The Phoenix Project

This is a great read for IT Managers who are looking for advice on improving their effectiveness as leaders. The author creates a fictional story of a recently (an unexpectedly) promoted individual who must identify and fix systemic issues in the IT department of a manufacturing company. The book has great lessons on organizing and identifying different types of work and how to manage them effectively.

Four types of work:

  1. Business projects
  2. IT projects
  3. changes
  4. unplanned work

First Way:

Helps us understand how to create fast flow of work as it moves from Development into IT Operations, because that’s what’s between the business and the customer.

Second Way:

Shows us how to shorten and amplify feedback loops, so we can fix quality at the source and avoid rework.

Third Way:

Shows us how to create a culture that simultaneously fosters experimentation, learning from failure, and understanding that repetition and practice are the prerequisites to mastery.


a ‘change’ is any activity that is physical, logical, or virtual to applications, databases, operating systems, networks, or hardware that could impact services being delivered.

Eliyahu M. Goldratt, who created the Theory of Constraints, showed us how any improvements made anywhere besides the bottleneck are an illusion.

Your job as VP of IT Operations is to ensure the fast, predictable, and uninterrupted flow of planned work that delivers value to the business while minimizing the impact and disruption of unplanned work, so you can provide stable, predictable, and secure IT service.

Mike Rother says that it almost doesn’t matter what you improve, as long as you’re improving something. Why? Because if you are not improving, entropy guarantees that you are actually getting worse, which ensures that there is no path to zero errors, zero work-related accidents, and zero loss.

See The Phoenix Project on amazon

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