Triage Consulting Group Manager Jobs in San Francisco, CA

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Triage Consulting Group CEO Brian Neece
Brian Neece
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    Senior Associate

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Triage Consulting Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Early Responsibility:
    The promotion to Senior at 21 months, granted that you have consistently produced solid work and earned positive evaluations after every project, is incredibly valuable. If you are promoted and consistently perform well, your growth in responsibility might look something like:
    @ 21 Months: Paired with a more tenured senior and co-pilot a large project of between 4-8 associates. This help learn the ropes of the senior role and provides some semblance of training wheels for your first meaningful client interactions.
    @ ~2 Years: Run your own small project (potentially a team of just you or maybe 1-2 associates if you're a top performer). This is where you really get to "be your own boss" on a day to day basis. You can still expect to do a lot of the associate level work due to team size being small, but you also have more say in the direction of the project and more frequent interaction with clients and upper Triage management
    @ ~3 Years: Run a project of 2-3 associates (maybe more if you are a rock-star they are grooming for promotion down the road). This is the point at which you get to separate yourself from the daily associate level work (to an extent) and start focusing more on project strategy and driving client value
    @ ~4 Years: If you are around by year 4, you will have a very good idea of where you stand (favorite for promotion at year 5 or not). If you find yourself in the former group, you will likely be leading a large project of anywhere from 6-8 associates and focusing almost exclusively on managing your team as well as working closely with Triage management on a daily basis

    I my opinion there is a level of diminishing returns here, but in the early stages following promotion, the experience is something you simply wouldn't be getting at many other places. If you can perform up to the level where you are managing several associates in year 2, you will find yourself advanced well beyond many of your peers in your ability to manage a team, think critically about long term project strategy and planning, and interact confidently with both clients and executives.

    The People:
    I will caveat this with saying that by the time I left in early 2015, I had noticed a worrisome, negative trend in terms of firm morale, and it felt like less and less people were truly engaging in what was previously and unrivaled company culture. That said, from 2011 - 2013, I made some of my absolute best friends out of my coworkers and some of my best memories and company events (those put on by the company and otherwise). Triage loves to float a saying created by a former Senior Associate: "Triage is a good job made great by exceptional people." I support this 100%; however, if the social bonds that connected these exceptional people beyond the workplace start to dissolve, then that saying may only be applicable for so much longer.

    Exit Opportunities / Built-In Networking:
    The places that the top 25% of people leave Triage to go to are simply exceptional. It's a common occurrence to see 3rd and 4th years leaving the firm for top flight B-Schools (Kellogg, Hass, Anderson, Yale, etc.), Med Schools, manager roles in the healthcare space, or for other top 10 consulting firms. Because of this, it makes it very easy to start networking either within or outside of healthcare almost as soon as you decide it's time to move on. I personally have the job I have now in part due to a former peer at Triage

    Cons

    The Work:
    There are two types of people that go into Triage: those that want to be consultants and those who want to be involved in healthcare (with a business tint). If you are among the latte, are truly passionate about healthcare, and want to someday be in management at a health system or hospital, then the work might actually be a Pro. However, if you are among those that are of a consulting mindset and want to touch a broader swathe of project and tasks, then you will find yourself disappointed early and often. The rapid career progression goes a long way in masking this, but when rubber meets the road, you will spend 45 hours a week engaging in the same three tasks: (1) Working in an access database to try and convert PDF contracts between insurance companies and hospitals into a series of queries that determine how a hospital bill should have been paid, (2) researching claims where payment doesn't equal what you expected, and (3) corresponding with insurance companies via phone and mail in order to try to explain why payment should have been more than what it was. Occasionally, something different will come across your plate, but in the interest of being candid and honest, this will comprise 90-95% of your weeks up until your 3rd year or so when it will dwindle to around 60-70%.

    A Lack of Vision / Willingness to Change:
    If you are passionate about innovation or working on projects aimed at developing efficiencies or better processes, then Triage will frustrate you. There is a top-down culture of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" that is universal and is not going to change any time soon. This philosophy governs everything: recruiting, types of projects people can work on, compensation, the products and tools that teams work with, etc. As an aside, I ultimately think that this particular con will eventually prove to be the firm's achilles heel and what will allow other firms and the clients Triage serves to catch up and pass them in terms of technical proficiency and scale.

    Compensation:
    If you are strictly egalitarian, then stop reading, you will love it. Otherwise, you might be like me and believe that different people, performing at different levels as evident by their quantifiable evaluations, ought to be compensated differently. Stated another way, if you believe that the person at the very top of the class and the person on the verge of being terminated for performance issues should receive the same base and bonus amounts each year, then Triage would be a perfect fit for you. Musings aside, total compensation at Triage (both base and bonuses) varies exclusively based upon tenure. There are no exceptions made for this rule. You can be the brightest star or the laziest bum, and so long as you started on the same date, you will be paid the same. Triage maintains that it is a "meritocracy" in that promotions to Senior and Manager are based upon merit, and while this is true, a meritocracy that only provides two distinct points in 10 years to differentiate from your peers in terms of compensation based recognition is hardly what you would call dynamic (especially considering that over 80% of associates make Senior and less than 10% of Seniors make Manager). This may sound a touch like a rant, but think long and hard about whether or not this will bother you long term before you make a decision. I didn't think it would matter to me, but it can definitely wear on your morale, sap your motivation, and if left unchecked, diminish inherent desire to achieve (something I feared very deeply in the months leading up to my decision to leave).

    Advice to Management

    1. Take advantage of your employees strengths and diversify employee roles in a meaningful way.

    Keeping everyone on the exact same track through the first 21 months is likely wise in that it exposes everyone to everything and gives them a chance to identify what they may love / excel at that they wouldn't have otherwise realized. However, there comes a point when some degree of specialization (beyond simply joining a squad that you spend 2% of your time on) is good for both morale and for the bottom line.

    If you have people passionate about technical progress, building new tool, and driving innovations, then let the builders build, don't stifle innovation by failing to utilize this potentially powerful asset. If you have people passionate about recruiting, then let then act as your ambassadors, don't simply force whomever is on the team closest to the university to act as your recruiters. If you have people passionate about building a fun social culture, equip them with the resources to host great events.

    2. Made good on the promise of "meritocracy."

    I can support keeping everyone's base salaries the same within windows of tenure, but in terms of end of year bonuses, reward people individually for their accomplishments that year. The resultant morale boost and motivation to drive value day in and day out will more than pay off any additional investment you are making in your labor expenses. If someone in the bottom 25% is so offended by not receiving a bonus that they decide to leave, then maybe they weren't a great fit in the first place.

    3. Innovate.

    In my nearly 3.5 years at the firm, I saw zero truly game-changing innovations fully brought to fruition. There were several out there that if supported by upper management may have emerged as one, but they were squashed by a downward pressure to focus on exclusively on core project work.


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