The Phoenix Project

Let me present this great novel on IT from Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford:

Bill is an IT manager at Parts Unlimited. It’s Tuesday morning and on his drive into the office, Bill gets a call from the CEO.

The company’s new IT initiative, code named Phoenix Project, is critical to the future of Parts Unlimited, but the project is massively over budget and very late. The CEO wants Bill to report directly to him and fix the mess in ninety 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. Readers will not only learn how to improve their own IT organizations, they’ll never view IT the same way again.

Here are some key highlights I found so far:

  • P81 – definition of change: any activity that is physical, logical, or virtual to applications, databases, operating systems, networks, or harware that could impact services being delivered.
  • P89 – concept of the work in progress defined as the silent killer. p113 – too many WIP for Brent. It reminds me the Agile concept around limiting that WIP, which I am starting to do since beg of this year thru the usage of a personal Kanban.
  • P91 – IT Operations roles and the 3 ways
  • P100-102 – objective and scope of the CAB

Tout le monde a un patron, avez-vous un Leader?

Je ne sais pas pour vous, mais ce que je recherche avant tout c’est une culture d’entreprise, puis c’est d’avoir des patrons-leaders.

Est-ce une utopie? Je ne pense pas, j’en ai déjà rencontré trois en 15 ans d’expérience. Et pour être honnête, je sais que je ne lui pas encore moi-même.

Voici quelques points qui vont vous éclairer à identifier ce qui différencie un Patron (Boss ou Manager en anglais) d’un Leader. Et vous verrez que certaines personnes savent agir sur les deux aspects.

1. A boss knows it all; a leader is always learning.

2. A boss gives answers; a leader seeks solutions.

3. A boss talks more than listens; a leader listens more than talks.

4. A boss directs; a leader coaches.

5. A boss criticizes; a leader encourages.

6. A boss identifies weaknesses; a leader identifies natural gifts.

7. A boss is all about « me; » a leader is all about « we. »

8. A boss places blame; a leader takes accountability.

9. A boss protects her ego; a leader reveals her vulnerability.

10. A boss demands results; a leader inspires performance.