Database Administration Team Reporting Hierarchy

  • alex.sqldba

    SSChampion

    Points: 10205

    Morning Guys,

    I have an organisational question and dilemma I am trying to work through; and would like some advice.

    We are notionally a team of 5, though there are two Production/Development Hybrid DBA's and 3 Reports Writers. The Reports Writers are currently reporting to a 'Head of Finance Applications' who's role is being made redundant.

    The DBA's report to the Infrastructure Manager, prior to this, we reported to the Development Manager. There is a hands on DBA Manager whom the other DBA's report into.

    There seems to be some conflict over who wants us. This place will not entertain a hierarchy split (ie/ 50% Infra and 50% Development). Despite our actual responsibilities being about 45% Dev, 45% Infra/Prod and 10% to the CIO anyway.

    Given this, I want to propose that the DBA's report direct to the CIO. Via the DBA Manager. I would also want to officially absorb (as it were) the Report writers. To make us truly a team of 5.

    This would solve the current reporting conflict firstly. And give us direct access to management meetings where often times [bad] decisions are made because there is no DBA presence to correct or coerce are more sensible approach.

    Where I am stuck is firstly how to propose this, and secondly other than the two things I have mentioned what other benefits there might be that I can use as part of my argument. Of course I'd also like some negatives in case there is something I am not seeing 🙂

    Any thoughts or pointers on this?

    Cheers
    Alex

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 996046

    alex.sqldba - Wednesday, April 25, 2018 4:49 AM

    Morning Guys,

    I have an organisational question and dilemma I am trying to work through; and would like some advice.

    We are notionally a team of 5, though there are two Production/Development Hybrid DBA's and 3 Reports Writers. The Reports Writers are currently reporting to a 'Head of Finance Applications' who's role is being made redundant.

    The DBA's report to the Infrastructure Manager, prior to this, we reported to the Development Manager. There is a hands on DBA Manager whom the other DBA's report into.

    There seems to be some conflict over who wants us. This place will not entertain a hierarchy split (ie/ 50% Infra and 50% Development). Despite our actual responsibilities being about 45% Dev, 45% Infra/Prod and 10% to the CIO anyway.

    Given this, I want to propose that the DBA's report direct to the CIO. Via the DBA Manager. I would also want to officially absorb (as it were) the Report writers. To make us truly a team of 5.

    This would solve the current reporting conflict firstly. And give us direct access to management meetings where often times [bad] decisions are made because there is no DBA presence to correct or coerce are more sensible approach.

    Where I am stuck is firstly how to propose this, and secondly other than the two things I have mentioned what other benefits there might be that I can use as part of my argument. Of course I'd also like some negatives in case there is something I am not seeing 🙂

    Any thoughts or pointers on this?

    Cheers
    Alex

    It seems fairly well written... What's wrong with proposing what you just wrote?  As for a meeting and hand the upline of management a printed copy and explain the proposal.

    --Jeff Moden


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  • alex.sqldba

    SSChampion

    Points: 10205

    Mostly because it seems actual presentations tend to do better than plain proposals with facts.

    So I guess ultimately, I am asking for ideas on how to pad it out into a presentation and also (though I never mentioned it in the original post) how top quantify it against Money. But it would neither save, nor generate any additional income, but equally it won't cost anything more either. It's purely a logical change.

  • Chris Harshman

    SSC-Forever

    Points: 42037

    alex.sqldba - Wednesday, April 25, 2018 4:49 AM

    ...Given this, I want to propose that the DBA's report direct to the CIO. Via the DBA Manager. I would also want to officially absorb (as it were) the Report writers. To make us truly a team of 5.

    This would solve the current reporting conflict firstly. And give us direct access to management meetings where often times [bad] decisions are made because there is no DBA presence to correct or coerce are more sensible approach.

    Is the company you work for a public company?  If so, then you may need to consider the separation of duties such that the people deploying and working on items in your production environment are different than the people working on the development and testing of those items.  Since you mentioned you currently report to the head of Finance Applications I figured there is some financial reporting this group is responsible for, and your processes may be audited at some point.

  • alex.sqldba

    SSChampion

    Points: 10205

    Thanks Chris.

    No we're a private company though we do bid on government contracts. The DBA's report to the Infrastructure lead at the moment. The Report writers report to the head of Finance Applications (which is distinct from head of finance, strangely the head of Finance Applications does not report to the head of Finance but to the CIO.) It's rather peculiar structure admittedly.

    Regarding separation of duties that is already in-place as only prod DBA's have access to production, both for the OLTP DB's and the OLAP/SSRS environments. That isn't likely to change, we'd not give the reports writers access to production - historically that has caused some burns and I can't see the brass forgiving that just yet.

  • HappyGeek

    SSCoach

    Points: 18678

    alex.sqldba - Thursday, April 26, 2018 1:37 AM

    Thanks Chris.....

    It's rather peculiar structure admittedly.....

    Actually it is not peculiar, it is called a cross - matrix management structure and was designed many years ago as a means of giving flexibility to management of the workforce, many called it an anti union strategy because .... well it was .... I do not think it has a place in todays workforce and you should push ahead with your well considered changes.

    ...

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 125074

    It's unclear why the staff who are mostly "Report Writers" would naturally fit into the DBA team, especially if they mostly maintain reports for a specific business unit like Finance or Accounting. They are "application developers", "data analysts", or maybe "business intelligence developers" if you want to loosely define the term and be generous. They are certainly not "database administrators" or even "database developers" if they can't be relied upon for things like configuration, tuning, disaster recovery, or 2 AM support calls.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

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