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True IT blooper # 62: Heads roll

The Rolling Stones were wrong, at least for IT pros. Time is not on their side.

It doesn't just take a foul economy to lighten employee rolls. A blooper can send IT pros into the land of the...


This blooper comes from an IT pro who watched a colleague seal his pink slip fate. We'll call the correspondent, who wished to remain anonymous, Alphie.

Alphie works for a large company that a few months ago started to prepare to migrate to a new network protocol, moving from DECNet to NetBIOS.

The company created an IT task force to develop a migration plan. The head of the IT department selected a project leader but did not issue a deadline, Alphie said. And the project leader did not press for a deadline.

Two people failing to communicate about goals for a huge project sows fertile ground for a blooper. It was only a matter of time before they clashed. The suspense mounts.

Back to our story: Being a thorough fellow, the project leader wanted to create a network testing lab that included "every configuration in the company," Alphie said.

To that end, the task force leader ordered an audit of all the company's IT equipment to ensure the test lab mimicked the live network. Fellow IT staffers were stunned by the order because audits are tedious and can drag on and on. They knew they'd be working on the project for a long, long time.

"At the next monthly staff meeting, the task force leader was asked when the action plan would be ready for evaluation," Alphie said. "He said he was far from starting on the action plan because the lab was not yet finished."

When supervisors asked the project leader how soon they could review an action plan, the leader said it'd be ready in five to six months, Alphie said.

The room fell silent. It was a stunned silence. Undoubtedly, many in the room were thinking: "Are you kidding me?"

The IT department head took action of his own: he chose a new project leader. Wisely, the new leader presented an action plan three weeks later.

"The first project leader was never seen in the building again," Alphie said.

Share your bloopers with us. E-mail them to Read more of our past IT Blooper Series, which originially appeared at, part of the TechTarget network.

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