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Publisher's Summary

An impossible deadline. A runaway project. And then you get the 5:30 a.m. phone call… what could possibly be wrong?

Rolling Rocks Downhill is a fast, fun and often funny read. It's a business novel, just like Eli Goldratt's classic The Goal, where you sit on the characters' shoulders, watching them fight to save their jobs and their baby - a large software-intensive project, called FPP, that has been running late since day 1, but now, suddenly, needs to launch on an impossibly early date, or else. You feel their pain, and their joy, as they battle problem after problem until, slowly, torturously, they rediscover the few - but fundamental - principles underlying successful commercial software development.

Sometimes you're a step ahead. Sometimes a step behind. Sometimes it feels like you're sitting in the room with them…

©2014, 2016 Clarke Ching (P)2016 Clarke Chning

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very applicable to our situation

It's comforting to hear there is a way out. Even dealing with the executives' impression of the teams' capability level; it's comforting to hear this happens elsewhere.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Be agile, don't go chasing waterfalls

I liked the story-telling nature of the book. It is a novel about how to change to an agile mindset from a waterfall mindset. The main character learns the do's and dont's from a coach, which turns out to be a great way of getting some theory into a novel. The characters are realistic, somewhat stereotyped, but I think the stereotyping is actually beneficial to the book. The clear personalities helped me to transfer the setting to my own working environment.

The only complaint I have is that I think parts of the book remain too shallow for its audience. For example when the theory of constraints is introduced, it hardly gets more in depth than what intuition will teach you in the first place (tackle bottlenecks first).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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An Agile Transition Book that really hits home

Would you listen to Rolling Rocks Downhill again? Why?

Absolutely! This book was a great story about a company that is so similar to the one I'm working that is undergoing an agile transition.

What did you like best about this story?

It's agile but doesn't scream agile at you along with Clarke's sense of humor and love for bacon is wonderful. The story was told in a way that allows me in my agile transition to take a different look at how everything is working, from the scrum teams to the executives within the organization.

Have you listened to any of Paul Kearney’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to any other of Paul's performances. He was good an being an American I appreciate the UK accent!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The ending, how everything pulled together in the big moment with the CEO.

Any additional comments?

Clarke is an amazing author and his book is a great resource for understanding what and how agile works in a real world setting of an organization (which is oddly close to one that I work in!).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic!

If you could sum up Rolling Rocks Downhill in three words, what would they be?

Fantastic agile novel.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved the lady who was technically Steve's boss. Confident and fearless.

What does Paul Kearney bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Paul has a great voice, he made the story more captivating.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great information for my first agile-ish project!

Great story! Great information that will surely help me with my first agile-ish project that has a very short time frame!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Better books are available

The Phoenix Project and The Goal explain the topics covered in this book in more depth and more relevant ways.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good listen

Fictional case study of a project deployment in action: I wasn't crazy about the narrator's voice but I did pick up a few ideas to apply to my own work. Worth the listen

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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wonderful story, grrat story telling,

i have told others about the book and the audible program. it was a wonderful story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

good narration but

if you've read the goal or the phoenix project nothing new here in terms of material. was a pleasant listen though.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great story

What a great story of how Agile principles/strategies can improve projects. One of my new favorites. The narrator was MUCH better than many other in the same genre.

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  • Mark
  • 06-10-18

better than the Phoenix Project!

brilliant story, strong message, gripping I've recommended this book to everyone I work with - thank you

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • jo
  • 01-18-18

Great book

Fantastic addition to 'The goal'.. provides a live account of project fragmentation with customer at the heart of everything!
Good story to listen: hang in there the beginning might seems technical but everything unfolded after a couple of chapter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifers Daddy
  • 10-19-17

Pretty good, not too long.

The parable was interesting and we get quite a good idea of how changes were implemented. I think I slightly preferred The Phoenix Project, but this is defo worth a listen too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • adi ben-nesher
  • 07-06-17

Not as inspiring as the phoenix project

I have listened to both this book and the phoenix project, I found this one less inspiring and informative even as the story underlining is basically the same and relatively get you a good intro to lean and agile methods for DevOps

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bobbie B
  • 02-11-18

A nice story and annoying narrator voice

Content is a refreshing story telling view of agile. Without getting too dull with the academic style.

Only wish could choose a different narrator as the person sounds a whining guy without a back bone. For 20 mins ok but several hours It is too painful. Best heard on double speed.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful