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10 thoughts on “The Phoenix Project

  1. says:

    Bill Palmer gets thrust into the CIO position at Parts Unlimited and has 90 days to make chicken salad out of chicken shit or the entire IT department gets outsourced Does Bill have what it takes?Confession Time I've worked in IT for the past fifteen years When the CTO of the company I work for strongly recommended all IT personnel read this I bit the bulletRemember those after school specials that were some kind of lesson with a flimsy story wrapped around it? That's pretty much what this was Only instead of featuring cool things like sex and drugs this one was about the pitfalls of being an IT manager It read like the book euivalent of the awful training video I had to watch when I worked loss prevention at K mart about a thousand years agoBill's a server guy who suddenly becomes CIO and is forced to turn the Phoenix Project around Yeah it's just as riveting as it sounds All the kiss asses at work rave about the book but it's barely a novel It's a management manual disguised as a novel Not only that Bill is kind of a dick and a Mary Sue A Dick Sue if you willEven before investigating the author I could tell he was an operations guy rather than a developer It was pretty easy to tell by the way he laid the heaviest of the blame on everyone except the server guys It's like a garbage man writing a book where the garbage man is the only one who can save the dayThe book reads like someone recounting meetings he's been in which is pretty much what it is That and some corporate propaganda praising the use of Agile IT management and The Cloud Actually now that I think about it it kind of reminds me of The Pillars of the Earth where the plot is a loop of problems solutions and unexpected complications only instead of a church they're building an application The rape levels aren't the same eitherThe book gets a little improbable by the end After some pep talks and embracing the Agile philosophy somehow a team that couldn't find its asses with both hands and a map can suddenly turn things around enough to master cloud computing in half a pageDespite all the above mentioned dislikes and the fact that the characters are as thin as toilet paper from the Dollar Tree this book wasn't a total piece of shit Despite going in determined not to learn anything I did manage to pick up some tips and saw a lot of similarities with my everyday lifeTwo out of five stars It's not much of a novel but someone who is already pondering embracing the techniues this book beats you over the head with will probably rate it a lot higher


  2. says:

    See of my reviews at Bettering Me UpI know what you're thinkingWow A fictionalized account of ITIL and Agile methodologies That sounds soexcitingBut it isImagine my surprise when I was completely sucked into Bill's worldIT Operations isn't always a fun place to work servers crash; applications freeze; vulnerabilities are everywhere; and customers both internal and external scream for supportSo how to you manage all of the Work in Progress WIP emergencies and planned work? It's enough to give any professional geek a panic attackEnter our heroes ITIL and Kanban These Best Practice methodologies will help Bill and his team revolutionize how IT functions and contributes to the business at large The Phoenix Project takes a dry subject and turns it into an understandable narrative Certain concepts that I didn't uite grasp when I studied for my ITIL certification became crystal clear during the course of this bookI'm really looking forward to implementing a Kanban board with my team at work


  3. says:

    to be honest I'm a bit embarrassed how much i enjoyed this book It's basically a businessIT management book thinly disguised as a novel but i must say it's very well done It's such niche subject matter that i'm not sure anyone outside of an IT Ops role would appreciate it but i genuinely learned a lot about how IT needs to integrate within business goals to actually achieve anything that it doesn't exist in a vacuum and if it does then something is seriously out of wack It preaches good principles basically the silver bullet of Continuous Deployment and what value that brings to the dev cycle I believe from what I've read that it's basically a rewrite of 'The Goal' which is widely used in leading colleges of management to teach students about the importance of strategic capacity planning and constraint management but with a DevOps spin on it Its definitely a tech book but eschews any one technology to focus on the underlying principles I'm curious to see what others make of it


  4. says:

    Imagine an Ayn Rand novel where John Galt gives stilted lectures about ITIL and lean manufacturing instead of objectivismUpdate It's not a great book but if you're working in a dysfunctional IT environment and never manage to make it through any of the traditional businesstech books that could help you this would be a great place to start Just promise you you won't stop here either Another update bumped up to three stars I've read some two star stuff lately and this isn't that


  5. says:

    This is the most cliché book I have ever read The Phoenix Project uses a contrived narrative to deliver IT best practices like a mother would use applesauce to hide peas while spoon feeding a toddler The state of technologymanagement books might have been different five years ago but I found the over the top nature insulting to the intelligence of the intended demographic Yes storylines help reinforce points but the best books I encounter nowadays contain real examples sans the dramatics and three hundred pages of fluff All of the characters are one dimensional and predictable Constants Like the NPC characters you encounter in old RPG games you know how the dialogue will go every single time Eventually you’re able to memorize a combination of down arrows and X buttons and you can skip the dialogue You have Brent the 10X programmer There’s John the manic firewall expert who basically drinks himself to death and is reincarnated as a superhero Sarah is ambitious and it’s never clear what she does aside from ask the IT team to do work for her You have Nancy the main character’s wife who understands but reminds him that his job sucks should he ever forget And then there’s ErikErik is the mysterious sensei type who guides Bill the main character to greener pastures and happy endings There are a lot of riddles and descriptions of his clothing involved By the end of the book it turns out that Erik and Bill have a lot in common Earlier there is some type of seance where a few of the main characters dim the lights sit around a table and each reveal their “story” Bill reveals that his father was a bad father implying abandonment yes the book goes there As I thought about it while reflecting on why I didn’t enjoy this read it seemed totally plausible that one of the authors in an early draft of this book planned to reveal Erik as Bill’s father I'm not sure this would have taken the title for the most cringeworthy revelationThe plot goes from bad to worse to bad Part one lures you in while part two is a droning mundanity In part 3 the authors use chapter 30 to remind you that they’re well read and later take two pages to explain how the IT Team made a miracle happen and subseuently saved the companyIf you’re an engineer don’t read this If you’re on the non technical manager spectrum there’s something for you here You have to parse through a lot of garbage and I think you’re better off just digging in to technically oriented books but there’s something for you here You know how every manager has his the book? Please don’t make this your the book You’re just a hypothetical to me right now and I’m confident that regardless of your background your precious time will be better spent reading something else Truly The Phoenix Project the book fails as embarrassingly as its namesake at Parts Unlimited


  6. says:

    The copywriter gave up on p150 and so should you Things start to go downhill when illusive replaces ellusive and the grammatical eccentricities snowball from thereBut wait you ask if I stop now how will I learn whether Bill masters the Three Laws? Will he develop a Mutually Supportive Working Relationship with the Information Security Officer? Will the Enigmatic guru Erik reuest an olive in his martini? Why Does This Book Make Me Want To Capitalize Everything? And however is Bill going to finally Meet Your Mother?Some useful tools are introduced Kanban boards continuous deployment pipelines etc but with no detail presumably you are expected to purchase the authors' other book if you want concrete examples


  7. says:

    This is the unicorn we'll be all hunting for the next 5 years De Marco's The Deadline finally found his spiritual successor Don't take this book too literally like a prescription of rules to follow The change that they're able to achieve in the book in the given timeframe is well uite unrealistic Most companies don't face extinction and are not forced to reevaluate the way value is delivered And if they do changing the whole value stream and culture of a company is probably something that takes years and not weeks and months if we talk about a normal mid sized companyBut I very much like and appreciate the thinking model behind the novel as expressed in The Three Ways uite eye opening for me So far I always thought of 'DevOps' as 'You build it you run it' It never came to my mind that 'DevOps' also partially means system thinking value stream optimization and most of all 'us' and not 'we' and 'them'I like to end this review with one of my favorite uotes from the bookThe relationship between IT and the business is like a dysfunctional marriage both feel powerless and held hostage by the otherBeing aware of this is a good start


  8. says:

    Calling this a DevOps book is an understatement The key to the company's success in the book wasn't automation or continuous delivery What made the success transferable from the manufacturing plant floor to knowledge work was subordinating success criteria to top business measurements and rigorous application of the Theory of Constraints to achieve it Of course automation and continuous delivery are necessary intermediate steps for most traditional IT organizations on that journeyThe whole military theme was uite annoying throughout the book though


  9. says:

    the prose was horrible several very disconcerting shifts in tense were the least of it and what did it teach me? that if I'm not in upper management nothing I do matters and I can't fix any of the problems plaguing my work but if upper management just reads this book we will all go to a happy place and no one will balk except the moustache twirling villains who will either be fired or be reborn as if from a cocoon into their true form


  10. says:

    This is the first book I've read cover to cover in an extremely long time And what follows in this review are less my final impressions and the way the book hit me as I dove into it I still believe my criticisms are valid but they have less impact on my enjoyment and my ability to absorb the interstitial lessons than I had expected You are so forewarned As I'm reading the first few chapters this book reminds me of my attitude towards the Agile Manifesto these days nobody understands how hard our job is if only they'd listen this is the bile backed rant I'd give them and everyone else will have to take a back seat to pitting the Developer's needs above everyone else's Yes I want to understand how you view the world but when you take an extremely bitter and slanted view to everyone else's situation and needs you aren't engendering a lot of sympathy from me in returnI suspect for those who've been mired in the dungeon of the back office underappreciated and never heard this book is a godsend finally someone gets itBut here's a protip if you cajole management or any other players who aren't on your team to read this don't expect them to encounter their funhouse mirror stereotypes in the book and make it all the way through with an open mind Nor to wade through the pedantic condescending lectures and be magically transformed into taking your side over everyone else'sThis is a lesson in managing up that I've learned the slow hard way and which I'm passing along as someone who's now part of the management layer keep in mind that sometimes management hears you even sometimes understand you and still don't decide things your way We generally have to take into consideration many competing perspectives needs and constraints and we often end up convinced of a different decision outcome than he one that most players want us to acceptYou might not like to hear that and you may not sympathise with others' needs and that's not something others can control Don't like the decision? Take a moment to imagine what other factors could have been convincing or constraining even if you don't agree they are important Chances are most others in the organisation have just as uniue a viewpoint as you and rarely do they match The weirdest premise of the book that you're expected to swallow without uestion is that newly promoted CIO stand in Bill a previously mid level manager with no executive grooming in a company where CIOs rotate every two years and whose initiatives are all aborted failures will somehow be prepared for executive politics know how to navigate the financial and interpersonal challenges at his new level and will be wildly successful with this whole DevOps initiative than every other CIO initiative that preceded him presumably some that even come from successful highly experienced externally hired CIOs Especially in an organisation so full of hostility towards any ideas that come from IT When everyone around you treats you as the enemy even objectively successful initiatives are rarely recognised as successRetroactive history writing always goes to the victors of course and they get to re frame events however they like so through that lens it's easy to see how Bill's choices are expected to be considered a deliberate winning strategyIn the back of my mind as they're setting the premise for how Bill will succeed at pulling the Phoenix Project from years long delay into deployed and operational I feel like asking someone Is this fairy tale grounded in any actual experience of pulling this off? Is there any reason for me to believe that by pulling the same levers Bill pulls I too will have a great chance of succeeding at making giant software efforts live and breathe in production?And oh my gods are the condescending treatises thick in this book For something attempting to read like a thriller it takes on the start halt style of Tom Clancy no like Isaac Asimov with stultifying regularity The tale of the complete clusterfuck in act one gets entertaining but the authors lose all credibility when they create an excuse to drop a ridiculous deadline that wouldn't be possible for an organisation 110 the size we're talking on the team and me knowing the punchline going in our John Galt hero knowing nothing of DevOps until now invents designs and implements perfect DevOps to turn a front page disaster org into a model of efficiency and capabilityPuh leezeAnd YET I found myself up 2 hours past my bedtime reading this sucker two nights in a row which must mean despite all my protestations there’s something compelling about the story that I’m not acknowledging in all my criticismsFriends of mine who I talked to at the halfway point said “it’s not exactly high literature” “the supporting characters are like paper dolls” and “didactic fiction isn’t meant to be enjoyed as pure storytelling” I feel like this is an exercise in voluntary indoctrination and I think I still have too much of an ego to submit and immerse myself into someone else’s biased point of view without a whole lot of reflection and complaints By about page 300 I've finally noticed that I can't stop paying close willing attention to every discussion to understand exactly what change is being discussed and how that should impact the larger efforts and worrying what new surprises will screw with our heroes' Herculean progressMy friggin heart is pounding I'm stressed on behalf of Bill and crew and I'm dying to see the evil villain Sarah smacked down hard Maybe dragged away in chains or pilloried for the undermining posturing and backstabbing It occurs to me near the end that without an antagonist of this magnitude the story wouldn't have such a tight lock on my attention Dammit for all my complaints about how painful the writing is I still end up reading it like a madmanMy final impressions? As much as I bitch about the structure and players of this book I'm here having made it ALL the way through a first for me in a looong time and I'm genuinely excited to put many of the lessons into practice myself As skeptical as I can be of cults of personality overall I have gratitude in my heart for Gene Kim and his co authors and I'll likely be an advocate for this book to others who were in my shoes just one week ago Edit Looking back on this a while later I recognise this for what it is a religious text meant to convert the suggestible novices over to a growing cult told not through historical truths but through a series of parables believable to the willingI can see now that nearly none of the “lessons” in the book prepared me for succeeding in a DevOps world other than to make me suggestible for further ideas umbrella’ed under the DevOps Banner Maybe the “working good fast” principle? But I suspect that comes from any systems design disciplineBut it was a fun fictional read


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The Phoenix Project

Summary ✓ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ↠ Gene Kim

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 th. See of my reviews at Bettering Me UpI know what you're thinkingWow A fictionalized account of ITIL and Agile methodologies That sounds soexcitingBut it isImagine my surprise when I was completely sucked into Bill's worldIT Operations isn't always a fun place to work servers crash; applications freeze; vulnerabilities are everywhere; and customers both internal and external scream for supportSo how to you manage all of the Work in Progress WIP emergencies and planned work It's enough to give any professional geek a panic attackEnter our heroes ITIL and Kanban These Best Practice methodologies will help Bill and his team revolutionize how IT functions and contributes to the business at large The Phoenix Project takes a dry subject and turns it into an understandable narrative Certain concepts that I didn't uite grasp when I studied for my ITIL certification became crystal clear during the course of this bookI'm really looking forward to implementing a Kanban board with my team at work

Characters The Phoenix Project

E 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 in common with manufacturing plant work than he ever imagined With the clock ticking Bill must organize work flow streamline interdepartm. This is the most cliché book I have ever read The Phoenix Project uses a contrived narrative to deliver IT best practices like a mother would use applesauce to hide peas while spoon feeding a toddler The state of technologymanagement books might have been different five years ago but I found the over the top nature insulting to the intelligence of the intended demographic Yes storylines help reinforce points but the best books I encounter nowadays contain real examples sans the dramatics and three hundred pages of fluff All of the characters are one dimensional and predictable Constants Like the NPC characters you encounter in old RPG games you know how the dialogue will go every single time Eventually you’re able to memorize a combination of down arrows and X buttons and you can skip the dialogue You have Brent the 10X programmer There’s John the manic firewall expert who basically drinks himself to death and is reincarnated as a superhero Sarah is ambitious and it’s never clear what she does aside from ask the IT team to do work for her You have Nancy the main character’s wife who understands but reminds him that his job sucks should he ever forget And then there’s ErikErik is the mysterious sensei type who guides Bill the main character to greener pastures and happy endings There are a lot of riddles and descriptions of his clothing involved By the end of the book it turns out that Erik and Bill have a lot in common Earlier there is some type of seance where a few of the main characters dim the lights sit around a table and each reveal their “story” Bill reveals that his father was a bad father implying abandonment yes the book goes there As I thought about it while reflecting on why I didn’t enjoy this read it seemed totally plausible that one of the authors in an early draft of this book planned to reveal Erik as Bill’s father I'm not sure this would have taken the title for the most cringeworthy revelationThe plot goes from bad to worse to bad Part one lures you in while part two is a droning mundanity In part 3 the authors use chapter 30 to remind you that they’re well read and later take two pages to explain how the IT Team made a miracle happen and subseuently saved the companyIf you’re an engineer don’t read this If you’re on the non technical manager spectrum there’s something for you here You have to parse through a lot of garbage and I think you’re better off just digging in to technically oriented books but there’s something for you here You know how every manager has his the book Please don’t make this your the book You’re just a hypothetical to me right now and I’m confident that regardless of your background your precious time will be better spent reading something else Truly The Phoenix Project the book fails as embarrassingly as its namesake at Parts Unlimited

Summary ✓ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ↠ Gene Kim

Ental 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. This is the unicorn we'll be all hunting for the next 5 years De Marco's The Deadline finally found his spiritual successor Don't take this book too literally like a prescription of rules to follow The change that they're able to achieve in the book in the given timeframe is well uite unrealistic Most companies don't face extinction and are not forced to reevaluate the way value is delivered And if they do changing the whole value stream and culture of a company is probably something that takes years and not weeks and months if we talk about a normal mid sized companyBut I very much like and appreciate the thinking model behind the novel as expressed in The Three Ways uite eye opening for me So far I always thought of 'DevOps' as 'You build it you run it' It never came to my mind that 'DevOps' also partially means system thinking value stream optimization and most of all 'us' and not 'we' and 'them'I like to end this review with one of my favorite uotes from the bookThe relationship between IT and the business is like a dysfunctional marriage both feel powerless and held hostage by the otherBeing aware of this is a good start

  • Hardcover
  • 345
  • The Phoenix Project
  • Gene Kim
  • English
  • 03 March 2017
  • 9780988262591

About the Author: Gene Kim

Gene Kim is a multiple award winning CTO Tripwire founder Visible Ops co author IT OpsSecurity Researcher Theory of Constraints Jonah a certified IS auditor and a rabid UX fanHe is passionate about IT operations security and compliance and how IT organizations successfully transform from good to great