There is a saying that "The important is often not urgent and the urgent not important". I could not agree more when I think of my DBA work. Most of the time, we DBAs are driven by daily routine job and some "accidents" from time to time. We seldom think about what we strive to be and what we strive to achieve in the business context of the company. For a DBA team, I feel it is critical to come up with some common goals and aspirations to get the whole team tightly engaged and highly motivated, and I believe that a team-accepted mission / vision statement will be the best utility to serve the purpose. A well-contemplated mission / vision statement will not only improve the image and visibility of the team but may also increase the work efficiency of the team as the team work toward the same direction defined in the mission / vision statement.
There are tons of information from google about "mission and vision statement", and I modified one a little to make the definition for DBA mission and vision statement:
- A vision statement outlines what a DBA or a DBA team wants to be. It focuses on tomorrow; it is inspirational; it provides clear decision-making criteria; and it is timeless.
- A mission statement outlines what the DBA / DBA team is now. It focuses on today; it identifies the key responsibilities to the stakeholders; it identifies the critical processes and key success factors; and it states the level of performance.
With the definition, I come up with my version of mission / vision statement for my DBA work
We strive to make the database system in our hands robust and secure, and as such, we will
- proactively maintain and monitor the database system to prevent any potential issues;
- accurately diagnose and forecast the database system health and capacity to maximize the ROI for the whole system;
- quickly respond to stakeholder's support request(s) to remove any work bottleneck on DBA side and
- persistantly seek innovative ways to improve DBA work efficiency and quality.
Ensure the database systems to be issue-free, always on, and run at the peak performance state all the time.
From my experience, each organization may have different priority requirements on the database system, for example, some may stress the importance of continuous operation, esp. in some specific time windows, and as such, disaster recovery is always on the top list of its DBA team agenda, while some other companies require the performance scalability to be number one priority, and with this said, the mission and vision statement of each DBA team can be different hugely.
I once talked about "Database Administration Culture" (http://www.sqlservercentral.com/blogs/jeffrey_yao/archive/2008/08/16/database-administration-culture.aspx) and I believe a clearly defined mission / vision statement should be the first intentional step to cultivate a pursued culture in a DBA team.
So in a new year, other than the yearly plan / goals, it is worthwhile to come up with a DBA mission / vision statement.