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on 12 April 2017
The Pheonix Project is an IT Management Fable, the characters are for the most part extreme representations of concepts and people you interact with in business. The scenarios though are all too realistic, failing companies due to poor ability to respond to the voice of the customer, overrunning major projects with no end in sight, heroics all around, a failure to understand the voice of the business with security demands, audit requirements and processes that add hours, days and months to lead times, despair and frustration from all quarters and open hostility not just between IT and the rest of the business but an IT civil war too. Yes Bill is almost magical at seeing the problems, Steve changes from antagonist to mentor too easily, I've never seen a change manager as willing to adapt as Patty, so on and so forth, but a story bogged down in meetings wouldn't be of much interest. Oh and Eric. You'll never work with Eric, if you do, follow him everywhere.

With these realistic problems that no doubt face most of us the Pheonix Project lays out a number of tools and approaches that will lead the reader to think "damn, that's a good idea" or "that's an amazing way of looking at it". There's a moment in the book (I got it on kindle first, but now I have a physical copy that's getting the highlighter treatment) where one of the executives more or less goes "well dur well done you've figured it out" to which another goes, "well why didn't you think to explain this to everyone?" we often assume that the obvious is obvious to everyone, it's like a person watching poker on TV who can see everyone's cards going "well that outcome was obvious" clearly it wasn't to the people playing who couldn't see the cards.

All in all this book should be a must-read for everyone in IT or work with IT, it sets out the groundwork for implementing lean principles in IT and I wish I'd read it years ago. To be honest I think anyone with aspirations to help improve workflow through an organisation should read this, and the Goal and then sit down and think about the lessons presented within.
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on 6 June 2014
This is the best book I've read on applying lean manufacturing processes to IT operations work. What makes is so great is that it is an expertly written, compelling story which leads you on a journey, rather than preaching dry theory.

Anyone with experience in IT will be utterly absorbed by the characters and situations in the story. On more than one occasion I felt like I was actually re-living past experiences, as the authors capture the relationships, motivations and consequences so accurately. With a background of failing IT established (which is made so real by shared experiences), the book slowly leads you through the main characters decision making process, showing you all the successes and failures he makes on the way to truly understanding how to manage the flow of work through his IT operations department.

Again, this book is brilliant, and should be a must-read for anyone either in IT, or in an origination supported by it.
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on 27 January 2017
Last year Everyone I know in the IT industry kept raving about this book called The Phoenix Project. I didn't even bother to listen or look at the book as I wasn't that interested. I thought it was some sort of life story about some rags-to-riches startup company who now have a multi-million £ turnover.

So fast forward to Jan 2017 and I'm looking at training material for up coming exams and The Phoenix Project pops up as a "when bought with" offer. It's on sale with kindle, so I decided to read the synopsis and realised I totally missed the point about the book.

I click buy and start reading almost straight away, a few days later i can't put it down and try and find every opportunity to read more.

It is one of the best books I have read in a while.
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on 25 November 2015
If you work in IT of any sort, you’ll love this book. You’ll spend the first few chapters clearly relating to each and every person often thinking to yourself “I know that guy”. This is a clever story about a fictitious parts company and the burden/issues face through their (mis)use of IT. The book focuses on a newly appointed head of IT and his small team and how he adopts various DevOps approaches to solve long-standing IT issues.
I thought this was a really smart mix of factual IT problems and fictitious storytelling. It’s a really enjoyable and relatable read that I would certainly recommend.
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on 31 August 2017
I never intended to read this book. I don't spend all weekend glued to a book about IT... but this gripped me from the blurb onwards, with relate-able events such as an overrunning project, whose scope increases exponentially, resignations, co-workers going AWOL, poisonous managers, human bottlenecks, under-investment, etc., And none of this explains why I had so many late nights, and my husband thought I was being as mad, as when I entered the cats in a cat show or took 6 kids on the coast-to-coast... It is a great evangelising tool for DevOps. It explains the concepts by using the Phoenix project as a working example, and you must read it (even if you think you know it all after 20+ years in web development).
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on 12 December 2017
Essential reading for anyone in IT who needs to understand a little around the background and history of DevOps and how to adopt the 'three ways' to reduce technical debt, elevating your Dev to Ops constraints, while amplifying feedback loops and ensuring trust and collaboration between all teams. Recommended along with viewing the Flickr '10+ Deploys per Day' Velocity conference presentation in 2009 that is mentioned on pages 296 and 297 which helped to kickstart the DevOps movement.
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on 29 January 2018
Its is one of the best books IT i've read, very informative and written in an easy to read and understand format (I read the whole book in 3 evenings). The subject itself is not the most exciting however the author does an excellent job in presenting a rather dull subject in a fun and informative way. It gives a very good introduction into dev ops and provides lots of everyday practical examples , the character's personalities in the book are very similar to those that I've encountered in real work situations, therefore it makes the whole book quite an entertaining read. Highly recommend it to anyone who works in an IT related field or has an interest in IT.
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on 16 September 2016
Loved it. Saw so many parallels with my career, from the early days in IT support through application development and into infrastructure, it's so easy to pick out people who we know from real life and put them in each of the character roles. This is the book that re-ignited my interest in consuming industry specific documents in my spare time having grown tired of the same old dull and boring whitepapers and vendor tech documents. By building a story with characters around the many examples of bad and malpractice that many of us have seen - and still see - across the tech industry and IT departments the world over, Gene and co have absolutely hit the nail on the head and delivered a book that has the power to transform the thinking of those still set in their ways from the "bad old days" of waterfall and sysadmin living in separate silos. While it may ran out of steam a little towards the final third, I don't think it would be possible for anyone to have kept up the pace and depth of the story and ultimately there had to be a conclusion to reach. The ending was a mild surprise but one that left me feeling genuinely happy for the team and characters within it.

In summary, I can't recommend it highly enough. Drop the attitudes. Read the book. Go build a new team and embrace it. You'll wonder how you ever got anything done before you did.
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on 21 February 2018
I'm a Linux sysadm in an operations team. The book is pretty much about my daily life, all the struggles and problems. Half way through the book, I started considering leaving my job and open a kebab shop instead. Characters in the book are so real, I can see all of them Mon-Fri 9am-6pm!

I'm not depressed at all, no I'm fine. Really. Thanks. *inaudible weeping*
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on 7 June 2016
At first I was more than a skeptical about this book, an business novel? It worked perfectly!

The difference between this and a textbook is that you feel the impact of the change in approach, you see how others are impacts and how the soft side of Lean/Agile/Kanban are as important as the process change.

This book should be read by anyone in business, IT service desk agent right through of CEO of all sectors. Because if all in your business understand how important their part is to the workflow you constraints will work better. Add in a culture shift to less blame and more progress you have a recipe for an very open and productive organisation.

Words of warning, if you implement anything form this book you will see culture change, embrace it. You will get someone form account giving you a great idea about how production can increase. You will get a post boy you has the best product innovation idea ever! The trick is to encourage this and let people speak their mind with out fear.

I suggest reading 'How Google works', 'The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance' and 'The Lean Enterprise' to get a broader business view and not just devops, especially if you work in devops!

Brilliant book recommended to all!
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