The Phoenix Project

I concluded today The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win (Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford, 345 pages, 2013), and I think it is a great book.

This is actually a novel around very realistic and relevant organizational aspects and technology. Anyone with experience in IT operations or Software Development will recognize oneself in at least a few or many of the scenes along the story.

Building on the tradition of The Goal, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt, it follows an IT middle manager, Bill Palmer, who is suddenly promoted to VP of IT Operations, against his will, and is then confronted with a multitude of issues reflecting the organizational deficiencies and challenges in his company, Parts Unlimited.

Trying to juggle multiple issues thrown at him, Bill gets eventually the guidance of a mysterious board member candidate, Eric Reid, who guides his thoughts along understanding how much IT resembles manufacturing, and how flow, feedback, and continuous improvement (the Three Ways) can help turn the business around, and achieve the ultimate financial goals it so desperately needs.

I find the book a great source of inspiration and practical insights on how to direct a company towards DevOps practices, which was in great part promoted by this very book and its set of authors.

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