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The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win

Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, George Spafford · 10 HN comments
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Amazon Summary
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.
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Hacker News Stories and Comments

All the comments and stories posted to Hacker News that reference this book.
Everyone struggles with big IT projects.

It’s also why Gene Kim & co wrote “The Phoenix Project” [1].

Everyone involved in software-building, non-tech industry should read it.

In the end it’s just lean turned agile software dev. Reduce waste.


I read your comment and halfway through i thought you were gonna bring up the devops book: The Phoenix Project
If you're interested there are a couple of great books that dig more into this kind of thing.

The Phoenix Project:

Its related Dev Ops Handbook:

I'm with you on this. I don't understand the HN mentality of "100% performance at all working hours". Many employers do not need you to be highly performant all the time, but they do need you to be available all the time.

I'm also reading the Phoenix Project [1], and there's a worker Brent who knows every system well and can fix any issue. However, he is supposed to be working on the big company project (think like an ERP system). However, he can't get that work done because everyone and their brother keeps asking for a "quick" five minutes of his time, several times a day. All in all, he is not able to get his assigned tasks done because he's so busy with other interruptions.

If that happens then yes, talk to your direct report and come up with a better solution. But you shouldn't need to block out every interruption ever. There are times when it is warranted.


I had a really good time myself reading: The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business( )
I just finished reading the Phoenix Project, and I wanted to say the beginning of this post read almost exactly like the first 3/4's of the book.

Nov 20, 2017 · Jtsummers on The Cost Center Trap
That book is next on my reading list, but also worth checking out is "The Phoenix Project". It applies the concepts of "The Goal" to IT (operations to start, but it gets extended to development through the book).

Was just going to recommend reading this book, glad someone did already. Being in tech/IT, you will be able to identify each of the characters in your work environment at one point or another.
One of the best things about reading these books, IMO, is that I finally have the vocabulary to speak to management. Before I'd say the exact same thing, but I didn't know they had a term for what I wanted (value stream maps, for instance) and we couldn't communicate. Now that I can speak in management terms, they're listening to my inputs because we understand each other.
The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, George Spafford -
A really great book about this concept, applied specifically to software, is The Phoenix Project ( I recommend it highly.
I'd recommend the Phoenix Project - very easy read.
Seconded, really great book, super easy read.
Thirded. The narrative form threw me off at first, but I think it really lays out a lot of the concepts in a digestible way.
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