Who is in control?

Who is in control?

Speaking with a client once about their database project, the client said something I found rather profound: "I want to feel like I control the database, not that the database is controlling me."

There's a lot going on in that statement, and there are a lot of elements that affect whether or not we feel "in control." I'll hear my clients say "the system won't allow us to do what we want to do." That can be true, but just as often, the loss of control stems from issues that, ironically, are under the control of the client.

Here are some of them:

  1. Do you have enough training to know how to use the system effectively? Not knowing how to use the system leads to a feeling of no control.
  2. Are your business rules clear and simple? The more difficult or complex your rules are (and the more exceptions you allow), the less "in control" you'll feel because a situation could result in multiple processes and outcomes.
  3. Are you doing everything you can to manage key data in a single system (i.e., no spreadsheets) and/or integrating other data management systems to the primary system? A big factor feeding a sense of loss of control is having data "everywhere." By limiting the number of shadow databases and integrating third-party systems, you'll improve your control.

These are just three examples. I'm sure there are more. Every system will have limitations that require us to do workarounds or use manual processes. But we actually have a lot more control over our systems if we choose to exert that control.

Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives

Acknowledging problems is part of managing expectations

March 15, 2023

Acknowledging problems is part of managing expectations Research was done some time ago that suggested […]

Need data? Consider third-party sources

March 8, 2023

Need data? Consider third-party sources I always tell my clients, only collect data that you’re […]

Action must follow the decision

March 1, 2023

Action must follow the decision When I work with my clients on their projects (whether […]

Everything should be focused on improving user adoption

February 22, 2023

Everything should be focused on improving user adoption Your AMS is a tool, and a […]

Needs change over time, and that’s OK

February 15, 2023

Needs change over time, and that’s OK I was speaking with a couple of association […]

The vaguer the question, the vaguer the answer

February 9, 2023

The vaguer the question, the vaguer the answer As the old saying goes, the devil […]

The best choice given the information you have

February 2, 2023

The best choice given the information you have “Hindsight is 20/20” is a cliché because, […]

Action isn’t the same as progress

January 25, 2023

Action isn’t the same as progress I’ve written before that not taking action is an […]

Start with the end in mind

January 18, 2023

Start with the end in mind Like so many, I probably first heard the phrase […]

It’s quiet in here…maybe TOO quiet…

January 11, 2023

It’s quiet in here…maybe TOO quiet… One of the truisms of data management is that […]

Scroll to Top