In fact, I'm totally against having a "database guy". [sound of screeching brakes] Yes, I know my current and former boss authored a whole chapter about this in Simply Strategy Stuff. [Page 58.] "Somebody has to live and die for the database". I agree with the strategy. But, success is dependent on how you execute it.
And, here's why. Your database isn't about technology. It's a piece of technology that supports your church mission and systems for ministry which is all about people, relationships, care and spiritual growth.
To make it even more complex, ministry is fast-paced and in constant change. As you work towards goals in the pace of growth, teams and projects proliferate—as does confusion. It takes a team of people to help manage this across multiple departments and establish trust for team success and church health.
So, what doesn't work? Assign one guy to be in charge of the database and call it a day.
So, then, what does work? We hand-picked a group of people from various departments and assembled a SuperTeam.
What do they do?
- champion the technology solution
- clarify intentions
- articulate benefits
- learn functionality
- empower others
How do they do it?
- Stimulate conversation. They establish context for data decisions through organized and impromptu discussions. They provide opportunities for information exchange between teams.
- Keep an eye out. They watch for and address inconsistencies; in data and systems. With a "shared ownership" mindset, they help discover how the pieces fit together and determine next steps to maximize ministry.
- Provide resources. They anticipate people needs and address system concerns by gathering and distributing information horizontally and vertically.
- Training tools that replicates learnings for shared success.
- Reports that bring all the data together to create a single version of the truth.
- Reliability and flow that allows people to focus on their ministry strengths.
- Individuals and teams that make smart decisions for the church as a whole.
Breakthrough thinking and new insights—from everyone.
The rest of the story? There aren't any techie data geeks that love database administration on our SuperTeam. Not a single one. The work is challenging. Discussions are complicated and navigating around a database obstacle course isn't always fun. No, our SuperTeam members don't love databases, but they do love people. And, that's why they don't shrink back (and why they're hand-picked for the team). They bring their area of expertise to the table to cast vision, change perceptions, raise morale and make a big impact.
So who lives and dies for our database? Technically, it's the SuperTeam. They are the ones who make the ministry. I just cheer them on and clear the hurdles.
"The successful company is not the one with the most brains, but the most brains acting in concert." Peter Drucker, Management guru