1 min read

by Colin Armitage on 6th June 2018

Is this TSB’s Ratner moment?

Pearl Earrings ref Ratner comment

The dramatic fall in the value of the high street jewelers in the early 1990s is widely attributed to the comments of its chief executive Gerald Ratner, who in a speech referred to its products as “total crap”.
He then went on to say, “the company sold a pair of earrings for under a pound, which is cheaper than a prawn sandwich from Marks and Spencer, but probably wouldn’t last as long.”  It wiped £500 million off the value of the company.
Fast forward 17 years and 6 weeks into the TSB tech crash saga and we have a TSB relationship manager telling a business customer to “Go to branch take your money out and close your account. I’ve had enough working for them too and leaving also”.
The loss of business from departing customers and recruitment issues together with the departure of frustrated staff only adds to the catalog of disasters caused by the data migration which still leaves some customers unable to access their accounts online.
The FCA is not impressed and Paul Pester, the bank’s boss, is due to appear before MPs on the Treasury Select Committee today for a second time.
It is very easy to ‘tut-tut’ from the sidelines, but we would all hope to not be so unlucky ourselves. But luck has very little to do with this of course, it is about good process and governance and we would all be wise to quietly look at what we do to ensure we are not at risk of suffering a similar fate in one of our own key projects. How comfortable are you with the robustness of your testing approach? Confident that your organization will not provide the next ‘Ratner moment’?
At Original Software, we believe that software testing should be an easy, robust repeatable process.  Rapid to build, and self-maintaining.
That way companies don’t put themselves at risk by taking shortcuts and implementing upgrades or changes without ensuring all their systems will continue to work as planned.

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