Throwing it over the wall

It is late Friday afternoon. Everyone has left for the weekend. You just received the project’s requirements document. You have to design the database by Monday morning. What would you do? How would you deal with this dilemma?

The above scenario is extreme and resembles the format of many reality television shows. The contestants set out to accomplish the task at hand using their talents and luck to claim victory. The short timeframe may be an exaggeration but I have seen the above situation take place in data development efforts.

“Throwing it over the wall” is what I call this cowboy design methodology. It happens in IT shops where teams work in their own personal silos that do not readily share information. Teamwork is minimal and results are less than successful. Team members use their talents and sheer luck to arrive at a design.

I use the above to illustrate something that most data modelers know.  We cannot live in our own silos and succeed at our work. It does take a team to design a database.

Teamwork is one of the critical skills that a talented data modeler has mastered over time. This modeler knows that they cannot do it all or do it in a vacuum. They understand how to work with others and leverage the relationships formed with others to get the job done.

Knowledge of relational design and expertise in ERwin or another modeling tool are most likely high on your job description. They are core talents needed to be a good data modeler. You can consider yourself an effective and excelling data modeler if you have mastered the soft skills found in the closing paragraphs of your job description.

Teamwork is most likely on your standard corporate job description template. We generally take these generic responsibilities as being of lessor importance. I urge you to revisit your job description and carefully review the soft skills. Becoming a champion of these skills will help you achieve greater success and recognition in your primary data modeling skills.

Don’t be that person who throws or is thrown things over the wall. Be the team member who takes personal responsibility for bringing teamwork your development initiative. It is essential that you live and speak teamwork as a data modeler even if your fellow team members are not team players. You have more power than you may imagine if you approach your work with this mentality.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *