Bill is an IT manager at Parts Unlimited. It's Tuesday morning and on his drive into the office, Bill gets a call from the CEO.
The company's new IT initiative, code named Phoenix Project, is critical to the future of Parts Unlimited, but the project is massively over budget and very late. The CEO wants Bill to report directly to him and fix the mess in 90 days, or else Bill's entire department will be outsourced.
With the help of a prospective board member and his mysterious philosophy of The Three Ways, Bill starts to see that IT work has more in common with manufacturing plant work than he ever imagined. With the clock ticking, Bill must organize work flow, streamline interdepartmental communications, and effectively serve the other business functions at Parts Unlimited.
In a fast-paced and entertaining style, narrator Chris Ruen brings to life a story by three luminaries of the DevOps movement. Listeners will not only learn how to improve their own IT organizations, they'll never view IT the same way again.
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Theory and Practice merged
I honestly didn't know a book like this could exist. The format really took me by surprise, but luckily, it was a pleasant one. Essentially it follows a newly promoted IT operations manager as he tries to improve the way the IT department works in his company while struggling with all the bureaucratic challenges that come with higher management positions. The really interesting part though, is that the book goes through a lot of sound theoretical concepts and we see how they're applied practically in the business.
It's still more of a novel in that it has a story and interesting characters that you see grow, which really are the driving force behind this book. The story and setting are relatively basic, but that's actually perfect since it's easier to relate to when there's all the theoretical content to get your head around. It's hard to be too critical of the characters, since again, they're mostly there to make a point and generalize the type of people that you encounter in organizations. That being said, there were some characters and events that were a little too unbelievable, which often broke the sense of realism and made you realize that you're reading a fictional story.
This kind of book would be a great source for students to study from since rarely have I seen theory and practice so closely linked in a book. Usually it's a ton of theory pushed down your throat with a sprinkling of real world examples thrown in. There's definitely some leaps and issues that would have to be addressed, but if anything, that would make it more interesting to disseminate. I'm just a bit worried now that someone reading this thinks they can turn their whole company around in three months.
- Stacy Stark