Business Review Technology

Review: The Phoenix Project

Back when Mrs. Sallie Draper joined our team at Martin Luther College’s Network Services, she recommended a book for our group to read. Being the person that I am, I filed it away to read in the future and bought it for my Kindle and then promptly forgot about it for far too long.

That book is The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford.

I regret that I did not pick it up sooner because as soon as I began reading its tale, I was engrossed and finished it in a single day. I don’t often do that anymore with three kids, but I found the time to do it this time.

it is billed as “A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win”, and that is a good synopsis for the entirety of the book. It is fiction about how a company falls to the bottom and then bands together to work to the top.

I’m going to try to stay away from any spoilers because I do recommend that you read this book if you work within the IT departments of any company or organization even if the story isn’t totally applicable to your size or sector.

The story is split into two halves, even if the split isn’t where you would expect it to be right away. It follows the old saying of “things will get bad before they get better”. It really does for this story but the whole it worth it to get the mind thinking about what the future might bring.

Those reading the book closely will find the agenda the authors have quite early, and you need to be aware that while they are not selling anything in the specific sense … they ARE selling an ideal for how IT should operate within the business and I tend to agree! That, of course, makes it easy to recommend the book.

It is an easy read and, I feel, time well spent.

Highly recommended.

2 replies on “Review: The Phoenix Project”

The trouble with anyone selling ideas is that they tend to lose objectivity as they get more passionate.
So this book is a great story (i too found it hard to put down) which promotes great ideas.
Unfortunately some readers have been unable to separate the ideas from the fiction, and think they have found the magic pixie dust that will cure all IT’s woes in three months just like in the book (oops, spoiler).

Yes! Exactly! I’m able to set that aside because they had a story to tell (which is why I’m glad they emphasize that it is a novel). There are things to learn and plenty of things to think about, but you need to ferret them out and talk them through to figure things out.

I think that is the benefit of it being a fiction book. You are more able to just talk about what happened in the story, knowing it is a story, and then take what you can.

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