Everyone Loves a Reorganization

At least VPs love them. So when our division’s VP retired and we got a brand new VP, we pretty much knew what to expect.

This reorg has been a good one. Several of my favorite co-workers and managers got amazing promotions. It is terrific to see good and capable people recognized and moved up the management chain. I’m happy to work in an organization that will be run by such a great team.

The DBA team was moved from being part of application production team to the infrastructure team. Now my team mates are the storage manager, the network manager and the monitoring manager. This is a big change, but its going to be great. I love the folks of the infrastructure team. Naturally, we worked together quite a bit in the past and leaving mutual finger-pointing aside, they are really really good at what they do and I’m very happy to be in their team. One of them even reads my blog 🙂

But even the best reorg is still a jolt. I find myself agonizing over all sort of stuff. The silliest thing I’m worried about is what to put in “rollback decision maker” field in my change requests. My last manager thought that rollback decisions should be made by the person doing the change. The manager before that insisted that he will be the one to make the decision. Both had a point. What is my new manager going to prefer? (I’ll find out in the CAB meeting tomorrow).

This is a good time to reflect on how much my work is shaped by the specific preferences of my direct manager. Some things are very constant – backups will be taken and tested, patches will be applied, production schema will be cloned for development.

But everything else is up for grabs – whether or not the formal change process should be followed, should we get involved in long-term projects, involvement in what other teams are doing, do we try new solutions or stick to what works, whether team members should know what is going on or be kept in the dark, whether team members are allowed to have opinions, etc.

I’m also fretting about bigger things. For example, I hope the new boss will not have problem with blogs, conferences and community involvement.


If you are in the Netherlands on May 26, you should seriously consider going to DBA Symposium. For some reason, many of my favorite Oracle experts are Dutch, and three of them (Rob van Wijk, Frits hoogland and Toons Koppelaars) will be presenting there. Its got to be an amazing symposium.


4 Comments on “Everyone Loves a Reorganization”

  1. Frederick Tang says:

    > rollback decision maker

    This one is hard for me too. My role is sort of a Development DBA, and most of the time, I am involved in downtime / implementation changes.

    When rollback is considered, it usually means something has gone wrong, and it also means there won’t be enough time to fully diagnose what went wrong.

    The database is just one component of what makes up the Application environment. If the changes were purely within the database, then having the DBA as the rollback decision maker is fine. On the otherhand, if the changes were comprise of other spaces such as Application, Network… etc. Then the call to rollback might be best handled by someone who has knowledge of and understand the whole scheme of things.

    Just my thoughts, and humbly agreeing with yours 🙂

  2. You are going to listen to Rob in Dutch ? Good luck then!

    • prodlife says:

      No no no 🙂 I just suggested that maybe other people may want to.

    • Rob van Wijk says:


      “Modern” dutch and especially IT dutch is already half English, so you might actually understand the sessions. Although personally I try to separate the two languages.

      By the way, with some luck you can listen to my session in English at OOW and/or UKOUG as well.

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