Classroom The Phoenix Project - A DevOps business simulation



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We all know the typical IT behaviors where developers launch seemingly untested solutions and leave operations and management to pick up the rubble. We hear developers complain about the obstacles and difficulties that arise when operations and management delay a deployment and about the demands placed on developers to deal with minor updates, urgent issues and applications that don't work.

The increased element of IT in all parts of the business and a desire for even more and faster delivered customer solutions make the challenge much more complicated. The workload for development and IT operations increases dramatically, important workflows get bogged down and IT projects fail. Operations managers are disappointed by the organization's inability to deliver, customer opportunities are missed and important business processes are at risk of failure.

Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford have written the novel "The Phoenix Project" which is about an organization that faces the challenges mentioned above. The book describes how to apply DevOps principles to achieve significant improvements and business value.

Our course/simulation is based on this ground-breaking book and lets you experience the dynamics of the book.

What will you learn?

  • How to apply DevOps principles in a real situation
  • How to find the right balance between delivering your SLA requirements and your IT projects according to plan
  • You get to experience how DevOps can bring great value to your company
  • How to increase the effect and efficiency of your IT department
  • How to create better flow in your teams
  • How to develop people skills to act in a DevOps environment
  • How you show the business their responsibility in making IT projects more successful


No preparation for the course is required, but it may be useful to have read the book or listened to the audiobook "The Phoenix Project".

About the course/simulation

The course is structured as a simulation where we will work as the company Parts Unlimited.

Parts Unlimited is in trouble. The organization's poor financial results are made public and the only way to save the company and make it competitive and profitable is "The Phoenix Project", which is a business transformation made possible by new IT solutions, with the company's resellers as the owners of the project.

The person in charge of the IT department is asked to lead the entire "The Phoenix Project" and ensure that it is successful. However, he faces a huge amount of work. Large backlogs of issues, features and projects.

In the simulation, your team will have different roles within Parts Unlimited. You can be a Retailer, HR or CFO within the project. You may play the role of VP of the IT department or lead one of the IT functions.

The challenge lies in using the DevOps principles and applying them in this business simulation. In four rounds, you work with IT projects as well as questions and solutions regarding IT to ensure that "The Phoenix Project" is completed on time. But you have to be careful, the business constantly comes up with new ideas and requirements, and external developments that happen beyond your control can also increase your troubles.

About DevOps

In DevOps we talk about "Three Ways". The different ways describe the values and philosophies that frame processes, procedures and practices as well as the guiding steps.

The First Way - emphasizes how the entire system works, as opposed to the performance of a single or isolated work effort. It can be as large as an entire department (eg development or IT operations) or as small as an individual employee (eg a developer or system administrator).

The Second Way - is about creating loops of feedback from right to left. The goal of almost any process improvement initiative is to shorten and strengthen feedback loops so that necessary corrections can be made continuously.

The Third Way - is about creating a culture that promotes two things: continuous experimentation, which requires taking risks and learning from success and failure, and understanding that repetition and practice are the recipe for success

Meet the teachers

Jesper Gunnarson

Course leader/Consultant

With his extensive experience in agile working methods and performance, including the introduction of SAFe on Volvo Cars, Jesper creates working methods that are effective and at the same time fun. Jesper is structured and gives people and employees freedom and responsibility.


Daniel Bjarsch

Course leader/Consultant

With his extensive experience he can put things in a broader context and highlight the course content from a more practical point of view. Daniel is also good at keeping focus and a clear structure in his education.


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