The Phoenix Project

A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win

Paperback, 431 pages

English language

Published Feb. 7, 2018 by IT Revolution Press.

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4 stars (6 reviews)

The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win is the third book by Gene Kim. The business novel tells the story of an IT manager who has ninety days to rescue an over-budget and late IT initiative, code-named The Phoenix Project.

7 editions

A good (though old) message wrapped in a bad novel

2 stars

As a novel, this is as bad as it gets. The dialog is awful, the plot is nonsensical, and the characters are like bizarre cardboard cutouts; totally one-dimensional, yet totally unrealistic.

The message that the book is trying to get across may have been more impactful in 2013, but it feels like ancient history now in 2023. There are better books about DevOps that don't spend hundreds of pages telling a hokey story about why it's important.

An IT tale that everyone in the industry can relate to

5 stars

Reading this book felt like a dejavu. So many situations the authors describe have happened almost exactly as they describe them. We've made the same mistakes and hopefully have learned from them. It's very well written and relatable. Especially people who've not have worked for 20 years in the industry might find this an interesting read to possibly understand certain situations and avoid some of the mistakes we all use to make along our way.

Review of 'The phoenix project' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

The Phoenix Project is a seminal read on the accumulation of thoughts and processes surrounding DevOps as we know it today. The story is a fictional take on a workplace that is rife with unplanned work and misuse of the process. You might find it similar to something you see in your organization. It has some great insights and relevant stories you can apply to your own practices. In 2020, these things should be less and less relevant, but in fact, they seem to be more relevant than ever with COVID-19 and companies shifting more and more to the cloud with their digital transformation, demanding quicker time to market, just like Parts Unlimited in the book. The characters used in the book are great, and the protagonist gets the shake at the end. I can't help but think one of the characters, Wes, is a bit over the top. To …

Review of 'The phoenix project' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

Hokey. Two stars because it's slightly less than "good."

A terrible novel. A pretty good allegory for how to get work done.



The more I think about this book, the more unfair I think it is to judge it as a novel, because it is so obviously not that. What it is, is a business book wrapped up in come kind of a fable or allegory. Like other good business books, this one drops a lot of authors' names and a lot of book titles, and a lot of models and lists like "The Three Ways Of Business."

Once finished with the fictional narrative part of the book, which was the most annoying part, I wanted to go back and reflect on the lessons of the book, maybe look up some of the other works mentioned, but the lack of an appendix or even a bibliography made that …

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rated it

4 stars


  • Planning
  • Management
  • Knowledge management
  • Security measures
  • Information technology
  • Fiction