Saturday 14 December 2013

Book Review - The Phoenix Project

A parable of life for IT folk, told from the point of view of mild-mannered Bill Palmer who is suddenly promoted out of his comfortable middle-management niche to Vice President of IT Operations. Then everything starts to go wrong.  

The payroll fails. This is a BAD thing. Trying to fix it, they mess up the SAN (storage area network), another bad thing. Bill and his team sit down to create a change management system to stop this from happening in the future. Then the auditors strike - to comply with the rules, they have to do something about a stack of issues six inches high. But they can't do that because the number one priority is Phoenix, which will save the company from bankruptcy (yet another bad thing).

Luckily Bill has the advice of Erik his mentor to fall back on, as well as his common sense. They beat back the dreaded auditors, help Phoenix limp into production, and introduce far better ways of doing things which rapidly overtake Phoenix and leave their competitors struggling in their wake. I say a parable, rather than a novel - the authors want you to behave in a certain way with your IT and so they show the mistakes to avoid and good practices for you to follow. And surprisingly, I rather enjoyed it.

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