Phase One Consulting Group

  www.phaseonecg.com
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Phase One Consulting Group Reviews

Updated Jul 3, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.6 20 reviews

40% Approve of the CEO

(no image)

George Charuhas

(5 ratings)

37% of employees recommend this company to a friend
20 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Great people, but hard if you are at a client site most of the time.

    Associate (Current Employee) Alexandria, VA

    ProsThe small company feel is great, if you are lucky enough to work at HQ than you have access to the partners and many of the directors, and they will know you on a first name basis. The small size also makes higher ups easily accessible if you have ideas, problems, etc.

    The majority of the people are energetic, enthusiastic, and fantastic to work with. The employees are definitely the company's best asset.

    ConsMany of the meetings, including training as well as meetings for proposals and working groups - in which employees are expected to participate - are at inconvenient times (and locations) for those employees who are working a client site.
    There is little incentive or reward for doing proposals or extra work that contributes to the company.
    If you are offsite, particularly in a small group, you feel disconnected from the company.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Does Phase One have an Identity...Or Future?

    Lead Associate (Current Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsA lot of talented people that provide an excellent source of knowledge. Some excellent managers.

    ConsTalent at this company is held back by senior "leadership" and this results in problems that cascade throughout the company. Although they are smart, they don't work together. Yelling like maniacs makes THEM feel better but does NOT get better results. This company is begging for a vision (1 vision and not 4!)...ironic for a management consulting company to struggle with the basics.

    It should be important to everyone to build the business. This company expects a lot, wins little (see above for why), and just keeps doing the (downward trending) status-quo. They used to have a great reputation for IT strategy and innovation but now the only innovation demonstrated is a high degree of dysfunction.

    If you're a junior employee, you will (likely) be stuck working for someone who does not know what they are doing (likely related to profit margins) and has little to teach you yet tasks you without hesitation. Their senior leadership is likely mad at them about how they have no idea how to manage you and you (after poor management) work too much with no fruit of your labors. An awful cycle that the partners -- and perhaps everyone at the company -- buffers themselves from.

    Advice to Senior Management(1) figure out HOW you want to measure people -- be honest to yourselves;
    (2) tell people how they will be measured; and
    (3) be honest about what you told people in #1 and #2 and give them feedback on that (and not things you pulled out of your rear end...)

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Director

    (Former Employee)

    ProsGrowing well connected company in the DC Area, one of the partners is brilliant yet volatile. They understand the challenges of government executives and can design effective strategies. As an organization they know how to get things done and are willing to stretch to achieve goals for both the company and the customer.

    ConsLong hours, lack of appreciation for skills outside of standard management consulting, and they don't listen well. Also they have a tendency to downplay failures and trumpet success. I did not see a willingness to learn from mistakes.

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to your employees, don't take shortcuts. Try better to understand your market and focus on doing what you do well. Be careful about new areas of expertise and fixed price contracts.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Great company, if you are interested in management consulting for the Federal Government

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsFun environment, smart colleagues and even smarter owners, kegerator in the office. Most employees and the owners are incredibly passionate about consulting for the Federal Government (this could also be a con if you aren't interested in it). Good pay for consulting.

    ConsSmall teams are often in a silo from Phase One. Most employees and the owners are incredibly passionate about consulting for the Federal Government (this could also be a proif you are interested in it). Benefits aren't all that great (not a lot of PTO, poor 401k matching, expensive health insurance compared to other companies). Oh, and very small rewards for helping with proposal work, which is a major expectation.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGive more power to hire and fire to the people managing accounts. With such a high expectation that people will work on proposals, there needs to be a bigger and clearly articulated reward for helping with proposals - especially if they win. There's not a lot of incentive to spend countless nights and weekends working on a proposal, above and beyond 40 billable hours a week.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Government consulting for peak performers

    Lead Associate (Current Employee) Alexandria, VA

    ProsLeadership is committed to recruiting and retaining talented professionals, a rare commodity in government consulting

    Young at heart company culture that rewards working and playing hard

    Leadership that is willing to take a chance on forward thinkers that are passionate about their respective areas of expertise

    Opportunities to work across a wide range of disciplines, without having to work in a massive company where you are just a number

    Leadership opportunities for people that are willing to step up and lead, regardless of their age or experience

    Direct correlation between results and reward driven by five generous partners and their leadership team that are personally vested in growing without sacrificing culture

    ConsA few staff members that do just enough to get by and form a sense of entitlement - most government "consulting" firms are filled with these types, however there tends to be more contrast at Phase One.

    Team cultures can vary from one client site to another.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPlease stand by your commitment to continue to invest in growing this exceptional family that I am proud to be a part of.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    A Sinking Ship that will Pull Your Career and Personal Life Down with it

    Business Analyst (Current Employee) Alexandria, VA

    Pros-Keg in the breakroom
    -Occasional catered food in breakroom

    Cons-Lack of good leadership
    -Management is full of inexperienced people who try to pass blame onto subordinates when problems occur
    -Employee turnover is extremely high (5 CFO's in the past 2 years)
    -Empty promises of career growth
    -No raise in 2 years of working at the company
    -Partners and Directors are oblivious to what's actually going on and are not open to new ideas, preventing growth
    -The employees who have lasted the longest are either family or friends of the partners, and they hardly are ever working (they joke about how they don't ever do work and take naps in the parking garage) yet they are highly paid.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIronically you are paid to consult other's in how to improve their businesses, however it is phase one that needs the improvement.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Good company for growth

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Pros- Growing company with still a small company feel
    - Company is well diversified across multiple Federal agencies
    - Investments in employees and employee programs is increasing

    Cons- Need to allow for more junior roles

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep investing in mid-level employees so that they can be the future leaders. Communicate our wins more frequently help encourage more cross-project collaboration.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Never happier to have left a job

    Associate (Former Employee) Alexandria, VA

    ProsAmple supply of beer in the fridge if you work on-site.

    ConsI left this company a year ago for a position with a different employer. I had been at POCG for about 3 years prior to that and had a few jobs before POCG. At POCG, my career went downhill. There were no growth opportunities, managers regularly demanded me to change my hours, and work was made needlessly complicated. One team I was on had 7 people total - 4 were managers. Directors are more focused on getting new contracts than they are on managing their current contracts. There are also no educational opportunities. This is a horrible place to work if you are looking to move up or to advance your career. Since leaving the company a year ago, I am not only less stressed and better paid, I'm also advancing rapidly. The best part is that I don't get phone calls from multiple managers while I'm at home with my family.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    8 people found this helpful  

    A story of smoke, mirrors, and greed - please know what you are getting into

    (Former Employee) Alexandria, VA

    ProsTo be completely candid, the work at Phase One isn't bad though the agencies they support are those is trouble and not necessarily on the cutting edge of effectiveness - this is often the case but you will see some firms attract the great agencies like NASA. That's not this firm. As another plus, really smart, interesting, likable people work at Phase One.

    The pay and benefits are decent and the snacks in the kitchen are solid. And there are multiple types of coffee machines from which to choose. And there is a keg to make the office environment seem cool (cheaper than paying for employee training or letting employees have time between assignments if circumstances beyond their control require).

    ConsAfter a while every employee has a moment where they realize they are just an expendable number and all the hard work they have contributed means nothing since they are not owners. But then again if you talk to some of the partners they will tell this to you to your face. Sure there are bright people at Phase One but they leave more quickly than at a typical consulting firm once they realize the ugly truth. Phase One offers really high recruiting bonuses - $5000 - because they are betting on loyalty among employees and their friends as well as greed will refresh talent faster than it leaves.

    They pay well but you have to leave your soul at the door. No one is committed to mentoring, training, or career development. The most junior employees who can't get into big firms are squeezed for everything they have with empty promises of advancement. The stars are rewarded well and held on a pedestal that there egos and ambition can't resist, not realizing they could make more money and accelerate their careers even faster if they went elsewhere.

    The partners don't get along with each other so the firm lacks a coherent vision. Directors are essentially ponzis with no real vote in how the firm is run. There is no clear promotion track so you have to really like politics, align yourself with specific people that may or may not be walking on water by the time you need their help, and prove yourself yesterday and today- partners admit loyalty means nothing to them- with whatever you did over time essentially meaningless (i.e. making employees walk on egg shells is a preferred strategy).

    If an employee satisfaction survey was taken the results would be startling (which is why none has ever been done). Pretty much everyone is looking to leave or just really financially comfortable. And they do a great job of finding people whose ambition and rose-colored views get the best of them, at least until they to get to a point where they feel stuck and slowly begin climbing out. The really good people leave quicker than the good people and the not so good people usually get transitioned out so to make the good people feel like they have to work harder to pass the mustard.

    The good news is all the partners have $2M+ houses so they are very committed to keeping the business going at whatever costs and I truly mean whatever costs.

    If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. If you read this and then decide to join Phase One, remember that I told you so.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNot applicable. Management doesn't respond to advice.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    3 people found this helpful  

    growing at the cutting edge

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Alexandria, VA

    Prosinnovative, thought leaders to work with

    Consvision is changing, not clear how to advance

    Advice to Senior Managementmore involvement from top leadership

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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