Openreach Service Delivery Transformation

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Performance Management - iPOP Working Group

3 March 2010

A joint working group has been set up to examine the concerns arising from the validity and interpretation of iPOP data in Openreach.

Openreach

The first formal meeting of the working group was on Monday 22 February 2010, the main purpose of the inaugural meeting was to explore and document issues to be tackled.

The CWU feels that there are three component parts to the current regime:-

  1. Performance Measurement,
  2. Performance Management,
  3. Management Style.

Performance Measurement

The CWU Executive takes the view that Performance Measurement is tackled and issues resolved. Unless there is a fair and transparent measurement system it is difficult to rectify satisfactorily the other two component parts.

Following the same process that was successfully used for changing the Defect Process, the Executive is pursuing the measurements and interpretation of iLM and iPOP data. It is agreed by Openreach that there is a lack of understanding by some managers and team members of how productivity measures are arrived at and interpreted. As such, the whole Managing Underperformance Procedure is undermined resulting in the inevitable instigation of more formal processes.

Openreach has acknowledged there are some line managers who believe that there is a target for both managed exits and for numbers of team members on MUPs. This is hardly helped by the fact that some Operational Managers themselves are warned of the consequences of not having the required quota on one of the performance processes.

The CWU has told Openreach that it needs to eradicate these beliefs and pressures.

Issues

About 20 separate but related issues were logged. These came from feedback previously requested from Branches. The list of issues included:-

  1. Validity of Task Terms,
  2. Expected Come Back Times,
  3. Failure to build Idle Tasks or absences,
  4. Targets for Productivity,
  5. No recognition of time taken to get co-operation or for assists,
  6. Erroneous Alerts,
  7. End of Day Extensions.

The list is not exclusive and the following related issues were logged.

  1. Lack of Coaching,
  2. Low level of understanding of the data,
  3. Targets for TRCs,
  4. Obsessive pressure to eliminate so called ineffective time (e.g. no time to travel to exchange for lunch, etc).

Productivity

The management side gave a presentation on how productivity is measured through the following formula:

Productivity = Standard Task Time and Estimated Travel Time
Scheduled Hours Idle Time

The CWU believes there are a number of variables within this simple formula that can affect the outcome. For instance, if an engineer works flat out all day to complete a job, but is prevented from doing so by defective plant, this will adversely affect the productivity score for the day. In turn, this will inevitably lower the score for the week. In short, whilst the score is a crude representation of absolute productivity, it does not reflect the effort put in by the engineer.

The CWU believes that managers get fixated on the Productivity measure or trend, whereas the Efficiency and Effectiveness score, derived from iLM data, is a more accurate reflection of the real day.

The CWU also questioned how targets for productivity are arrived at. Management claimed there are no real targets, but the CWU presented written evidence, including Coaching Plans, that managers are measuring people against what we can only believe are arbitrary targets.