- Hardcover: 344 pages
- Publisher: It Revolution Pr (19 November 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1942788762
- ISBN-13: 978-1942788768
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3 x 23.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 522 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Unicorn Project Hardcover – 19 Nov 2019
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"What I loved about The Phoenix Project is that it made me feel not alone. Reading that story, I closely identified with the experiences the characters were having in the software development process. In The Unicorn Project, he's written another cure for the forsaken tech managerial nerd. And this time he's extended to another whole group in the world of technology--those who deal with data, analytics, reports, and predictive models. Anyone working with software or data analytics will feel a kinship to the characters and the problems the teams encounter in The Unicorn Project, and will cheer them on as they apply the Dev and DataOps best practices to succeed. It's scary how close the characters, dialog, and situations are to what we daily experience. Is Gene listening in to our beer-soaked after-work conversations? I wonder..."--Christopher Bergh, CEO & Head Chef, DataKitchen
"In the tradition of The Phoenix Project, we follow Maxine and her colleagues as they work to salvage a critical project in time for Black Friday. The Unicorn Project puts you right in the middle of the action during a major technology refactor, building relationships with stakeholders, and ultimately understanding which applications bring value to the enterprise. I was reminded of many of the hurdles we've navigated during our own digital transformation."--Scott Nasello, Director, Delivery Engineering, Columbia Sportswear
"If you read The Phoenix Project and wondered if the author had been following you around at work, then The Unicorn Project is going to give you a sense of deja vu."--Erica Morrison, Executive Director of Software Engineering, CSG
"If you liked The Phoenix Project, you will absolutely fall in love with The Unicorn Project. This is the other side of the story that you need to fully understand modernized DevOps processes."--Dr. Branden R. Williams, Technology Executive
"The Unicorn Project is an entertaining glimpse below deck of the chaotic IT ship and provides guidance on how to get everyone rowing together."--Josh Atwell, Sr. Technology Advocate, Splunk
"A bona fide digital transformation, one that makes a worthy difference in customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and cash flow, is a hard-fought victory through a gauntlet of agonizing battles. Wins, losses, and the unexpected are inevitable, and true grit--a combination of passion, courage, and perseverance--is required. The Unicorn Project is the organizational civil-war novel that every technology and business trailblazer must read."--Christopher O'Malley, President and CEO, Compuware
"Just as The Phoenix Project introduced the Three Ways, The Unicorn Project introduces us to the Five Ideals. By illustrating how these underlying principles enable a small group of rebels to drive meaningful organizational change, Gene is providing us with a blueprint to follow in our own organizations."--Scott Stockton, Regional Vice President, Sonatype
"The Unicorn Project is an inspired followup to The Phoenix Project, telling the same events from the perspective of technical contributors and digging much more deeply into key questions of team dynamics, leadership, automation, and misguided governance. Readers working in real-world IT or digital organizations will again find themselves nodding and grimacing in recognition that as an industry we have a long way to go; fortunately, Gene is continuing to light the way."--Charles Betz, Principal Analyst and Global DevOps Lead, Forrester Research
"Every company going through a digital transformation needs to make this a must-read for all leaders. Not only will they recognize and empathize with the struggles of Maxine and team, they will also find insights for success with the Five Ideals. This book gives a roadmap to the type of rebellion every organization wishes for."--Courtney Kissler, VP, Global Technology, NIKE, Inc.
About the Author
Gene Kim is a multiple award-winning CTO, researcher and author, and has been studying high-performing technology organizations since 1999. He was founder and CTO of Tripwire for 13 years. He has written six books, including The Unicorn Project (2019), The Phoenix Project (2013), The DevOps Handbook (2016), the Shingo Publication Award winning Accelerate (2018), and The Visible Ops Handbook (2004-2006) series. Since 2014, he has been the founder and organizer of the DevOps Enterprise Summit, studying the technology transformations of large, complex organizations.
In 2007, ComputerWorld added Gene to the 40 Innovative IT People to Watch Under the Age of 40 list, and he was named a Computer Science Outstanding Alumnus by Purdue University for achievement and leadership in the profession.
He lives in Portland, OR, with his wife and family.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
- Good story. I did find Maxine's story engaging and relatable. We've all been in a bureaucratic nightmare, and it's almost always of our own creation.
- The 5 points / maxims are great discussion points with organizations. I don't see them as limited to only developers; anyone who works in an office environment can read and get those, and we all feel the pain when we don't flow.
- The biggest miss was burying the content too deeply in the story. The 5 points / maxims were referred to quite a few times, but not in a complete and structured way. I would have loved to see something at the end of chapters to call them out and reinforce where they were used in that chapter. Further - there were a couple other interesting topics buried in the book - Horizon 1, 2, and 3 - that were discussed but never fully explained other than a description. I was very interested in this and definitely wanted to know more.
- At times it was very deep in the weeds about specific technical issues. For the narrative, it worked, but it seemed to hide the overall concept.
- Erik referring to everyone as Sensei XXX was annoying to me. Minor thing but ugh.
Taking another metaphor to explain what is the problem. The whole story is written in a way that is similar to the Star Trek Enterprise service shaft engineers trying to figure out why the tea created by the replicators is 45.5 degree instead of 45 degree, while the ship is about to blow up and Bridge is busy trying to solve that problem. Hell, we even don’t know about the fact that the company is threaten being out from business.
Our engineers in the service shaft knows every technology, every answer to any question, so they don’t need to go through struggles to figure out answers or for the matter of fact learn anything new. They already know it. All of them.
The only storyline in the book is always rosy. Sometimes it’s a bit dark colored, sometimes more of a vivid pink, but it is always pink.
Luckily, The Phoenix Project book was published first, reading this I would have never considered reading The Phoenix Project.
The Five Ideals that carry the book through are sound and very practical and I found The Unicorn Project to be a worthy successor to The Phoenix Project. I found myself reflecting my own approaches in my daily work to the ideals, which is always a good sign that there is actual value behind them.
Some of the technology and functional programming highlights were a bit too much, as they distracted my reading from the story and broke flow in my reading. I just glossed those over further in the book.
One example: "Find Your Tribe." Here, it means that in order to accomplish difficult goals in a large organization, you must network/find the people that can help you. On the surface, everyone knows that networking is important. Most books stop there. Maxine, the main character, though, _shows us HOW_ she finds a tribe of people across IT and management that help her untangle some nasty legacy tech and bureaucratic issues. That's what brings this book to another level.
I'll be recommending this and Phoenix Project to everyone I know - from software devs to management.
My only wish (second edition?) would be an appendix chapter where the author summarizes the Unicorn Project lessons from his perspective. I'm sure this book was inspired partly by his real-life experiences, so I'd be curious to read about those in the context of this book. I will say though, by not having this, it's forcing _me_ to think about deeply on the book's lessons and how I can apply them to my daily work. This was likely intentional. :)
About 1/4 to 1/3 of the way in the action picked up and the characters started to encounter issues in cloud migration, data-lakes, digital transformation, organizational silos, and management that I deal with everyday and I started sympathizing more - and my opinion of the book became FAR more positive. By the end I was glad to see the rebellion won and Parts Unlimited was saved, but honestly at a couple points (when Erik kept referring to everyone as Sensei for example), I was kind of hoping Sarah would.
Overall it was a decent enough books with some good lessons for people trying to help transform a company, and I would recommend it. (Oh and by the end I actually liked Maxine but that was not a guaranteed outcome she was really annoying initially)