It is impossible to overstate how much I’ve learned since co-authoring The Phoenix Project, DevOps Handbook, and Accelerate. I’m so excited that after years of work, The Unicorn Project will be published later this year.
This book is my attempt to frame what I’ve learned studying technology leaders adopting DevOps principles and patterns in large, complex organizations, often having to fight deeply entrenched orthodoxies. And yet, despite huge obstacles, they create incredibly effective and innovative teams that create beacons of greatness that inspire us all.
In this book, we follow a senior lead developer and architect as she is exiled to the Phoenix Project, to the horror of her friends and colleagues, as punishment for contributing to a payroll outage. She tries to survive in what feels like a heartless and uncaring bureaucracy, forced to work within a system where no one can get anything done without endless committees, paperwork, change requests, and approvals. Decades of technical debt make even small changes difficult or impossible, often causing catastrophic outcomes and fear of punishment.
I get tremendous delight and gratification that this book is not about the bridge crew of the Starship Enterprise -- instead, it is about redshirt engineers, which as it turns out, whose heroic work matters most to the long-term survival of almost every organization.
In my previous books, I’ve focused on principles and practices (e.g., Three Ways, Four Types of Work). However, I’ve always wanted to describe the spectrum of cultural, experiential and value decisions we make that either enable greatness or create chronic suffering and underperformance. They are currently as follows:
• The First Ideal — Locality and Simplicity
• The Second Ideal — Focus, Flow and Joy
• The Third Ideal — Improvement of Daily Work
• The Fourth Ideal — Psychological Safety
• The Fifth Ideal — Customer Focus