Top positive review
5.0 out of 5 starsProbably the most important book I've read in years.
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on August 4, 2021
The Phoenix project is one of those books that's easy to dismiss. Some of the plot points are showing their age, and the simplification of some of the aspects of the plot does make it feel a little dated especially during the first 50 or so pages...the way internal functioning and problems with certain decision loops are in many ways ageless.
The fact that well-meaning people keep breaking things for perfectly valid reasons is shown really well there. If only getting an organization to buy into this type of management/stucture/process was this easy though. I've been part of intiatives where we bashed out heads against the wall for months (Even with executive sponsorship) without moving the needle. With that in mind though, the impacts of implementing this type of tracking and rigor to your organization/group/initiative is critically important.
While this book was clearly written with IT leaders in mind, I would make this required reading for anyone that's involved in any aspect of IT projects and delivery. Heck, I'm primarily in sales, and this made me aware of ways that I could improve my cycles and how to discuss and help deliver projects to my clients.
Even if you don't believe in the methodology as outlined in the book, there's still a lot of good you can pull out of it.
The one downside of this book is that the way interpersonal relationships among the various characters are handled is just bad. All of these characters need to take some leadership and interpersonal dynamics courses...I could see how people in a real-world shop with similar dynamics would consider the environment toxic. It makes the quick buy-in and adoption of these programs all the more difficult, letting people slag each other openly in meetings with the VP not standing up for members of his team is just not a good way to get things going in business.
That's a minor nitpick in what is otherwise a great book with some truly great ideas as to how to identify, manage and resolve issues with IT teams and processes.