System Clean-up – Wait! Before you hit that button…

Let’s just review where you are and what got you here…

It’s the morning routine: you swipe your badge, grab a cup of coffee, pick up the paper, assume the position on the pedestal of productivity, do a surround check – everything’s in place, paper in the printer – and click the keyboard for a quick and smooth login. It’s innovation time!

But nothing moves. Everything is… stuck.

You groan, but it doesn’t help. Your chin drops to your chest. The blood starts rushing to your head. There’s a ringing in your ears. This isn’t working. You shake your head: What the french toast?! You had your first cup of coffee on the way in, like always. You’re alert. You’re thinking. Why aren’t things moving? What gives??

Nothing. The system is impacted.

You relax, turn the page on the paper, and evaluate your history. It’s true, performance has been backing up for a while. Productivity has lately been a little bit slower, and a little bit slower by increments, but today you’re feeling it. Today the movement is glacial. The system is backed up hard: sluggish and stubborn; painful even.

You don’t have time for this. NO ONE has time for this! You reboot, turn the page, and hit it harder … … … …

… … … Esc.

You grunt and look around. The paper’s a waste. This is taking too long. Maybe another cup of coffee?

The Engineering mind kicks in and you start to think of options. You could push harder, but really?! That would just bust a vein (Yeah… you’ve been there before). Your inputs are balanced. The formulas all work. The geometries line up. The dimensions are precise. The application is working (though, you do need better reporting).

Why are things so darned slow?!

You’d like to trash the application – tear up the back end of this problem and start over. But that’s not reasonable. “Dammit, Jim! I’m an Engineer, not a Proctologist!” you mumble under your breath, hoping no one heard you.

System Clean-up

This is a time suck. You could dial up IT but the last thing you need is to make a bunch of noise awith someone looking over your shoulder while you’re in this position. Besides, IT is working on downstream issues: ERP, MES, SCM, CRM, etc. This is an Engineering problem; the data and user interface are different: dimensions, form, fit, and function… Numbers! IT is thinking dollars, and transactions. Your problem is plumbing; IT is focused on fixtures.

So you’re stuck: sitting there with your system straining and your pants down around your ankles – not the best position from which to cry out for assistance, or worse yet… rescue. Oh, the ignominy! – waiting for something to happen.

Your Engineer mind completes its analysis of the application layer:

  • Processes working? Change Management? Check-in/Check-out? Check.
  • Collaboration happening? Replication functioning? File access available? Check.

So it’s not the application layer. You move to the data layer:

  • When was the last time this happened?

Holy Crepes… That’s it! BINGO! Garbage in, Garbage out! The database hasn’t had a good cleanse for weeksMonths even! Years?! – Good LORD!! You smile at the revelation. Managing the Application Layer was a red herring. This problem is all about good old-fashioned database management. The genius solution is… a Data Dump!

There it is… EUREKA! System Clean-Up!

There’s GOLD in them thar hills! MOVEMENT!! Oh, that’s so much better! It’s all falling into place. When you turn your attentions to the data layer, out flow all the problems. There’s just nothing quite like a good ole solid purge! The clicks come rumbling out. You feel the rush of relief. It’s all you can do not to sigh out loud and laugh a little to yourself.

Man, it feels good to make things happen; to figure things out! You’re gonna have that next cup of coffee… and enjoy it!

Right… So… Now that you’ve got that out of your system, it’s time to get to work. Administer the flush commands and think about other performance improvements – like a systems approach so the next guy doesn’t have to deal with this…problem.

Now hit that button!!!

Oh, and leave the paper, because that’s the kind of Engineer you are.