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Florentina Ciocrlan Master of Business Administration Academy of Economic Studies 2nd year Risk Management Course Prof. Dr.

. Marius Giuclea

The Decision Making Process within Accenture Case Study on the KITE Project Layoffs
It is not always what we know or analyzed before we make a decision that makes it a great decision. It is what we do after we make the decision to implement and execute it that makes it a good decision. - William Pollard. The purpose of the present paper is to present a real life case scenario of the decision making process within the management of the company Accenture. The analysis of the case shall be done gradually following the main steps of the decision making process. Therefore, the structure of the essay shall be as follows: short introduction into the company, presentation of the study that shall be looked into, pinpointing the main ideas and developing them with arguments, followed by a personal conclusion related to the facts presented. This being said, I consider it useful to begin with a description of the company so that we may understand the general trend for decision making within the enterprise. Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 246,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the worlds most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. Given that we are dealing with a company of such dimensions which works with clients mainly in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Consulting fields, we may safely deduce that the culture and knowledge within the company has been passed from project to project, in the hope of standardizing the operations. Therefore, if we are to divide the management within Accenture into middle and top management areas, we shall reach the conclusion that whereas in the middle management part the programmed decisions are preferred and actually implemented (idea sustained by the standardization implemented within the company), in the top management area we must be dealing with nonprogrammed decisions. At a local level, Accenture has a base in Bucharest with more than 400 employees out of which 90% are part of the BPO branch. So standardization is a welcomed and longed for process that the BPO employees need to implement within their projects in order to increase productive time, quality and results. Nevertheless, in the analysis of the present paper, we shall focus on a new project for which the personnel has been brought from outside the company, and for that reason they are not familiar with the policies and procedures in Accenture.

The project under the spotlight is a BPO one, for an external client KITE, with a total of 32 resources, including the middle management (4 persons). The decision making process to be discussed in the paper is related to a choice to be made within the team after 3 months from the go live date of the service for the procurement customer. The project has started with high volumes expecting them to continue in this way (knowing the background within their own company and estimated volumes), the client has agreed with the top management and transition team in Bucharest to employ 32 persons. However, because of the economic crisis the client has been forced to shut down 3 plants, which means that lower volumes are now imminent. For that reason, the middle management has informed the client about this and now they are discussing the option of letting people go from the project. Therefore, we may now start the effective analysis of the problem, stating all the steps to be followed and the arguments and circumstances that shall bring about the final decision. The main steps that shall be followed in the decision making process are presented below: 1. Problem Identification and Formulation As stated above, the problem is represented by the fact that from a total of 32 team members the company needs to let go / transfer to other projects of possible 7 persons. However, this represents a triple problem since the trial period has passed for all of the employees (3 months) and firing them would mean paying a compensation salary to those who are let go. At the same time, given that all the personnel is new, not all of them have proven the best they can do, so when making the decision the management team shall need to base its decision on the information noted so far by the middle management team. Last but not least, as stated above, the middle management team is formed of four persons, out of which one shall have to leave the team, so full impartiality in the analysis of the issue cannot be expected. 2. Defining the decision criteria, values and constraints The main criteria to be taken into consideration when choosing who can stay in the project and who are the seven persons that need to be let go are those imposed by the client and agreed with the top management: Foreign language knowledge Work quality Rapidity Team spirit Professional potential. In order to proceed to making a decision faster, the clients team who has performed the training for the Bucharest BPO one has put up together some feedback forms for each of the team members from the training period. In these forms they have analyzed: Potential Attention Capacity of understanding Interest 3. Developing of alternatives

Following the analysis conducted by the internal team and that of the client we may notice in the attached files that the employees that they client had not considered fit to be part of the team are the same 7 to be considered for dismissal by the internal management: Therefore the persons proposed internally to be dismissed are presented below along with the ratings they have obtained. AGENT AGENT 12 AGENT 21 AGENT 22 AGENT 24 AGENT 27 AGENT 13 RATING 1,6 1,6 1,6 1,6 1,6 1,8

AGENT 32 1,8 As far as the ratings received from the client, who demands to have a word to say in the decision making process, these are the persons proposed for dismissal: AGENT AGENT 2 AGENT 12 AGENT 13 AGENT 19 AGENT 21 AGENT 22 AGENT 24 AGENT 27 AGENT 32 However, even though the same seven persons are present in both files, none of the representatives of the management team is present in any of the files. Computing their ratings from the internal file we may notice that their ratings are very close to one another, and with the exception of the agent 28, none of them obtained a maximum score: AGENT AGENT 1 - Management AGENT 7 - Management AGENT 3 - Management RATING 3,2 3,6 3,8

AGENT 28 - Management 4 As a conclusion to the analysis of the data above we may draw out the following table to include the possible agents taken into consideration for dismissal: AGENT AGENT 12 AGENT 21 AGENT 22 AGENT 24 AGENT 27 RATING 1,6 1,6 1,6 1,6 1,6

AGENT 13 AGENT 32 AGENT 1 - Management 4. Analysis of alternatives

1,8 1,8 3,2

The agents in yellow are problematic because of the following: Agent 13 and 32 have the same score, so further criteria need to be taken into consideration in order to make an objective decision. Agent 1 has a much higher score than any of these, after having been judged by the same objectives. So, for the management team also, further criteria need to be taken into consideration. Therefore, considering the data above, in order to dismiss the sixth agent (non-management) the following solution was implemented the management team tested them on process related issues. Following the test, the results turned were as follows (graded by the client) from a total of 100 points: AGENT AGENT 13 RATING 75

AGENT 32 67 So, as far as the non-management team is concerned a conclusion has been reached, moreover since there was no offering for them to stay within the company. As a result they shall be given a notice and a compensatory salary when the information is presented to them. On the other hand, with regards to the management team, we must consider the very close results for the feedback along time and also their evolution along time. As a result, for the AGENT 1 of Management team, the internal management team of the Bucharest center has searched open positions in the company that matched the skills of the person and will present him with this option when informing him of the dismissals. 5. Selection of the best alternative Following the research above, the letting go decision process for the KITE team has been divided into two parts: Non-management team besides the internal and clients feedback form, the agents with the lowest points from those ranked above have also received a knowledge test that decided that agent 32 is going to be the one leaving the team, while agent 13 is going to continue his activity in Accenture. Management team adding to the internal and clients feedback form, the internal decision making team has closely analyzed the evolution of the agent and decided to offer him with an open position within the company and not only the dismissal. 6. Implementation of the selected alternative The internal decision making team presented the client with the offer for the persons to be let go and the options they have for the middle management agent. They have agreed to the data moreover since that matched also their opinion of the team.

The 7 members to be let go have been called into separate reunions to explain the dismissal procedure, the decision making process and the following steps to be taken. The agent that was offered an open position in the company decided to accept it and continue his career with Accenture. The following steps in the process are going to be the evaluation of the effectiveness of the made decision regarding the development of the team and also the evaluation of the KITE agent that has passed on other project. As a result of the case study presented above we may draw some conclusions regarding the decision making process that was performed in Accenture regarding the layoff of 7 team members of the KITE project: The decisions were partly programmed since they followed a very well structured per course with the analysis of the internal and client feedback forms. The information was sufficient in order to determine the solution to the matter. Furthermore, we may note also a hint of non-programmed decision making since the permanence of the management team agent within the company was not initially foreseen, and might not have been possible had there not been any available positions internally. As far as the decision making models encountered, I consider that all three are present: rational model (clear evidence was analyzed in order to proceed to the making of the decision itself, alternatives were taken into consideration and criteria analyzed), bounded rationality model (there were time and costs constraints that forced the hand of the decision makers regarding the management teams layoff, so they had to make appeal to the good enough solution for them, the client and the agent) and heuristic model since the decision management team based the decision of the management agents on their experience and intuition once they had seen his results. Considering all the data above, I may conclude the present paper by stating that all the decision making process steps have been followed in the case study regarding KITE project for the layoffs within the company, and a fairly objective decision has been reached, within the limits allowed by the companys standards.