I don’t often write about books I read, but in this case I’m more than happy to make an exception.
My review of Gene Kim’s The Phoenix Project book on DevOps, making things happen, and improving IT.
Good books captivate you. They take sole ownership of your attention and do not let go until they are done with you.
Better books do all that and only begrudgingly let you think about other minor things (such as “when was the last time you ate?”; “did you really miss a phone call an hour ago?”) once they’re done with you.
Best books make you think about the lessons they imparted for a long time after they decided you’ve heard enough from them. They leave you sated, yet thirst for more knowledge. The knowledge that you just need to attain. They don’t tell you how to do things, they teach you how to think. They show you where to go to find more answers - and even more questions.
The Phoenix Project is definitely one of the best books you’ll have the privilege of reading. The story will make you reminisce, cringe, it will find you wanting to tell the main proponents off, it will have you re-run the old mistakes you’ve seen or done in the past and think about how you could’ve fixed that train-wreck IT project before it became a spectator sport.
The proposals and solutions in the book seem deceptively simple until you embark on the journey to implementation. Then the realisation slowly creeps in that in order to mimic what the book proposes you need to reach out to others. You also need to dig deeper, follow the recommendations that the book has in abundance.
If there’s only one book on business, organisational structure, and making things done that you plan to read this decade, make it this one.