This week I discuss a question that I’ve gotten in many forms over the years – a lot of the scenarios are so specific that it’s hard to keep them anonymous, but they can be generalized as a bigger problem: how do I deal with being responsible for things that I can’t fully control?
DBAs have huge responsibilities, so this is a common, frustrating scenario. In this episode, I talk about a few times that I’ve experienced this in my own life, what techniques didn’t work, and what strategies were more effective.
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My notes for the session
Everyday Dilbert moments
The Bug Nobody Caused
Committing to an SLA I couldn’t meet
The Case of the Weak KPIs
Techniques that haven’t worked for me
“This is not my responsibility”
If other people keep tagging you and saying “you’re it”, just saying “not it” or “I’m not playing this game” doesn’t stop them from continuing.
Techniques that can work
Being responsible for things you can’t control frequently triggers stress
Stress triggers knee-jerk responses
- Knee jerk responses don’t go anywhere
- Not taken seriously
- Generally don’t have thoughtful, supporting data
You need to be more strategic
Find a way to de-personalize the issue
Think outside your current role
If you were the CTO of the company, what would you want to see happen?
Don’t limit your thinking to what you can do now
Do what you can
Outline and document the limitations to what you’ve done
“Here’s what I can do for you” (even if it’s to try to help escalate)
Sometimes… sketch out an approach to narrow the gap
Even if it’s not you who could carry it out
Ask for help to narrow the gap
Who do you think could help make this happen?
Raise the flag high when needed
Risks of data loss