The Phoenix Project

I would like you to meet Bill Palmer.

Bill is Director of Midrange Technology Operations at Parts Unlimited, when one day on his way to work, he receives a call from Parts Unlimited CEO, Steve Masters. Steve promotes Bill to VP of IT Operations, reporting directly to him. Bill is taken by total surprise because no one in the company, especially in IT, seems to know that the CIO and the VP of IT Operations have left Parts Unlimited.

Parts Unlimited is facing a big challenge with their new IT initiative, the Phoenix project. Phoenix is already way over budget and way behind schedule. Due to the issues with Phoenix the board of directors are thinking about splitting up the company to save a least a few assets.

Bill is tasked to clear the mess within and surrounding Phoenix within the next ninety days or the entire IT will be outsourced.

Besides help from within Parts Unlimited, such as Wes, Patty, Chris, John and Brent, Bill gets help from Eric, a board member. Eric mentors Bill in his very own way. They meet a few times in one of the manufacturing plants. Bill is introduced to the philosophy of The Three Ways. He learns that IT work is not so much different to a manufacturing plant.

Bill and his team of Wes, Patty, Chris, John and Brent are challenged almost on a daily basis, but once they start to work together and develop their own ways and strategies to tackle the challenges, they succeed. Each one of them goes thru their own personal development. At the end, Phoenix is conquered and a full success for Parts Unlimited.

The book is written by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford. As stated on the back of the paperback cover “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.” The audiobook is read by Chris Ruen.

I read the book/listened to the audiobook because I received The Phoenix Project for a learning experience. The goal was for me to get an understanding of DevOps. What is DevOps and how DevOps interacts with other parts of a company and is part of daily business.

The book gives a good insight and understanding of DevOps. It was surprising for me how much I already knew about DevOps and it relations to other parts of a company. Besides being written as a fascinating story which gave me good laughs and I could visualize some of the described situations, I now understand better that IT cannot be seen isolated, IT has to be included – in Sales, in Administration, in internal projects, in actually everything a company does to run its business. IT is an as important small cog in the works as any other area of a business. Because if IT fails the entire business will fail but it cannot be blamed soley on IT.

So if you want to understand DevOPs and how it is related within a company, I can clearly recommend to read of listen to The Phoenix Project.

I am really gonna miss Bill and his team.

Book Information:

The Phoenix Project

ISBN-10: 1942788290
ISBN-13: 978-1942788294

Available as hardcover, paperback, kindle and audiobook


I am an entrepreneurial and innovative technical; presales; and customer success professional equipped with a Master’s in Business Administration. I am working as a Technical Account Manager at VMware Inc., Zweigniederlassung Deutschland. My early career with Novell involved a promotion to Presales Systems Engineer after having worked on a team of 4 anti-piracy, licensing and intellectual property specialists situated in legal.

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