The Phoenix Project is written by Gene Kim with Kevin Behr and George Spafford is the story of an IT manager who suddenly finds himself promoted into a senior role at the fictional American company Parts Unlimited. Now reporting directly to the CEO, Bill has 90 days to fix an over-budget, failing initiative code-named The Phoenix Project. If he fails, Bill's whole department will be outsourced.
It is A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win and thank goodness for not introducing tools and principles from the very beginning of the book. Instead, it is a story about contradictions and conflicts happening in a company which is in transition and it even mentions the subtle office politics.
Like all fairy tales, the story ends well. After a few twists and turns, the Phoenix project went online smoothly, and gradually reached the level of daily construction, providing service to customers steadily, receiving more and more praise and opening a new situation of the business.
Key points learned from The Phoenix Project
Three ways thinking
- The first way is a left-to-right flow of work from Development to IT Operations to the customer. This flow needs to maximize by managing the Work In Progress (WIP) and have continuous build, integration, and deployment practices.
- The second way is about the constant flow of fast feedback from right-to-left at all stages of the value stream.
- The third way is about creating a culture that fosters two things: continual experimentation, which requires taking risks and learning from success and failure and understanding that repetition and practice is the prerequisite to mastery.
The author is definitely a fan of Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt, a Physicists and Business Management Masters, which is demonstrated throughout the story, especially through the most famous Theory Of Constraints.
Five steps of the Theory of Constraints
- Identify the constraint
- Exploit the constraint
- Subordinate all the other activities to the constraint
- Elevate the constraint to new level
- Find the next constraint
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