The Phoenix ProjectA DevOps Business Simulation

The Phoenix ProjectA DevOps Business Simulation

The Phoenix Project

Parts Unlimited are in trouble. Newspaper reports reveal the poor financial performance of the organisation. The only way to save the company and to make it competitive and profitable is “The Phoenix Project” which is an IT enabled business transformation, with Retail Operations as the business owner of this project.

The VP of IT Operations is asked to lead the IT Department and make sure “The Phoenix Project” is successful. However, he is facing a tremendous amount of work. Huge backlogs of issues, features and projects. Your team will take different roles within Parts Unlimited. You can be Retail Operations, Human Resources or the CFO and run your projects. You can play the role of the VP of IT Operations, or lead one of the IT functions. You will be suggesting improvements, addressing issues, developing applications, managing operations or other members from his IT Team that needs to develop the applications and solve the IT Issues.

Your challenge is to use the DevOps principles and apply them in this serious Business Simulation. In four rounds you will work on the IT Projects and IT Issues and make sure “The Phoenix Project” is finished on time. But, beware, the business keeps coming up with new ideas and demands, and external developments outside your control can also throw a spanner in the works

What’s happening…?

We all know the typical IT behaviours and complaints about developers throwing seemingly untested solutions over the wall into production and leaving Operations to pick up the pieces.

On the other hand, we hear Development complaining about the barriers put up by Operations that delay deployment, or workload demands placed on developers from IT Operations, such as small updates, fixing issues and applications not working.

The increasing penetration of IT into all areas of the business and the desire for ever more and ever faster customer facing solutions is compounding the challenge even more. As a result, the workload for Development and IT Operations is growing, workflows are stuck and IT projects are failing, business executives are angry and frustrated, seeing lost business opportunities and risks to business operations.

Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford wrote an excellent novel “The Phoenix Project” about an organization facing these challenges and showed how to apply DevOps principles to achieve significant improvements and business value. This simulation is built around this groundbreaking book and lets you experience the dynamics of the Book.

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How the simulation works.

Your team will act in different roles within the Parts Unlimited organisation. You can be Retail Operations, Human Resources or Finance – playing the Business roles of the company. Or you can be the VP of IT Operations or other members from his IT Team that needs to develop the applications and solve the IT Issues.

Your challenge is to use the DevOps principles and apply them in this serious Business Simulation. In three rounds you will work on the IT projects and IT issues and ensure that “The Phoenix Project” will be finished on time. But, beware, the business keeps coming with new ideas and demands and external developments outside your control can also throw a spanner in the works.

Objectives

The simulation will be customised towards your own specific needs and learning objectives. But in general, these are the main objectives:

  • How to apply DevOps principles in a real-life situation?
  • How to find the right balance between delivering your SLA requirements and your IT projects according to plan?
  • How to experience how DevOps can bring serious value to your business?
  • How to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your IT Department?
  • How to create better flow in your teams?
  • How to develop people’s skills to act in a DevOps environment?
  • How to show business their responsibilities in making IT Projects more successful?
Duration of the simulation: 1 day
Number of participants: 8 – 12
Basic expertise: No basic understanding required.
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About DevOps

In DevOps we talk about ‘Three Ways’. They describe the values and philosophies that frame processes, procedures and practices as well as the prescriptive steps. The First Way emphasises the performance of the entire system, as opposed to the performance of a specific silo of work or department — this can be as large as a division (e.g., Development or IT Operations) or as small as an individual contributor (e.g., a developer or system administrator).

The Second Way is about creating the right to left feedback loops. The goal of almost any process improvement initiative is to shorten and amplify feedback loops so necessary corrections can be continually made. The Third Way is about creating a culture that fosters two things: continual experimentation, which requires taking risks and learning from success and failure and understanding that repetition and practice is the prerequisite to mastery.

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Luci Allen

Head of Operations +44 (0)7595 205888

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