"However, it found the £75m “agile” MyBBC IT project has evaded scrutiny because managers could make up the benefits as they went along."
Good to see the BBC finally adopting some of the working practices from the commercial sector.
In the post-Savile BBC era staff won't be punished for "speaking truth to power" – one of the main issues behind the canned £126m Digital Media Initiative, director general of the BBC Tony Hall told MPs. Appearing in front of a Parliamentary select committee on the BBC’s critical projects, Hall said: "One of the things that …
Yeah, right. They won't be punished, but if you say things that are inconvenient for those at the top, what's the betting that your life suddenly becomes bloody miserable, you get put on crap projects or shuffled sideways into departments that are dysfunctional or given jobs that are doomed to fail until eventually you have to quit for the sake of your own dignity or sanity?
Shooting the messenger never goes out of fashion...
Yes, again the onus is on the wrong people. Ensure the managers canvass, listen to and think about opinions from the sharp end, rather than exhorting those same people to risk it all to take a possibly unwelcome viewpoint to management.
As a manager (not at the BBC, I might add, but still in a creative industry) I made sure I could and did do some of the job of every single one of my technicians on at least three days every year, at both easy and difficult times. Usually shadowing them, but also on my own so they could take extraordinary leave. It's a real eye opener and something I'd recommend to anyone who has to listen to feedback from the staff who actually do the work.
That makes me profoundly sad. So, detachment and ultimately corporate leprosy is built into the system. "Neurons, you're meant to be in the brain! Get back here!"
How come the science of system management advances in operating systems, but goes continues to go absolutely nowhere in business.
To be fair, I did have 14 technicians under me, so I would spend ~42 days a year as they put it "not operating in a managerial capacity". I argued that I considered those days as vital to being an effective manager, and pointed out the fact that they only noticed I was doing it when one of them saw me because they were walking to their ivory tower using the workshop corridor; the corridor between the executive car park and the executive management suite was closed for redecoration for two weeks. Which showed just how often they came down to the actual areas where the actual things that supported their eye watering salaries were actually being done.
Needless to say there was an actual letter of redundancy for my post less than six months later when they were forced to restructure by agreement with the creditors or face the receivers. I know one thing... it wasn't me who spent £1.4 million redecorating the executive suite with mahogany panels and gilt edged embossed coats of arms whilst the TV studio had to be closed because someone refused to sign off a £5,000 order to have the drop curtains re-fireproofed before the external safety auditor picked up on it. I wasn't going to fake a safety document just to save £5k.
Your tale reminds me of my time as a manager in a technology company. It was a huge, privately owned business. The owner sent cases of wine from his own vineyards to each of the managers as an annual bonus. I handed mine on to the people I managed. After all they did all the work, they should get the perks, right? One of my team chatted to someone in the canteen and mentioned that I always gave away my bonus. I was called to a meeting of all the tech managers where my colleagues took turns at screaming at me that because I gave away wine, they would have to do the same and they didn't want to because they saw it as their bonus. Greed is good.
In that company, a little like your tale, the managers all made sure that they had top of the range 7-series BMWs, expensive sports cars and lots of training courses and motivational speakers at expensive locations around the world. Meanwhile production had halted because of an unpaid bill and a key supplier fed up at the long delays experienced in receiving payments.
"until eventually you have to quit for the sake of your own dignity or sanity?"
This is known as "constructive dismissal" and in other countries has led to _extremely_ large payouts along with withering judgements against the organisations.
Doesn't seem to happen here very much, even when it's blatant. The outfits pay derisory amounts to make it go away and judges find that refusing such offers means you're gold digging.
One is reminded of the fate of intellectuals in Mao's cultural revolution.
Encouraged to constructively criticise the regime, all those who did self identified themselves as enemies of the revolution and end up in gulags, or the Chinese equivalent thereof.
Cunning, those Chinese.
When the pro Brexit group complain about pro EU coverage and the pro EU group complain about the pro Brexit coverage then something is as it should be. If only on group complain something is wrong. I wonder what group you belong to. In the USA one channel would be only pro Brexit and some other channel would be only pro EU. I doubt you want the BBC to become either.
Sure you can't categorize the internet like Alta-Vista used to and so we have Google et al inveigling themselves into your life to give you the kitten videos you want.
But the BBC's material is not so vast that it can't be categorized. If I want celebrity bell ringing competitions I'll know where to look.
Also if they just open the website to the robots Google will probably do a better job of finding relevant stuff for free.
There, saved you £75m. I'll have my pound back please.
I love the BBC - along with the NHS it's something that the UK can be proud of as crown jewels in what's left of our dog-eat-dog money-grubbing "civilisation".
However, around 1984 I lived in Shepherds Bush above a BBC designer who told me that it was standing orders in the BBC that Savile was never to be left alone with children. How vile a management structure does it have to be to have *that* as the "solution" to a child-endangerment problem...?
I applaud Hall's intent to have a more open environment but, as already noted by several people above, hot air is easy - it's the actions that count.
When I was younger and worked for the BBC - I never felt I could not speak out, usually about some daft technical choice that had been made. We all moaned as much as we liked and no-one got itno any trouble. I was never aware of the Savile stuff, the only thing I knew about him was he was one of the few people allowed to smoke in the studios - but only during recordings.
I now work for an outsourced outfit providing service to the BBC and others and I no longer speak out about daft stupid things, as no one ever seems to listen or care and rarely does it achieve anything sadly.
ISTR there were many people who for a very long time were saying that DMI was fundamentally flawed. The problem was that those in control refused to listen. Its all very well saying that people can speak out without fear, but there needs to be a vialbe process by which they can voice their concerns.
Always beware of any senior exec who says:
"My door is always open."
"We encourage staff to improve business processes."
"Staff can speak truth to power."
Because what they mean is "My mind is made up, I don't know who you are and I don't care either. Go away while I call HR and see if I can have you dragged from the premises behind a team of galloping wild horses."