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Performance Tuning by Committee - SQL Antipattern #006

07 February,2016 by Tom Collins

A common SQL Antipattern in the DBA community is Performance Tuning by committee. Using the committee approach  usually means technology used is not understood by anyone.

Pack behaviour can lead to deep misunderstandings and to solutions which don't fit .

The negative outcomes can be further accentuated in an emergency situation. Clear thinking is critical . For example :  Step 1 - is the production environment secure ?  Can users still access the data in an acceptable response time? Step 2 - root cause analysis. 

Quite often politics become part of the solution process, whereas what is required is straight-line thinking. I've been in plenty of situations where you're working on an performance  issue - and having to simultaneously engaged in a conversation with management .

It's understanding to know when to apply straight-line thinking versus fuzzy thinking which is a key indicator of SQL experts.
I've observed experts - and it takes deep knowledge and years of experience to achieve.

Making compromises between technical , office politics and business is not to be confused with seeking out other  experts who can offer an insight or share a similar experience , which may lead to a suitable solution. 

Managing a Production environment is suitable for a the Dictator style.Decisions need to be made quickly, usually by someone who can understand the consequences and the underlying technology. 

Read on many  other examples of performance tuning the wrong way .

Performance Tuning by committee is part of the  SQL Antipattern series. 

  Lemmings at the cliff

 Image courtesy of GreeningOfGavin


Read More On Performance Tuning

SQL Performance tuning - Asking the right question - SQL Server DBA

SQL Performance tuning - Drilling into the problem - SQL Server DBA

Performance Tuning - Save hundreds of hours - SQL Server DBA




Author: Tom Collins (


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