Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win, by Gene Kim

Barnes & Noble (unavailable)

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.

I know what you're thinking.

Wow.  A fictionalized account of ITIL and Agile methodologies.  That sounds so...exciting.

Tommy Lee Jones is skeptical
But it is!

Imagine my surprise when I was completely sucked into Bill's world.

IT Operations isn't always a fun place to work: servers crash; applications freeze; vulnerabilities are everywhere; and customers--both internal and external--scream for support.

So how do you manage all of the Work in Progress (WIP), emergencies, and planned work?  It's enough to give any professional geek a panic attack.

Enter 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 quite grasp when I studied for my ITIL certification became crystal clear during the course of this book.

I'm really looking forward to implementing a Kanban board with my team at work.

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