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We have all experienced it, the weekend “To Do” list includes an item or two that you know is not going to be straightforward.  Whether it is a spring cleaning of the garage, fixing the bathroom sink or taking the car in for a routine check-up, there always seems to be an unknown that appears. Without fail the inevitable happens: the hidden project appears.


The tools are missing to fix the sink resulting in multiple trips to Home Depot only to then discover there is a leak behind the wall and the root of the problem is actually bigger than a quick fix. The car check-up results in a laundry list of items to be done because some preventative care was overlooked.


When it comes to IT projects, it is amazing that we don’t learn from our personal lives.  The number of projects that become out of scope, over-budget or completed well past the intended timeline are way too common.


For example, there is the thought that refreshing wireless network devices should fix the issues our users are experiencing.  Once that hardware doesn’t fix the issue, we fall into our “Home Depot trap” and start digging deeper. We discover that a full network assessment project needs to be done, and then that identifies that the infrastructure can’t support the devices. We learn that the network was not set up to scale to the number of users that are using it today, and the original staff that did the set up didn’t have the best understanding of where the drop zones were. Now there is a need to have a full wiring project.


Does this example sound familiar?


Probably to most it does, and you are not alone. In fact, you are likely in the majority which begs the question: How do we prevent the hidden projects in our professional life and businesses?


Planning and prevention is easy in theory but not in practice in IT which is why so many organizations have failed projects.


Ok Skipper what now?

The Solution:

A company needs to have their leader’s commitment to being prepared and doing their due diligence before putting rubber to the road.  There are a number of IT Professionals in your market that make their living proving to you that a project will work, but the reality is your organization needs to work with someone that is willing to show you why a project will fail.


What if you entered into a project not only with the knowledge, but the ability to prove and assure the leaders of the organization that a project will be completed on time, on budget and within the resource limitations the organization has today?


Better yet, what if you could raise your hand in an executive meeting and provide proof that the organization is not prepared for the project but that if identifiable steps are taken, the organization will be able to take preventative measures to avoid the inevitable problem thus saving the company and project a great deal time and money.


Both of these scenarios are what help you build a strong career and become a valued person inside your organization.


At DTM, we call this preparation process ADEPT – Assessment, Discovery, Evaluation, Planning and Transition.  The premise is that through those steps you will inventory your current environment, you will identify the “as-is” state and the desired “to be” state, and how you plan to get there.  From that basic outline, the ADEPT methodology is applied to reveal the areas where the hidden projects await and where potential points of failure are.  The end result of the process will identify those areas of concern, highlight recommendations on corrective actions and will provide you with the insight needed to make a confident step in the right direction with a complete view of what the successful road ahead looks like.



Tyler Cairns has been a business professional in the technology world for 15 years.  Through the years he has had a wide range of experiences that include working with the world’s largest retailers, government organizations of all sizes, non-profit organizations, education institutions and local small to medium-sized businesses. Tyler’s desire to have his customers plan for failures to help solidify their success, has resulted in his clients being able to address their business needs ranging from the basic levels of infrastructure to the complexities brought forth by cloud or adopting “as a service” solutions and everything in between.

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