. Big Blue submitted this highly original invention to the US Patent office in January 2006. Its principal claim was for "a method for identifying human-resource work content to outsource offshore of an organisation".

    The application was noticed at the weekend by Slashdotters, who lambasted the move by the world's most prolific patenter.

  • Yahoo! message board post: "IBM backs out of it's outsourcing patent" by "sby_willie". Full excerpt: The response from IBM why they dropped pursuing this patent is lame. They dropped it because someone did some patent research and called them out on it. Now they back pedaled in their usual damage control mode when they get egg on their face by public opinion. How can anyone give IBM any credit for dropping this outsourcing patent application? It was an absurd patent anyway. IBM should never have attempted it in the first place.
  • Forbes: Worth $4 Million--And Unable To Retire. By Carrie Coghill Kuntz. Excerpts: I got a call from a newly "rich" executive. Having worked 60-hour weeks for years and now ready to retire at 55, he sold his business for $4 million. He was ready to live out his dream life and live off that tidy nest egg. The problem is, to do so--on $4 million--he must cut his standard of living. It's the plight of the "mMillionaire" --the middle-class Millionaire.

    Mansions and yachts are out. The mMillionaires who want to retire before age 65 or 72, find they must live in three- and four-bedroom homes and drive mid-priced four-door sedans and mini-vans. [...]

    Just a generation ago, a person with $2 million or more in liquid assets would have had enough for a secure retirement. But not today. Combine longer life expectancies and the rising costs of health care, food, transportation and property, and you have financial challenges ahead for the mMillionaire. [...]

    Even with no mortgage or tuition payments, many mMillionaires underestimate the effects of inflation, especially on the cost of health care services for the aging.

  • New York Times: Charge It to My Kids. By Thomas L. Friedman. Excerpts: Every so often a quote comes out of the Bush administration that leaves you asking: Am I crazy or are they? I had one of those moments last week when Dana Perino, the White House press secretary, was asked about a proposal by some Congressional Democrats to levy a surtax to pay for the Iraq war, and she responded, “We’ve always known that Democrats seem to revert to type, and they are willing to raise taxes on just about anything.”

    Yes, those silly Democrats. They’ll raise taxes for anything, even — get this — to pay for a war!

    Friends, we are through the looking glass. It is now “fiscally irresponsible” to want to pay for a war with a tax. These democrats just don’t understand: the tooth fairy pays for wars. Of course she does — the tooth fairy leaves the money at the end of every month under Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s pillow. And what a big pillow it is! My God, what will the Democrats come up with next? Taxes to rebuild bridges or schools or high-speed rail or our lagging broadband networks? No, no, the tooth fairy covers all that. She borrows the money from China and leaves it under Paulson’s pillow.

    Of course, we can pay for the Iraq war without a tax increase. The question is, can we pay for it and be making the investments in infrastructure, science and education needed to propel our country into the 21st century? Visit Singapore, Japan, Korea, China or parts of Europe today and you’ll discover that the infrastructure in our country is not keeping pace with our peers’. [...]

    Excuse me, Ms. Perino, but I wish Republicans would revert to type. I thought they were, well, conservatives — the kind of people who saved for rainy days, who invested in tomorrow for their kids, folks who didn’t believe in free lunches or free wars. [...]

    “In every major war we have fought in the 19th and 20th centuries,” said Mr. Hormats, “Americans have been asked to pay higher taxes — and nonessential programs have been cut — to support the military effort. Yet during this Iraq war, taxes have been lowered and domestic spending has climbed. In contrast to World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, for most Americans this conflict has entailed no economic sacrifice. The only people really sacrificing for this war are the troops and their families.”

  • A Dilbert cartoon illustrating "work-life balance" in action
  • New York Times: Too Timid for Tax Increases. Excerpts: Someday, Americans who earn millions upon millions of dollars each year will no longer pay taxes at a lower rate than the middle class and the merely affluent. Someday. But not this year, and with 2008 being an election year, probably not then either.

    The Washington Post reported this week that the Senate will not advance a proposal this year to raise taxes on private equity partners, the deal makers who have become multimillionaires and billionaires mainly via debt-driven buyouts of public companies. The partners pay a flat tax rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings, compared with rates as high as 35 percent for most everyone else — say, firefighters, nurses, doctors, teachers and soldiers. A spokesman for the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, told The Post that time appeared to have run out to act this year and that, in any event, the issue needs more study.

    That decision has all the signs of a delaying tactic to avoid raising taxes on an industry that is a heavy campaign contributor. Mr. Reid controls the Senate calendar, so he could make time if he wanted. And several Congressional hearings have made it clear that there is no justification for private equity’s low tax rate. Its legality rests on outdated provisions of the tax code that should be changed. It is morally indefensible. And it is illogical from a tax perspective.

    The law rewards investors for taking risks with their money by allowing them to pay taxes on their profits at a special low rate of 15 percent. But private equity partners are, by and large, managing other people’s money. As money managers earning performance fees, they don’t deserve an investor’s low tax rate.

  • Investment News: Richest get even richer. By Darla Mercado. The wealthiest Americans took a record slice of the income pie in 2005, a bigger helping than in the late-1990s bull market. A new report from the Internal Revenue Service revealed that two years ago, the top 1% of earners took home 21.2% of the adjusted gross income share in the nation.

    That is up from 19% from 2004, and it also beats the previous high of 20.8% in 2000. [...]

    The stats reveal a widening wealth gap, as the bottom 50% of earners brought in just 12.83%of the adjusted gross income share in 2005, a new low. That’s down slightly from 13.42% in 2004.

News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
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  • New York Times: Medicare Audits Show Problems in Private Plans. By Robert Pear. Excerpts: Tens of thousands of Medicare recipients have been victims of deceptive sales tactics and had claims improperly denied by private insurers that run the system’s huge new drug benefit program and offer other private insurance options encouraged by the Bush administration, a review of scores of federal audits has found.

    The problems, described in 91 audit reports reviewed by The New York Times, include the improper termination of coverage for people with H.I.V. and AIDS, huge backlogs of claims and complaints, and a failure to answer telephone calls from consumers, doctors and drugstores. [...]

    The companies include three of the largest participants in the Medicare market, UnitedHealth, Humana and WellPoint.

    The audits document widespread violations of patients’ rights and consumer protection standards. Some violations could directly affect the health of patients — for example, by delaying access to urgently needed medications. In July, Medicare terminated its contract with a private plan in Florida after finding that it posed an “imminent and serious threat” to its 11,000 members.

  • New York Times: G.M.’s Health Care Fix. Excerpts: The health insurance deal struck by leaders of General Motors and the United Automobile Workers union is a sensible compromise. Sadly, it will also add G.M. to the growing list of companies that are reducing employer-sponsored health coverage and transferring more risks and costs to their workers. This is a further sign of why there has to be a government-led effort to solve the country’s health care problems. [...]

    Unfortunately, this deal does nothing to restrain the underlying escalation of medical costs driving the problem. It simply shifts responsibility for administering insurance coverage from the company to the trust. Some experts hope that the union, once it is in charge of health coverage, will eventually restructure its benefit package to give retirees an incentive to economize on care. The trick would be to reduce waste and overuse without curtailing needed services.

  • The Huffington Post, courtesy of Physicians for a National Health Program: "Why Not Single Payer?" A Response to Paul Krugman and the Leading Democratic Presidential Contenders. Excerpt: Faster than you can say the word “Sicko” and turn around 3 times, the Democrats’ promise of health care for all has gone from “Universal Medicare For All” to “Individual Insurance Mandate”. In Monday’s New York Times, Paul Krugman defends that reversal in an article entitled “Why Not Single Payer?”

    The possibility, after the 2008 elections, of a Democratic-controlled Congress which could pass Medicare For All (a/k/a Universal Single Payer Health Insurance) and a Democratic President who would sign it, could bring about the best chance to enact Medicare For All since Harry Truman first proposed it in 1948.

    Yet without firing a shot and with no debate, the leading Democratic Presidential Contenders—Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama—as well as a good part of the Washington progressive infrastructure of think tanks and lobbying groups—have given up the fight for Medicare For All. Instead they propose variations of an Individual Mandate plan developed over the past 15 years by the “moderate” corporate wing of the Republican Party, a version of which Mitt Romney enacted in Massachusetts and which Arnold Schwarzenegger is proposing in California as an alternative to the single payer plan which the Democratic California legislature passed last year that he vetoed. [...]

    Or is it because they think that the insurance companies and drug companies are just too politically powerful to take on: Therefore the only way to insure most Americans is to make a deal with the devil that requires profit-making insurance companies to waive pre-existing conditions and charge everyone similar premiums regardless of age or health, in exchange for Congress delivering them 50 million guaranteed new profit-making customers, partly subsidized by the government?

New on the Alliance@IBM Site:
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  • From the Job Cuts Status & Comments page
    • Comment 10/04/07: 1700 moving from IBM to AT&T, from what I heard. Also understand that technicians are unionized, but professional staff are not. -Biff-
    • Comment 10/07/07: I am GTS and work very closely with a former Bellsouth, now ATT employee. He is a current paying member of the CWA union. His work hours are exactly 8:00am to 5:00pm. In his words, "When I checked my overtime this year, it was about 8 hours." Anybody that thinks that being sold into ATT is a problem, needs to rethink. If I could get into a contract that guarantees me a life, I'd be there in a New York minute..... -gadfly-
    • Comment 10/08/07: It's time to stop herding employees between IBM and AT@T just to deny people pensions and retirement bens. Young workers get screwed also. They get herded back and forth so that seniority in the company is stunted, lowering pensions and retirement benefits.. Isn't it time to stop this abuse? -SheepNot-
    • Comment 10/09/07: 46 contractors given the boot in s&d last week. Jobs moved overseas to better support the "global organization". In presentation by exec, he stressed that no IBM regular positions were eliminated. I thought IBMers would be the first to go since contractors are cheaper. What up? Has IBM turned a corner? -DonnaW-
    • Comment 10/09/07: AT&T mainframe employees are non-union. To the best of my knowledge there were no efforts to unionize our function. Generally, the union employees are the outside tech that do the installs and the service center employees (the ones you reach when you call in for service, technical support or to orders/cancel services). -workingforblueagain-
    • Comment 10/10/07: to -workingforblueagain- You maybe coming back to IBM from AT&T. But don't get too comfortable, you probably will only have enough time to drink a cup of coffee and train your third world support person. Over 90% of all the sys-admins and mainframe operators have been moved to South America or Asia. The only ones left in the states are the tape hangers and a few image loaders. The network stiffs that are moving to AT&T will eventually fare much better than the suckers coming back to the Blue-Pig. I've heard that most of the IBM'ers in network are really excited about the change although apprehensive that they have yet to get the formal offer from AT&T. -RA'd bear-
    • Comment 10/13/07: Global Administration (secretarial organization/reports in HR) is outsourcing to Malaysia. They are starting off small but will have full operations in 2008. Very limited US secretarial positions will be available in 2008. Only very high level bands (Band C and above) will get local support. The rest of the folks will get their secretarial support from Malaysia. Reductions in the US will continue for all levels of management, staff, assistants (secretaries) and what's left of the contractors in GA. So far this year, almost all the contractors have been fired and almost the whole finance team and team leads were RA'd. They are scheduled to leave by October 31. The top executives keep profiting and the peons get the royal scr*w. Real nice, IBM. Hope you sleep well, McDonald. Sad. sad, sad. -Let*them*eat*cake-
  • General Visitor's Comment page:
    • Comment 10/06/07: Has anyone else done these ridiculous Project Assessments (PAs) for this foolish PDF process? What a WASTE of money!!! This redundant piece of bureaucratic PBC-ish garbage just makes me furious. It makes me furious that some morons in IBM are actually getting paid to come up with this stuff, and some worthless executive is going to get a bonus for this. Our organization made us fill this crap out in a week. They notified us that it was due on 10/5/2007 on 10/1/2007. Every single person I talked to in GBS AS is pissed off and disgusted. This is the kind of thing that makes IBM look idiotic and out of control. Shameful. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 10/09/07: How come most of the low-morale posts seem to be coming from places like STG and IGS? Is there a big difference between the ways different IBM organizations run themselves? -in_fishkill-
    • Comment 10/09/07: You folks are just gonna "love" the new premiums you will have to pay out of you paycheck for medical benefits for this upcoming open enrollment. Believe me you will be paying more than the $10 a month it costs to join the Alliance to be able to work toward a contract so you can negotiate fair employee health benefits and protect those benefits! But when are folks who read this and still haven't joined the Alliance (the sentiment of "sorry Alliance, I can't afford it now" ) gonna get it??? -Anonymous-
    • Comment 10/09/07: From WSJ survey: Six in 10 Republicans in the poll agreed with a statement that free trade has been bad for the U.S. and said they would agree with a Republican candidate who favored tougher regulations to limit foreign imports. That represents a challenge for Republican candidates who generally echo Mr. Bush's calls for continued trade expansion, and reflects a substantial shift in sentiment from eight years ago. -John-
    • Comment 10/10/07: Anyone interested in the PBC calibration process, the education is available on w3 for all US employees to view. What makes absolutely no sense about the calibration is the fact that those present at the meeting are the only ones who can defend the ratings and comparative contributions of the employees. If your boss isn't there, and if your write-up doesn't blow the judges away, then you can be bumped out of the rating that you deserve.

      I'm encouraging all my teammates to use this year's Manager F/B survey to emphasize the fact that individual contributors have no insight into the final rating, nor do they have fair representation during calibration. If the actual 1 PBC performers aren't known, then how is it fair to compare results across those in the same band? Why isn't there a means for advertising the highest results in an organization, and in that way identifying somebody who can teach others something, and at the same time removing doubt and ignorance as to where the high achievers are? -Currently employed-

    • Comment 10/10/07: I just wanted to post that I have now joined as a voting member. I'm done being on the sidelines waiting for something to happen. Frankly, I have never been a union guy. I've never worked for a union and thought that their time had come & gone in history. However, I had always previously worked for small employers. I could usually talk with upper management or even the owner and negotiate my own pay & benefits. Or bring a grievance directly to them & have them addressed - or not, but I knew I'd been heard.

      Now working for big blue, bringing up a grievance is like spitting into the wind - it's futile & often comes back on you (sorry for the visual).

      I'm tired of how they treat the employees here in the Finance & Accounting outsourcing. It's crazy. We work our fingers to the bone to make the client happy but then we're told that the pay increase package this year doesn't include PBC 2's (never mind IBM had $9 bil. in net income).

      I'd like to encourage other readers to get off the sidelines, commit their energies & $10 per month to make a difference - especially if you're in the Tulsa, OK office. IBM executives need to hear us as we bring up our reasonable concerns. -new tulsa member-

  • Pension Comments page
    • Comment 10/04/07: To Thank you!: I won't call you an idiot! We have evidence (on tape, once played on NBC Nightly News) that the pension laws are obscure and confusing by design, so that corporations can skin employees before they know it's happening. Under current US law all IBM pensions (1st choice, 2nd choice, and cash balance) are protected, assuming that IBM is not privatized or bankrupted. So they can't take away the "value" of your already-earned pension.

      They can decide to pay it in a different form, and the so-called Pension Protection Act of last year gives them some accounting tools that could make a cash-balance conversion an even worse deal going forward. If that's not enough to concern folks, though, there's this: over 50% of federal judges are now of the political persuasion that would not be expected to support employee rights versus interests of corporations. So choose wisely when you vote for legislators, since there is no longer a backstop in the courts. -alreadyGone-

    • Comment 10/09/07: Hey, did IBM ever get around to officially filing papers for the upcoming 2008 pension freeze? My understanding is this hadn't happened and they have a deadline to do so - 60 days perhaps? -Anonymous-
    • Comment 10/09/07: Less than 90 days till a frozen pension. If you don't know what a frozen pension is going to mean to you you better learn and plan fast since time is running out. Without a contract you can't negotiate anything with IBM and can expect more bad surprises from IBM. -sby_willie-
    • Comment 10/12/07: This will sound ignorant, so I apologize. In October of last year I reached 30 years of service with IBM and I'm aware that my pension has been frozen. I've never run the pension estimator, and I'm wondering what the impact of IBM freezing pension's on 1/1/2008 will be on mine, (if any) since it has already been frozen. I'm in the defined benefit "prior plan" as a second choicer. I'd appreciate any comments/insight anyone may have to offer, however, as much as I'd love to take that pension and leave IBM, I have personal reasons (which I'll not discuss here with anyone) that preclude me from doing so. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 10/12/07: To anonymous on 10/12/07: Are you in the cash balance plan? If so, the frozen pension is going to hurt you since a frozen cash balance plan means you will collect less pension credits than if it wasn't frozen. Your pension will be less, much less. That is why IBM decided to freeze the pensions: to save them money and screw you out of what they promised!

      In my case, I needed to not have worked 30 years to collect a "full IBM pension amount under the old defined benefit plan" as a cash balance pension "non-choicer", but needed to work at least 37 years to get close to what I would have gotten under the defined benefit plan if I was not "forced converted" by a callous unfair, and age discriminatory IBM.

      Now with being an IBM employee for 23.5 years I have no chance with a frozen pension on 1/1/2008 to ever dream of getting my "full IBM pension" by working at least 37 years since the pension will be frozen well before this time! -Anonymous-

  • Raise and Salary Comments
    • Comment 10/06/07: Years Service = 29; Hours/Week = few as possible; Div Name = SWG; Message = TO: -Uber Geek- will be interesting to see how you fair after 20 more years. I would love to leave this hell, just offer me a package and the ship is all yours. -IBMsucks-
    • Comment 10/07/07: Uber Geek: Being a "top" tech company, or at least we'd like to think of ourselves as part of one, IBM has to compete for "top" CS grads too. In terms of base salary, Microsoft, Google, and a host of other west coast tech companies would have a starting pay of $80k straight out of graduation from college. And well into $100k++ after 4 years. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 10/08/07: Thanks for the response Anonymous. I also had another question, how hard is it to move around to different departments at IBM. For instance if I'm in Rational and wanted to move to Websphere would that be an easy more or do managers keep you from doing that? Currently I have a feeling I'm going to be stuck in this department and this department doesn't fit me well. It uses a lot of older technologies and I would like to be doing more Java based things (java/jsf/jsp/servlets) like they do in websphere rather than mainframe stuff. If I get hired would it be possible for me to make that move or is it unlikely? I want to be a developer not someone who does test/automation and that is what worries me, it seems everyone is doing test or automation. Thanks again. -Loller-
    • Comment 10/11/07: Salary = 101760; Band Level = 9; Job Title = Consulting I/T Specialist; Years Service = 13; Hours/Week = 45; Div Name = S&D; Location = Austin; Message = 2nd Generation IBMer.... and it's certainly not my father's IBM anymore. -Anonymous-
  • PBC Comments
  • International Comments
    • Comment 10/05/07: Country = Great Britain; Union Affiliate = None; Job Title = IT Specialist; IBM Division = GTS ; Message = GTS management are unofficially advising people of a large number of packages in the UK expected early 2008, putting names forward of those interested in voluntary redundancy. -Count me out-
    • Comment 10/07/07: About 1500 will be moved from IBM to AT&T in Europe. -IBM-Europe-
    • Comment 10/09/07: I have heard from management that transition to AT&T will be done by January, but I wouldn't place bets the way communication around this has gone. -ibm canada-
    • Comment 10/11/07: Country = USA; Union Affiliate = CWA Local 1701; Job Title = Sr. I/T Specialist; IBM Division = 1K; Message = IBM Italia: I for one am behind you completely and in solidarity! IBM is not showing good faith to you! Give IBM hell until they wise up. -sby_willie-
Vault Message Board Posts:
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Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC.

  • "Finished interview" by "6SigmaGrad". Full excerpt: So I interviewed with IBM GBS's Procurement and Supply Chain Mgmt practice today. 90 minutes, 30 minutes per each person. I interviewed with two Partners and a Consultant.

    Very informal and conversational, there were some canned questions. Overall went very well, some of the other candidates (my peers) kind of got rejected before they even finished the interview. Pretty much because they didn't have a supply chain or procurement background (don't know why the recruiters selected them in t he first place to interview.)

    Will know the results by next friday.

  • "A Sad Diagnosis" by "Dose of reality". Full excerpt: There comes a time during a medical situation when the doctor has to disclose to the patient some unpleasant truth about his condition. I'm afraid we have reached that point, Mr sigma.

    You are indeed destined to join IBM with all of your wide-eyed and bushy tailed eagerness and naivety, wrapped up in what is no doubt some decent academic credentials. “IBM wants me and not my peers. Poor peers! What was IBM thinking? But then again, they were smart enough to recognize how smart and talented I am!”

    I do have some good news for you. I believe that you are someone that is perceptive enough to notice when you are being screwed if you experience it and see it with your own eyes. I have no doubt that we will see you back here in thirteen months, singing a very different tune, and you will only have wasted around 3% of your working life.

    Look on the bright side – I could have used my “Momento de la verdad” bull-fighting analogy. Unlike some of the others that have been through here, you will likely live to fight another day. You just have some growing up to do. Good luck whatever you decide.

  • "Congrats, but why IBM?" by "wuteva". Full excerpt: Congrats on doing well in your interview. Why are you so determined to try and join IBM? If you want consulting experience, why not reach for the stars and go with a firm that will provide you with more respectable experience?

    Assuming you and your peers are entry level, why would your peers be rejected right away because of lack of supply chain or procurement experience? Doesn't make sense for entry level roles. They focus more on total person than specific experience because most college grads don't know sh!t from shinola when it comes to supply chain, six sigma, procurement etc. No offense to you at all. Without extensive client experience, I can't see any entry level candidate being 'qualified' in those areas.

  • "Utilization" by "wuteva". Full excerpt: Right, most firms require utilization to be at acceptable levels which tends to be above 90%. The difference between a good firm and IBM is that the good firm will find work for you that is in the best interest of both the firm and the employee. As previously mentioned, IBM doesn't give a rat's ass about the employee and will try to staff them wherever they can with the priority being on utilization. Regarding PTO (paid time off), you cannot roll it over after the calendar year unless you have approval from a manager. Even then, there are restrictions.
  • "1 Performer???" by "bluedngone". Full excerpt: Everyone starts out at IBM as a high 3 to low 2 performer in their first year. That even happens when you change jobs within the company. To be classified as a 1 performer in your first years is a pipe dream. The factors that apply for 1 are exceptional on all your PBC goals and being a good drinking buddy with your manager. Of course exceptional on all PBC goals is part of being a drinking buddy with your manager.

    In IBM there is only room for a single 1 performer on every team of 10+ people. In your job you will be constantly evaluated by your management team and throughout the year you will be graded against all others in your group, not just your team. The highest 5% will probably get 1's. The lowest 20% will get 3's.

    Since you obviously think 6sigma is your calling card, why do you want to be at IBM? IBM's interpretation of 6 sigma is like the Mormon interpretation of Jesus Christ and Christianity. It is not 6 sigma. It is LEAN which means measure the unmeasurable to justify Laying off Every American Now. It is a joke among 6 sigma professionals that IBM even chooses to apply it to IT/Consulting work.

  • "It was a joke with me too" by "civilliberty". Full excerpt: I'm not a 6 sigma guy - but the fact IBM took a process developed by toyota for a manufacturing environment and applied in a 'people' environment was the silly thing I'd ever heard of on consulting - it was doomed to fail before it ever got off the ground. We have some real dunces at the top of IBM. Just read what kind of stuff-ups they're creating at www.allianceibm.org.
  • "The Silliness of IBM LEAN" by "Frank_Reality". Full excerpt: Applying the LEAN strategy to consulting and services was a brainchild of that prestigious (sarcasm noted) consulting firm of McKinsey.

    However IBM butchered and botched the true philosophy of LEAN (using teamwork, empowerment and creativity to reduce cost through innovation and partnership) and implemented IBM LEAN which first cut labor to the bone, then added another layer of clueless bureaucracy, then blocked empowerment, then quit doing things the client isn't paying for (deliver mediocrity), then expected the overworked survivors to drive innovation.

    The difference is that in the Toyota system, innovation and empowered teamwork results in cost savings. IBM has it backwards - they cut cost (resource), thinking the overwork pressures would force a large reduction in unnecessary work.

    Unfortunately, the survivors are now stretched too thin to deliver on our contracts and certainly have no time to innovate.

  • "Anything Good?" by "kuota". Full excerpt: Does anyone have anything good to say about IBM?
  • "IBM takes the cake" by "civilliberty". Full excerpt: I wish I could say yes, I really do. I've worked for a lot of companies, and also consulted at a number of others. I can normally find some good in amongst the bad, no company is perfect. But it ALL starts with how you REALLY regard your people - that says a lot about executive management and the company feel.

    I do have ex-colleagues who were IBM employees, not PWCC. One in particular had primarily positive experiences. But there is a difference:

    • That was the old IBM before the IT downturn.
    • He paid a high price for that experience: working incredible hours with significant stress in far away places. He had interesting assignments that really added significantly to his CV, but no life outside of IBM.

    He was fortunate his hard work actually built for him a solid reputation within and outside the company. Being a good employee these days gives no such guarantee, in fact, perversely it appears to work in reverse (just look at the executive and the silly decisions they make - I wouldn't have introduced LEAN, for example).

    If in doubt consult the bulletin board of disgruntled IBM employees, www.allianceibm.org.

  • "Civilliberty has a point" by "jeeee4". Full excerpt: The PwCC folks were told that IBM really wanted to use their skills to build a first-class consulting outfit. What they found was that on day-one they were assigned a serial number, rather than an employee number and that should have been their first warning. Then the company spent untold millions on "Deeper" TV ads saying IBM's consultants would go deeper to the root of your company's problems, as opposed to selling you systems as the all-purpose "solution".

    In the meantime, those in the huge S&D force (Sales and Delivery - delivery like roll a box off a truck) who had been doing free consulting for all those years were not able (or willing?) to sell consulting.

    Especially at the 10 level, chargability dropped to unsustainable lows, while I guess coders were still in demand. People were not measured by their skills or how well they delivered to client needs but by chargability numbers alone.

    Make change happen? Get real. The PwCC partners couldn't make change happen and the next levels down followed most of them out the door.

  • "No Loyalty, just Anger" by "Tweetie_Bird". Full excerpt: There's a lot of pent up anger against inbred and patronage management in that company. I saw lots of sabotage and intentional burning of bridges to harm the brand. The older tech types are leaving in droves as the old pension gets frozen and they see they can make more money elsewhere.
If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

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