The most important lesson I learned in flight training was in managing priorities:
First, keep the plane flying straight and level. Second, keep it going on the intended flight path (and avoid any other objects in the area). Third, communicate your intentions, needs, etc. with the proper services, be they Air Traffic Control, Flight Services, the local airport Unicom, or simply another pilot in the same airspace.
These rules apply in managing database systems, if you think about it. First, aviate – make sure the database is running, or fix the problem preventing it from running. Second, figure out where the problem has taken you and how you need to get back to your normal production mode. Third, document what happened, why it happened, what you did to correct the problem and what you will do to ensure continued quality service.
This set of priorities can help you keep a cool head when problems come up and everyone’s screaming at you.
(This blog was first published April 6, 2008.)