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The Phoenix Project

A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win 5th Anniversary Edition
Narrated by: Chris Ruen
Length: 14 hrs and 46 mins
Categories: Business, Career Skills
4.5 out of 5 stars (10,613 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Five years after this sleeper hit took on the world of IT and flipped it on its head, the fifth anniversary edition of The Phoenix Project continues to guide IT in the DevOps revolution. In this newly updated and expanded edition of the best-selling The Phoenix Project, co-author Gene Kim includes a new afterword and a deeper delve into the Three Ways as described in The DevOps Handbook.

Bill, an IT manager at Parts Unlimited, has been tasked with taking on a project critical to the future of the business, code named Phoenix Project. But the project is massively over budget and behind schedule. The CEO demands Bill must fix the mess in 90 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. Listeners will not only learn how to improve their own IT organizations, they’ll never view IT the same.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2014 Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford (P)2015 Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford

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Better than I thought

I am not an IT guy but a blue collar worker. There is a lot of understanding of processes that translate to everything in the business field.

I would recommend this to everyone who is in any business. It gives good examples of work and problem solving.

Take a chance and listen to, or read this book

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Theory and Practice merged

Any additional comments?

I honestly didn't know a book like this could exist. The format really took me by surprise, but luckily, it was a pleasant one. Essentially it follows a newly promoted IT operations manager as he tries to improve the way the IT department works in his company while struggling with all the bureaucratic challenges that come with higher management positions. The really interesting part though, is that the book goes through a lot of sound theoretical concepts and we see how they're applied practically in the business.

It's still more of a novel in that it has a story and interesting characters that you see grow, which really are the driving force behind this book. The story and setting are relatively basic, but that's actually perfect since it's easier to relate to when there's all the theoretical content to get your head around. It's hard to be too critical of the characters, since again, they're mostly there to make a point and generalize the type of people that you encounter in organizations. That being said, there were some characters and events that were a little too unbelievable, which often broke the sense of realism and made you realize that you're reading a fictional story.

This kind of book would be a great source for students to study from since rarely have I seen theory and practice so closely linked in a book. Usually it's a ton of theory pushed down your throat with a sprinkling of real world examples thrown in. There's definitely some leaps and issues that would have to be addressed, but if anything, that would make it more interesting to disseminate. I'm just a bit worried now that someone reading this thinks they can turn their whole company around in three months.

41 of 44 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful!

If you work in IT, you MUST read this book! It will save your sanity! Having been in IT for my entire career, it hits closer to home than anything I've read before. It's like "The Goal" by Eli Goldratt for IT!

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Must read for IT professionals

The story line in this book has been repeated thousands of time in many organizations around the world. One of the best books I have read on understanding the importance of understanding your resource constraints and how they impact your whole organization from IT to business functions. Gaining alignment and focus on the right projects is the key to driving your business forward. Book also highlights a lot of Agile principals as well. Good read. Easy to relate to the theme of the book.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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I have no idea why I liked it.

I am not in business or IT. this couldn't be further from my field or life. but still, somehow the story was compelling enough that I read it for the pure entertainment and really enjoyed it.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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The most gripping novel I have read in a long time

I have been in the help desk, I have been in IT management, I have been in the upper echelons of management and business ownership.
The ideas put forth in this book are groundbreaking for today's economy and will be the groundwork for the highly agile businesses of the 21st Century.
If you want to make progress in your Enterprise and you are getting blowback from your managers, give them this book.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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something to listen to...

There are some interesting tidbits to glean from this in regards to devops, but overall the story came off to me as a comedy because the whole story was over the top and not really believable. So, this is good for a few cheesy laughs mixed with a little interesting moments.

Didn't really care for the sterotyping developers and anyone not in operations. You can definitely tell this comes from a system admin perspective aka developers are the lazy and throw garbage at operations yada yada yada.

The voice actor was great really enjoyed that part.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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interesting subject but...

interesting and relevant subject for snyone with interest in IT and organisation and projects. but the story and language is obvious and simple to the point of irritation. repeating and reusing the same expressions gets tedious.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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"Blew my mind"

You'll find yourself in the story if you're in IT.This completley changed my thought process when it came to workflow.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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This is my organization

We had a “Phoenix project” that went horribly wrong and cost a considerable amount of time, money and effort (much of it heroic) to recover. We learned a little of what is in this book. Had we known about these processes before we may have avoided at least some of the cost. As the saying goes “there’s never enough money to do it right the first time, but there’s always enough to fix/do it right the second time” - and sadly so.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt Williams
  • 12-01-15

An example of Audiobooks being better

This is one of those books where reading it would have been much harder than listening to the audiobook. Listening to it being spoken makes it feel a little bit like just overhearing a conversation from a friend or colleague, which is easier to listen to than read. The book is full of office politics, and overcoming problems in an office, so if that type of thing bothers you it's one to avoid, but if you find office politics amusing - or can enjoy the absurdity of it all then it's a book you'll enjoy

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • JSW
  • 05-14-15

How IT can help the business WIN

An eye opener. A good read, good therapy, a great mindset and a practical guide.

If you are a passionate practitioner of technology to achieve successful business outcomes then read this book.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr Anthony Fawkes
  • 06-13-15

project management and IT

This is probably one of the best books I've ever listened to. The storytelling is great and helps give you a grounding in IT operations and project management. I whole heartedly recommend this book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 07-27-16

Thoughtful Parallels

This book novelises quite successfully a journey of discovery as an IT Manager raises his sights and game to focus on the organisation not the tool. As one character says 'it is not rocket science' but even the obvious point land in unfamiliar ways and I found myself comparing the story to my own organisation. This has a wider application than just IT. It was a pleasure to consider these ways of thinking in the setting of a pretty good novel ableit that some characters seem broadly drawn. That said - the characters were drawn the way you see your colleagues and the story is told first person. A good read and listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Pawan
  • 07-12-16

A perfect introduction to DevOps

Very well written and naratted.... A great way to explain the problem and then solve it step by step......

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • M. E. Gideon
  • 07-08-15

Excellent fable on the role of I.T.in business.

Well worth the listen. Could apply to other functions too but to a lesser extent

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. Anthony Dawson
  • 02-08-17

How true

Would you listen to The Phoenix Project again? Why?

I plan on listening to this audiobook regularly to remind me how to turn a horror into a joy. This book probably sums up most IT companies and their bad practices and how to make them right - this book is a reminder of how to do things properly

Who was your favorite character and why?

Eric is the saviour of this book. He makes comparisons to non-IT departments and shows that a department is just a department - and IT is not sacred at all.

What about Chris Ruen’s performance did you like?

Chris Ruen's delivery was excellent. He wasn't just reading. He got into all the characters - it was super.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • N. D. Holt
  • 10-11-16

Perhaps not for everyone...

While I have enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it, I am sure that it will not be to everyone’s liking.

I'm a software engineer with a strong technical background, and as such I understood easily all the technical references being made. As I was listening to the first couple of chapters I was aware that it may well be a book that has a smaller target audience in that respect.

If you have a technical or busienss background, this is an enjoyable, well written, and insightful book, bringing together the concepts of Agile, Scrum, Lean processes, and Constraints in a thoroughly entertaining manner.

Having just finished the book, I am sure I'll be listening to it again more than once

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-27-15

Amazing

From large IT into lean principles and devops. What a wonderful book.

Powerful story and messages about triumph in the face of adversity and the application of common sense and team work

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-29-15

Awesome

This should be required reading for anyone working in IT or In a senior business role.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Ruby
  • 06-11-15

Interesting story

It is an interesting story and people can gain insights on process management. Narrative is good - worth to listen!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Minh Chi Tu
  • 11-11-19

the IT story is so relevant

I can so relate to the story and characters in the book. Must read for in the IT industry.

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  • Richard
  • 10-06-19

great story

this seems to be essential reading for the devops handbook. i was wondering if Bills woes would ever end.

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  • Mr. Martyn J. Elvy
  • 09-16-19

Sensational & Inspiring!

Not just another boring IT book...

The Pheonix Project is an entertaining story, with characters most business employees can relate to and comes packed with a wealth of knowledge that can benefit people in many types of employment.

However, for anyone working in, working with, or managing IT; or running a business that is looking to grow, in today's modern fast paced world. This book is an absolute must read!

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  • Joshu
  • 07-24-19

very relevant

i really enjoyed this one! very relevant and very real and in my workplace i could relate to real people.

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  • Alex Taylor
  • 07-08-19

Enlightening

A great book. Well written and well read. An eye opening journey into IT, project management and the importance of systems and processes. I think this book will be beneficial to anyone that has to produce and deliver anything to one. This is much more than a book about IT.

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  • Johnny
  • 06-11-19

Great story! Voicing needs improvement

What a fantastic story. However, the audio book needs voice actors! Hire some voice actors and the story will be 10 times more immerse.

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  • Luisa
  • 03-06-19

A guide to a way out for anyone buried in IT

Really enjoyable narration performance, and truly engaging way to get a message across rather than the usual 'do this and that' suggestions.
The initial set up was so true to my everyday reality it was scary. The suggestions, while they work magically in the book, are still very practical and I have already implemented several aspects at my company. I don't have a guru whispering suggestions to me so I'll need to listed to it again and I'm sure I'll be able to get to the next stage.
Thoroughly recommend to anyone in IT, Dev, PM or anywhere in between.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-13-19

Great Story, but it’s never that easy

Overall it’s a great book and is highly engaging. It’s only negative is that sometimes I found myself scoffing at how magical the transformation was and how easy it was to convince people how to do things better. It’s never that easy in real life.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-01-19

Instantly recognisable story that teaches lots

The book starts by describing my work life; anyone’s work life in tech. The story takes the listener on a journey through enormous challenges, guided by a mentor, who reveals gradually a new approach.
I found it an excellent, very accessible & entertaining introduction to; theory of constraints, lean thinking and in particular Dev-Ops.