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The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win by [Kim, Gene, Behr, Kevin , Spafford, George]
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The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Review

"A must-read for anyone wanting to transform their IT to enable the business to win. Told through an absorbing story that is impossible to put down, the authors teach the essential lessons in an accessible way. Every business leader and IT professional should read this book!"  -- Mike Orzen, co-author of the the Shingo Prize winning book Lean IT - Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation

"This book is a gripping read that captures brilliantly the dilemmas that face companies which depend on IT, and offers real-world solutions. As Deming reminds us, 'It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.'  The Phoenix Project will have a profound effect on IT, just as Dr. Goldratt's book The Goal did for manufacturing." -- Jez Humble, co-author of the Jolt award-winning book Continuous Delivery and Principal at ThoughtWorks Studios

"This book is the modern day version of The Goal.  Today, our constraints aren't robots inside our factories, but it's how we manage technologies like Tomcat and Java that power our most critical projects and applications. This book continues the journey that began with Shewhart, Deming, Ohno and Dr. Goldratt, and shows us how to diminish our modern constraints to help the business win." -- John Willis, VP Client Services and Enablement, enStratus, Host of "DevOps Cafe"

"This is the IT swamp draining manual for anyone who is neck deep in alligators." -- Adrian Cockcroft, Cloud Architect at Netflix

"This is the most amazing IT book I have ever read. Though it follows a fictitious company, the events are so real life that anyone in industry is going to relate to the story.  Buy this book, read this book and then hand it to a senior manager in your organization." -- Stephen Northcutt, Fellow and President, SANS Technology Institute

"This insightful walk through the pain and success of business will trigger deja vu for anyone who has ever run afoul of their complete reliance in their IT organization. I see my own experiences in every stage of the story."  -- Dr. Thomas Longstaff, Program Chair, Computer Science, Engineering for Professionals, The Johns Hopkins University

Product Description

Bill is an IT manager at Parts Unlimited. It's Tuesday morning and on his drive into the office, Bill gets a call from the CEO.

The company's new IT initiative, code named Phoenix Project, is critical to the future of Parts Unlimited, but the project is massively over budget and very late. The CEO wants Bill to report directly to him and fix the mess in ninety days or else Bill's entire department will be outsourced.

With the help of a prospective board member and his mysterious philosophy of The Three Ways, Bill starts to see that IT work has more in common with manufacturing plant work than he ever imagined. With the clock ticking, Bill must organize work flow streamline interdepartmental communications, and effectively serve the other business functions at Parts Unlimited.

In a fast-paced and entertaining style, three luminaries of the DevOps movement deliver a story that anyone who works in IT will recognize. Readers will not only learn how to improve their own IT organizations, they'll never view IT the same way again.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1483 KB
  • Print Length: 376 pages
  • Publisher: IT Revolution Press (Jan. 10 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0988262576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988262577
  • ASIN: B00AZRBLHO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,303 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Recommended to me from several well-respected speakers at QCon New York 2014, I picked this up without knowing anything about it. This is a book about IT management in the format of a novel about the (incredible) recovery of a dysfunctional company. Refers to the "Theory of Constraints" and the Three Ways principles of IT, as well as the 4 types of IT work, and applies them to IT using manufacturing analogies. Knowing the Three Ways more deeply now, I better understand the significance of the Netflix Simian Army Chaos Monkey and why these big cloud companies spend as much effort as they do on continuous improvement and building fault tolerant systems. I love it. This is a great book. And it's a quick read!
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In this increasingly technology driven world Every company is heavily dependent on IT to meet its goals. In most of these companies there is an adversarial relationship between IT and the rest of the company. This book describes how that wall between IT and the rest of the company must come down and that IT must stop being treated as a technology problem and start being treated as a workflow problem. If work flows through IT efficiently, then the whole company will run efficiently.

This book describes a typical modern company that is dying because of its lack of agility in IT. Through a narrative fitting of the One Minute Manager books it takes you through the transformation of that company as an IT powerhouse. This book is an excellent read and should be standard reading for managers everywhere.
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I am a Finance nerd and I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style that taught through example in a "Real" world situation. Bill had it tough but he pulled the clues together. I read The Goal about 15 years ago and thought that the manufacturing concepts that were used to help in clarifying what was work, the importance of knowing your bottlenecks, understanding that improving any area other than a bottleneck was wasted effort and that prompt feedback was critical when "Leaning" a process. I read through once for enjoyment and then a second time to pull the lessons out into a usable summary.
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A fantastic book that contains a wealth of information and delivers it in an intelligent and interesting way; a story. The book successfully captures the events and struggles of most people who work in IT Operations and gives a very good explanation on why these problems exist, and how you can solve them. It portrays a very effective way of thinking in applying our understanding of plant floor operations, manufacturing, and logistics to how we manage IT in a business. The way it establishes that connection is fantastic.

If you work in operations, and are looking for a great example of what you can do to improve productivity, streamline your processes, control workflow, reduce time to market (keep the business happy), and keep your employees happy, this is the best place to find out how.
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The book is a great read, and it's a wonderful story, but it likely does not reflect on reality how IT works in most organizations (or it's not the whole story). Yes it is inspirational, and yes it would encourage me to try new things in a new role.
I would say that everything the book describes until the main character quits his job and does not come back to work for 2 weeks is painfully accurate. Everything else is not. There are far more self-serving people in IT who hog information and processes and refuse to change (in real life "Brent" and "John" would keep doing what they always did) and far more self-serving executives ("Sarah" would continue to sabotage and ultimately come on top).
The other side of the story, is that after the DevOps model succeeds, as budget pressures continue, two things will happen: most of the jobs will become routine and subject to "efficiency reviews", and then commodity and automated services are moved to the lowest cost provider (outsourced, use cloud providers). There is a very good reason why the book actually makes a parallel with an industrial process - see how a car was produced historically, first mind numbing work on the assembly line, then outsourcing to "parts" companies, then robots.
I see this book not as a tale of how to succeed in IT Ops, but rather that it's time to have a backup career plan, unless you are at the top of the Ops team.
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Format: Kindle Edition
In The Phoenix Project, Bill gets thrown into the fire and has to save the company from complete failure. The IT department is in complete disarray, with every project missing deadlines and going over budget. I was able to really feel the pressure Bill was under while reading the book and I wanted to keep reading to see how it was going to turn out.

I thought that the authors did an excellent job blending the story with IT methodology and best practices for management. All the characters were great. They were very believable and I'm pretty sure I've worked with a few of them (LOL). Although, as a piece of fictional work, I merely found it okay. The writing was a little weak and the conversations mostly felt forced and unnatural.

Being someone who works in this industry, I really enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has either worked in IT/Development or just has an interest in it.
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