Re: Where should DBA's be placed in an Organization

  • From: "stephen booth" <>
  • To: mcdonald.connor@xxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2006 15:06:14 +0100

On 27/04/06, Connor McDonald <mcdonald.connor@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> > Where should they be placed in the organization?
> Next to the CEO in the hierarchy but in a better office and less
> responsbilities...
>  :-)

How can you have less responsibilities than a CEO?  CEOs don't have
responsibility, they have authority and people to blame.  Conversely
DBAs often have responsibility (without authority) and no-one to blame
(even when it genuinely is someone else's fault, i.e. about 99.999% of
the time, the remaining 0.0001% being hardware failure)[1].

On the serious topic, I think it depends on the organisation and the
DBA.  A lot of organisations these days don't do internal development,
they buy in applications from external vendors.  Any development or
'bespoking' is done by the vendors.  Therefore there's no develoment
team to sit the DBA with.  In some organisations a lot of the day to
day database work is offloaded onto a remote DBA company or a
faccities management company and the servers may even sit in a CoLo

In those situations I think it makes sense to sit the DBA primarily
with the people who do the procurment for new applications and
services, give them both the responsibility to get involved in new
application purchases and the authority to enforce it (one thing that
seems to baffle most managers seems to be the difference between
responsibility (having to do something about it) and authority (being
able to do something about it)).  Maybe the DBA shouldn't be next to
the CEO in the organisation chart, but it makes sense if they report
directly to the CEO (or at least a director level person) and see them
on at least a weekly basis.


[1] Responsibility without authority is like a toilet without a flush,
very quickly it begins to stink.
It's better to ask a silly question than to make a silly assumption.

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