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Book Review: The Phoenix Project

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The book by Gene Gim and others conveys many concepts and techniques around how high-performing software organizations function, making it a very interesting read for IT executives and project managers. It was the first non-fictional book I read in a long time. Well, that’s not quite true, as the book is fictional as well as non-fictional at the same time!

Instead of simply going over the concepts school-book style, the authors packed the concepts into an enthralling story about The Phoenix Project!

One morning, Bill gets an emergency call from his CEO receiving the news that the Phoenix Project is the company’s last chance of survival, and no other than Bill is getting the honor of leading it. Together with a mentor, Bill explores how today’s software organizations are the backbone of any company, and how managing software development is the modern equivalent of managing a production line of traditional manufacturing companies.

To me, reading The Phoenix Project was a very refreshing experience. Packed by the interesting and well-written story, I could not put the book aside. I remember that I regularly read the book first thing in the morning after getting up and before going to work.

I bought this book in January 2018, and devoured it within a week or two. The story format makes it very easily digestible, and in case you can’t pick up the underlying ideas or concepts through the story, you can use the extensive appendix to study them in detail.

I can recommend the book to anyone who wants to get an analytical and detailled view on how software teams can be organized and how their work can be optimized; what common bottlenecks in software development are and how to structure processes around them; how to improve communication, cooperation and development speed in a team in general. Last but not least, it is an interesting story relatable to many software developers.

Published 25 Dec 2018

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