Monday, September 24, 2007

Database Design for Business - Part 3 Working with the designer

Now that you have decided who is writing your database we move onto the database writing phase.
The database designer might initially start work on his own premises and only later in the project will he start working on site. When the writing phase begins make sure that you have a desk and internet connection available for the use of your designer. Remember you want him working not looking for somewhere to plug in. Make sure you have introduced him to all the relevant personnel he will have to deal with and that they know what level of cooperation with him that is required.
When the designer asks for information make sure it is provided promptly and accurately. A proffessional data designer should be extremely trustworthy and safe to entrust access to your data. A database designer who allowed information to escape would not be designing databases for long. A non-disclosure agreement might be applied to business processes to prevent your database designer selling the same system to one of your competitors.

Payment should be made on agreed targets being met. This is where your initial description of what you want done is very important. Most database designers will not embark on a project until an initial deposit is paid typically 20-30%. The designer should have a design path laid out with key completion points and payment schedule inbuilt.

Reporting design is where you will have the biggest input. Remember these reports are why you wanted the database in the first place. Specify the information you want to see before you tell the designer how you want it to look. If it has to fit in with a corporate style make sure the designer has access to the necessary graphics files.

Make sure the designer has all the contact details of the personnel involved in the project. A good practice is to set up an internal blog that everybody involved has access to. This can used by the designer to document the development process also.

I know I have said he and him for the designer, who could in fact be female.

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