Development Alternatives Reviews | Glassdoor

Development Alternatives Reviews

Updated February 14, 2017
75 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.6
Star Star Star Star Star
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James Boomgard
29 Ratings

75 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work-life balance can be good depending on line manager (in 7 reviews)

  • Been a hugely positive work environment where I'm encouraged and given a lot of technical freedom (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • There is a disconnect between project staff and home-office staff (in 4 reviews)

  • Out of touch executive leadership team (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Good company to work for, especially entry-level"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Bethesda, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Development Alternatives full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Smart and collaborative employees, work can be intellectually stimulating, some excellent mentors, opportunities for international travel, if you do well there you can move around within the company which allows for refreshing new challenges without having to find another job elsewhere

    Cons

    Top-heavy and overpaid executive team has been winnowed down in recent years, but there is still some dead weight still around. A lot of focus on and investment in medium-term corporate strategy by executive team with little to show for the original 5-year strategy. Tendency to keep under-performing employees for too long.


  2. "Corrupt leadership, frustrating inefficiencies"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Development Alternatives full-time

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule, work from home option. Nice system of employee rewards for morale. Although because the work schedule is so flexible, you'll often be working nights and weekends due to a lack of boundaries.

    Cons

    Most of the employees are friendly, good-spirited, and hard working. However every department is riddled with toxic, territorial dragons who sabotage workflow and inhibit necessary process improvement to inefficient, outdated policies. It was not uncommon to witness colleagues leaving the building crying due to this toxicity and inability to foster a positive work environment. Very difficult to move upwards at DAI, as purposeful blocks are in place that force employees to leave the company in search of promotion elsewhere. The folks in HR are extremely corrupt, from the top-down. Confidentiality in employee-relations matters does not exist - they are are snakes and alcoholism is a problem - beware.

    Advice to Management

    HR overhaul necessary.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Not great experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Development Alternatives full-time

    Pros

    Lots of little perks, staff in general are friendly and supportive.

    Cons

    Upper level management rather closed to new ideas.

    Advice to Management

    Conduct 360 degree reviews to ensure full measure/competency of staff


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  5. "Good people, good work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Development Alternatives full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Young energetic employees interested in changing the world.

    Cons

    It was fine. Not terrible but it has problems like any company

    Advice to Management

    Engage more with your employees.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Project Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Development Alternatives full-time

    Pros

    Great professional development opportunities, especially for people just out of school, collegial environment, very collaborative. Great travel opportunities, nice people, opportunity for work life balance, opportunities to specialize.

    Cons

    Sometimes cater too much to very senior people. Can be difficult to break out of a niche. Need to have a competent manager above you to thrive.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Good not great"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Development in Bethesda, MD
    Former Employee - Business Development in Bethesda, MD
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Development Alternatives full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Worker levels are fun interesting people. Flexible hours depending on your department. Ebb and flow proposal schedule works for some, not for others. Individuals and teams are able to be mission-driven.

    Cons

    Senior management totally disconnected from the business. Suspect strategy and ability to form or implement a serious growth strategy related to company core competencies. Far too distracted by the new and different, and not enough on the practicality of strengthening and expanding the core business. Company still struggles with aftermath of a geographic reorganization circa 2013 with remaining ripple effects.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on the enterprise, not the sex appeal that comes with running it.


  8. "Senior Practice Specialist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    Pros

    Been a hugely positive work environment where I'm encouraged and given a lot of technical freedom.

    Cons

    Need to hire more experts beyond DAI's standard / tried and true technical areas.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Tired of doing other people's work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Director in Bethesda, MD
    Former Employee - Project Director in Bethesda, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Development Alternatives full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Some great people and really committed to development and quality technical outcomes

    Cons

    Lots of dead wood. The reorganization from a couple of years ago was a great idea in theory but a lot of people got retained in 'Solutions' that have been coasting ever since. Hurts competitiveness and morale.

    Advice to Management

    Devise consistent performance criteria and apply them to everyone, including those who have been there a long time.


  10. "Great place to advance"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Development Alternatives full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I don't understand people who say you can't advance in this company. I've been promoted and know a lot of people who have been, even more than one time! Management just offered all employees the chance to become owners, too. It is good to work for a company who cares about its employees.

    Cons

    I can't think of anything, except it would be nice to have better coffee!


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Decent Place to Work (probably best for development)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD

    I have been working at Development Alternatives full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The people are great, and they won't work you to death.

    Cons

    Little chance to advance. For some reason, tend to hire outsiders to fill vacant position instead of promoting from within. Also, as other have said, little incentive to go above and beyond. Let experienced people walk instead of matching salaries. Management is extremely "penny wise, but dollar foolish."

    Advice to Management

    Need to find a way to reward talent. Too many good people walk away from the company for a few dollars. Also need to look at promoting from within and figure out a better way to accomplish this.



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