Tuesday, December 14, 2010

T-SQL Tuesday: What a Business Wants...

is not always what a business needs.

Anyone working on or with a Development Team understands there are communication barriers. Like the story of the three blind men describing an elephant, each person has their own perspective on what it is they 'want'. If I have learned anything at all over the years, it's that people (departments) often want things, but they either a) don't understand how to ask for it or b) refuse to listen to other ideas.

A great example is a project I was once handed where an entire process was laid out t-sql. A nightly process would run; a flat file would be generated; a proc would massage the data to a database table; another proc would remove any data that wasn't needed and then copy the data to an Access database on regional servers, which would in turn be copied to local user's machines.

The issue? Sometimes people's databases didn't have the same data. Really? I'm so shocked....

What did the business ask for: Make sure the copy process was working and delivering the database files in a timely manner.

That is certainly NOT what the business needed!

Fortunately, after several meetings and working with Sr. Management people, I was able to show sell them on a better way. This particular story has a happy ending, as the business got a stable process and a repeatable end product. Could I have given them what they 'wanted'? Sure. Would they have been happy with that? Maybe for a short time.

Unfortunately, there are more unsuccessful than successful stories out there. Working with people from different perspectives on any project will surely lead to differences of opinion. The difficult part is to make sure someone is stepping up and verifying what they NEED and not just what they WANT.

This T-SQL Tuesday topic has been brought to you at the prompting of Steve Jones (@Way0utwest | blog) and the T-SQL Tuesday project.

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