Thursday, 19 June 2008

Management Speak

I'm too depressed to post in length about the decant at the moment, so here's something rather more upbeat and another opportunity to get someone to do my post for me.

Thanks to my Step-Dad for forwarding me this link from the BBC. He knows management speak gives me hours of pleasure.

As you can imagine, we have come across many examples of this during two years of BSF. There are two of my particular pet hates listed here. During one Bidder Presentation I found myself idly tallying the number of times the phrase "going forward" was said, and reached double figures. The other example listed is "drilling down", unless we really are discussing drilling methodology, which occasionally could happen on this type of project and in which case it's an acceptable phrase. I daren't be too sneering, though, because I almost asked someone to send me something by "close of play Friday" only today, and I have written evidence that I've used the phrase in the past.

Other phrases I have come across during the project include "value engineering", i.e. cutting something out of the plans or making it out of something cheaper. We have lots of "solutions" e.g. a laptop trolley solution = a laptop trolley. I find the phrase "at this moment in time" odd. By the time the phrase has been said that particular moment in time has already passed.

There are occasionally rather fun phrases as well. One of the men from Wilmott Dixon refers to something that's not quite right with a building (e.g. bulges or hanging wires) as a "feature". When someone's going to be "open and honest" I know to brace myself for bad news. They are always open and honest, though!

My absolute favourite phrase, which I have already referred to in a previous post, remains the description of a mess of ICT cables as "a snakes wedding". I had to poke around in some pretty old meeting notes to find the best/worst example of management speak. It was the opening phrase in the first ever ICT meeting with one of the bidders, and we were told they wanted to work at a "high embryonic level". I suspect it's going to be difficult to top this one, but I'll keep my ears peeled just in case.


Anonymous said...


I love your blog - and as someone involved in BSF only hope that bidders and contractors visit the site to see the school view of BSF.

Anonymous said...

This post made me laugh! It was a good example of blue sky thinking outside the box.