DevOps The Phoenix Project Simulation

This Simulation is based on the novel “The Phoenix Project”.

Novel – The Phoenix Project

Bill is an IT manager at Parts Unlimited. Bill gets a call from the CEO. The company’s new IT initiative, code named Phoenix Project, is critical to the future of Parts Unlimited. The Project Phoenix was $20 million over budget and three years late. The CEO wants Bill to report directly to him. Fix the mess in ninety days or else Bill’s entire department will be outsourced.

Simulation – 18 min

Form teams of 5

  • Identify roles in your group
    • Bill Palmer – VP of IT Operations
    • Wes Davis – Director of distributed technology
    • Brent Geller – Lead Engineer
    • Eric Ried – Board Candidate, Change agent
    • John Pesche – Chief Information Officer
  • Come up with step by step approach to
    • Deliver Phoenix Project on or before time
    • Save the company, employees and your job
    • Increase the profitability, efficiency and quality of delivery
    • Create a Culture of fast delivery and fast feedback
    • Create an Organisation culture of safety and continuous improvement
    • Identify DevOps principles and practices
    • Identify tools and technology enhancements for CI\CD


Each team will present the solutions to Steve Masters – CEO ( Judges of this simulation here) 

I have conducted this simulation at Shippable Bangalore DevOps meetup hosted by CodeOps Technologies


6 teams started with simulation


After 18 min Bill Palmer from each team presents the solution they have come up

Learning from the game

Bill Palmer Saved Parts Unlimited and made company profitable by  applying  3 ways of DevOps

First Way – Accelerate Feedback

  • Draw value stream mapping
  • Continually identify and elevate our constraints
  • Make work visible
  • Limit WIP
  • Reduce batch sizes
  • Eliminate hardship and waste in the value stream – waste constituted the largest threat to business
  • Reduce the number of handoffs

Second Way – Amplify feedback

  • Working safely within complex systems
  • See problems as they occur
  • Swarm and solve problems to build new knowledge –  Toyota Andon cord
  • Keep pushing quality closer to the source – make quality everyone’s responsibility
  • Enable optimising for downstream work centres

The third way – continuous learning and experimentation

  • Enabling organizational learning and Safety culture
  • Institutionalize the Improvement of Daily Work
  • Transform Local Discoveries into Global Improvements
  • Inject Resilience Patters into our daily work
  • Leaders Reinforce a Learning Culture

I encourage please read these 2 Must read DevOps books to transform your organization to high-performing 

The Phoenix Project

DevOps Handbook

GamingWorks conducts one full day The Phoenix Project Simulation




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