Book: The Phoenix Project

"The Phoenix Project" is a novel about an IT department in a car parts company, and its process of discovery of good software development and deploy practices. The novel presents the advent of an agile methodology when all the software projects were failing one by one, and how this methodology helped to ship all the projects and improve the business throughput.

As a new IT manager, Bill is appointed with a new project called Phoenix whose objective is to maximize sales. However, the Phoenix project is late and it doesn't run in the current infrastructure. Moreover, several other failures rose the same week Phoenix project is deployed for the first time, causing a lot of customer losses. Bill and his team had a ginormous challenge after that.

As any development and infrastructure team, many tasks has to be worked and finished for a successful deployment. But not all of them are development tasks, and Bill discovers many of this "hidden" work after several trips to the assembly line: there are several tasks that need to be solved as a team to improve the productivity. The books talk about three ways to achieve this: systems thinking, amplify feedback loops, and culture of continual experimentation and learning.

The novel also includes many others methodologies usually used in software development, such as Kanban boards, and how they can be used in other contexts, without getting to much in the technical details. That is why I consider "The Phoenix Project" to be in the reading list of any software developer, operations, and DevOps; not to know what is a good software development pipeline, but to know why there is a culture of good practices.