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Topics: Agile, IT Project Management, Leadership
DevOps and "The Phoenix Project"

The process of DevOps was recently presented to me along with the results various companies have seen, I have heard of DevOps in the past but I never really looked into it. In the presentation it was suggested that a company could deploy IT updates on a daily basis rather than weekly, monthly or even quarterly with higher quality, security, success rate, and less downtime of customers. Like others, I was a bit skeptical on such a claim, but I kept an open mind. Later in the presentation there were six books presented for suggested reading:
1. The Phoenix Project
2. The DevOps Handbook
3. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
4. Accelerate
5. The Goal
6. Toyota Kata
I started at the top of the list with The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford. From the inside cover:

“Bill is an IT manage at Part 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 the Phoenix Project, is critical to the future of Part 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 workflow, streamline interdepartmental communications, and effectively serve the other business functions at Parts Unlimited.”

Sounds a bit boring, but it is not! It’s not only a “Must Read” but it’s entertaining and full of knowledge, and information. The authors use a fictional story in a journal / novel type format to teach the reader about DevOps and how it works at Parts Unlimited and how it will work in the readers company. As I personally read the book, and saw the problems that Parts Unlimited was suffering from and how solutions developed over time, I began thinking how DevOps would fit within our company, how could we apply “x” to our process? How could we initiate “Y” in our daily work?

Now that I have completed “The Phoenix Project” I am almost done with “The DevOps Handbook” and already have the “Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time” on my desk warming up, I guess you could say I am a true believer. I highly recommend “The Phoenix Project” to anyone in any field of work, as you will see through Bill’s adventure DevOps applies to us all.

I will send out a review shortly on “The DevOps Handbook” but in the meantime let me know what you think about “The Phoenix Project”.

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