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The Phoenix Project

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

is a best-selling novel about information technology (IT) written collaboratively by Gene Kim, George Spafford and Kevin Behr. The book is often compared to Eliyahu M. Goldratt's book, "The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement." Both books use a narrative approach to illustrate strategies for solving business problems that are complicated by interdependencies.

The protagonist of The Phoenix Project is Bill Palmer, the director of IT operations for a small division of a large company whose stock is down. Bill suddenly finds himself promoted to Vice President of Operations for the entire company and is tasked with rolling out a business initiative called the Phoenix Program. The phoenix is a creature from Greek mythology that is commonly used as a metaphor for rebirth. In this case, the phoenix is a project that seems doomed when Bill takes it over, but must succeed or the company could be split up.

The Phoenix Project’s subtitle is "A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win." Apart from being a rare genre of literature -- a work of fiction about IT -- The Phoenix Project can also be considered a manual for helping IT managers change the way employees think about the way they plan, schedule and complete work. Practical approaches to creating change, like kanban and continuous delivery, are illustrated through relatable use cases.

The Phoenix Project reached #1 bestseller in its related categories on Amazon. The novel was featured on 800 CEO Reads’ Top 25: What Corporate America is Reading, and has been called a must read for anyone working in IT. However, the Phoenix Project has also received criticism for being a fairy tale that oversimplifies the way change typically occurs in a corporate culture. 

Watch a Q&A presentation with Gene Kim, DevOps And Kanban: Lessons Learned From The Phoenix Project

This was last updated in August 2016

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I heartily recommend this book for several reasons
1. It is a novel (not a techy book) about the relationship of IT with the business.
2. How Business Value should drive everything we do in IT, regardless of individual roles
3. The realisation that we all want the same thing - "successful business outcomes", we are just approaching this from different directions
4. How to collaborate and why
5. The importance of determining exactly what business value is to the business - not an interpretation or best guess by IT
6. That DevOps is a term that refers to ALL the stakeholders involved in delivering an end to end business service (networks, security and the business etc.)
I suppose that should be enough for now other than to say why not follow this link to see "The Phoenix Project Simulation"
http://h20195.www2.hpe.com/v2/GetDocument.aspx?docname=4AA6-6267ENW
Best regards
John F McDermott - HPE
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