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The Phoenix Project: A Review

Jan 15, 2013
Ed Bellis
Chief Technology Officer, Co-founder

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Gene Kim was kind enough to provide me with an advanced review copy of The Phoenix Project who is a co-author of the book. Full Disclosure: Gene is an advisor to Risk I/O so you can probably assume there is some bias in that I obviously have a lot of respect for Gene’s opinions and expertise going in. Long before I ever invited Gene to become an advisor, I had read Visible Ops Security which he had also authored. The book is truly a classic and much like his latest work, a “must read.”

A lot of people who have read this are comparing the book to The Goal. Admittedly I haven’t read The Goal but having some understanding of the premise, I could certainly understand the resemblance. For those of you who are practitioners, a fair warning: the first half of this book brought back nails-on-a-chalkboard type memories of dealing with large-scale audits and everything that comes with it. This section reminded me of going through our first SOX 404 audits back in 2004 and the cat herding that went along with it. While this section truly resonates at times, it is so real it’s painful.

The book eventually jumps to the heart of DevOps while applying lean manufacturing techniques to technology operations. It’s a great primer for anyone looking to gain operational efficiency, security and the like from repeatable process, automation and just-in-time production via Kanban.

The book ends up being a quick read, partly because of it’s novel format with interesting story lines. It leaves you thinking there’s probably another book chock full of additional learnings coming in the next few years. I highly recommend picking up a copy which happily has been made available in Kindle format.

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