ITIL Processes Taken to ExtremesPosted: May 8, 2008
A DBA from another team went on vacation, and asked me to do few urgent tasks for him while he is gone.
One of the tasks was to refresh test schema from production data. In his email he commented that in his team the process includes opening a change in the Change Management system for this task “in case we drop the production schema instead of the test schema by mistake”.
I was very surprised by this. In my team, the ticket asking for the refresh was considered enough documentation, and there was no need to open a change. Also, if you regularly drop the wrong schema, opening changes will not help you.
I asked around for explanation for the different procedure. Turned out that few month ago someone from the other team dropped the wrong schema by mistake. It was recovered from backup with no issues, but it still caused an hour or two of downtime for the users. Which means that we need to open an Incident, and of course, every Incident has to contain action items for preventing same issue from reoccurring. In this case, the manager who reviewed the incident noticed that there was no Change open for the schema refresh, which means that the DBA did not follow the right procedure! The natural action item for the change was “Instruct DBAs on Change Management procedures”. DBAs were properly instructed (at least some of them) and are now opening a change before dropping the wrong schema.
Which just goes to show how procedures can’t replace common sense.