A popular 'business fable' by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford. In the manner of Goldratt's The Goal, this book tells the story of Bill, and IT middle-manager suddenly promoted to Vice President of IT following an organizational purge. Bill inherits an IT organization with many chronic issues: overwork, late projects, and production failures. From his initial challenge of simply getting a new laptop to making transformative changes to the business, Bill must learn and apply the principles of lean manufacturing and later on modern devops practices. Our hero overcomes these challenges in part via his wise Yoda-like mentor who provides key insights that move Bill on his journey. In a straight up novel the deus ex machina of this would annoy me, but here it's okay to have the author so directly proxied by this character. An appendix provides more academic background and further reading.


A good, quick read for anyone struggling with the pace of change in IT or who needs to help implement devops but has to first come up to speed on philosophies and goals. The narrative approach makes it approachable and gives motivation for adoption of process control techniques like Kanban. It's targeted towards traditional line managers and executives who need to learn to think holistically to support the modern business enterprise.