“Yes, it’s nice if you can plan a year ahead of time for what you’re going to do,” admits Glowacki. “A lot of times we don’t’ have that opportunity. In any given situation if you are applying better leadership skills odds are you are going to have a better result than if you didn’t. The leadership skills in this case had to do with communication―helping everybody understand the mandate, maintaining discipline to achieving that mandate, and whatever processes we had in place. Those were all discipline things.
“What it came down to was having the right people in place and then holding those people accountable on a regular basis … and playing the coach to help them want to achieve their objectives.”
All of these efforts were taking place against a back drop of a much larger and longer term reorganization effort called Project Accelerate. Under Accelerate, CSC went from eight business units down to just three “sectors” with numerous business divisions under each one. It was just wrapping up when Glowacki started on the IT consolidation efforts. But, between this reorganization and the other consolidation efforts under way, it became apparent to anyone watching that CSC was transforming into a leaner, meaner company where “the 80% solution” would rule the day and the 100% solution would be the exception.
“The idea is, to the extent that we can, get everybody on the 80% solution that the company can get running as efficiently as possible for as many areas we can,” said Glowacki. “That’s been our direction and we continue to do that.”
This means a common network, common financials, common email, HR, ERP, etc., etc.
For example, CSC recently started using high definition video in place of travel across all of it’s divisions. This may not have been what each division would have done for itself given the choice; there are many competing video conferencing platforms out there, after all, but given his mandate, Glowacki chose for them.
“Instead of spending three days to do one client meeting they can now have three significant client meetings in one day,” he said. “It’s a similar experience at less cost. It came down to ‘What’s the 80% solution?’. For us, we thought this was a good thing to do. A lot of these things are really commodities so you allow yourself the opportunity to re-compete so you can make sure you are as efficient as you can be. It’s less about who’s got 15 features vs. 12 than who has the best value deal.”
As the consolidation effort progresses the end goal is a shared services network of applications and infrastructure that many of CSC’s hundreds-of-thousands of employees, customers, clients, vendors and partners will use to share, work and collaborate.
“In order for the tools to work, you have to have the right management systems, processes, discipline to the process, and certain amount of leadership for it to be a) successfully accomplished and b) continue to run correctly. And that’s where we found a lot of our success was in was really on the management and leadership skills as opposed the technology side.”