In the database world, when something goes wrong, an organization wants one person responsible for the situation, and for fixing it. So someone on your team has a designated vendor whose neck you can reach out and choke if something goes wrong. But isn't this creating an even bigger problem? Keep reading to find out how Scott Hayes handles the situation.
|As an executive leader—you want people to come to you with solutions, not problems—but that doesn’t always happen. And the worst kind of problem that gets dropped in your lap is one where everyone is blaming someone else and there’s not a solution in sight. To avoid this circle of recriminations, it’s not unusual to structure vendor relationships around this principle: give me one neck to choke. In other words, if something goes wrong, an organization wants one person responsible for the situation, and for fixing it.
This appears to make sense in the database world. You're not a database expert, you don't play one on TV, and you haven't stayed at a Holiday Inn lately. The only abbreviation you care about is EBITDA. So someone on your team has a designated vendor whose neck you can reach out and choke if something goes wrong. In the database world, this designated neck is usually the organization that sold you the hardware and the software. After all, who else would be the designated neck?
The problem with this analogy—and management strategy—is that it is trumped by another: "Don't (ever) let the fox guard the hen house." If the one neck is the organization that sold you the system, and that stands to make money fixing your problem, then you're problem just got much worse. In my world, it usually goes like this:
|The one neck recommends that you buy consulting from their consulting division: this takes time, costs money, creates tiny improvements, but never solves the root cause of database problems.
|When the problem fails to get better, the one neck recommends additional software and hardware purchases. These are vastly expensive, non-returnable, and only kick the can down the road.
|When you come upon the can again, the one neck takes you back again through steps one and two until you either get wiser or run out of money.
So what's the solution? "Doveryai, no proveryai." This is the Russian proverb that President Ronald Reagan quoted to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev so many years ago. It translates as, "Trust, but verify." Instead of relying on one company, you must have independent third-parties who don't have a financial interest in anything other than being a fresh set of eyes and telling you the truth.
If you don't have that independent third party, don't be fooled - the neck that's going to be choked will be your own.
What You Must Know
If you don’t have that independent third party, the neck that’s being choked will be your own.
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