The Phoenix Project- Review

Mar 28, 2017 00:00 · 398 words · 2 minutes read reviews agile work

The Phoenix Project is a good read. I stumbled upon this book from Quora. As the title says, it’s more or less a book about IT and project management. At first I was a bit skeptical reading it because of the title, but I gave it a read any way.

Let me explain why I read this. I’m trying to set in place some pretty solid [and flexible] project management processes in my team. I’ve failed brutally in the past. In the past, my team and I used to manage projects via todo lists which were set up on Trello. That however failed because we did not have a constant feedback loop and there were too many ‘blocked’ tasks. A ‘blocked’ task is one where you cannot go on unless someone else finishes his/ her task. In other words, it’s a task that is dependent on another task. Right now, I want to experiment with ‘scrum’ to do tasks.

Reading this book has made the agile process of doing things more intuitive. It has made me realise that there is more to project management than meets the eye. I am used to being the technical guy in a team. I’ve always thought that management is always trying to get your ass in addition to being crippled by bureacracies. I can’t blame myself for thinking this way- I’ve interned at government institutions where no work was getting done. This book has made me realise that effective project management is something pivotal in making work done. Speaking of which, how the author explores the topic of work is quite phenomenal. Let me elaborate further. Work can be divided into:
1. Business Work: This is work that gets money for the business.
2. Internal Projects: This is work that’s done internally by the company people.
3. Changes: This is work that arises from changes done in projects.
4. Unplanned work: This is work that has not been planned. This is dangerous. Unplanned work prevents actual work from getting done and makes the work in progess(WIP) grow large.
The above is explained in a practical manner in form of a story. I also like how it emphasizes the important role that IT plays in making a business successful.

All in all, I enjoyed this book. I’d recommend this book to anyone in the corporate world and to fellow devops people out there.