I just finished listening to the audio book of the Phoenix project. I had a few primary take aways from this book:
1. Reduce WIP (work in progress). I’ve been on projects in my career where when we’d get blocked on doing some work, we needed to keep the team busy so we’d pull in other work. Soon enough you’d have 100 initiatives going on at once that you’re able to devote to each only ten minutes per week. In this project we paused for two weeks where no new work was added and we just focused on completing the work already in progress. It reduces context switching and allows more work to get completed.
2. Automated builds and deployments. I’ve also been on teams where this has been done and it’s fantastic. Building and maintaining the tool itself takes effort, so plan for that. But, once it’s finished you can deploy all day with consistency and accuracy.
3. Identify your workflow’s constraint (bottleneck). Any improvements to the workflow that are not at the constraint are worthless.
4. Unplanned work prevents you from meeting your goals. Minimize this.
Here are a couple great resources for notes and take aways https://lalitkale.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/book-notes-the-phoenix-project-a-novel-about-it-devops-and-helping-your-business-win/ and https://uptakedigital.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000524374-4-Types-of-Work-in-IT-The-Phoenix-Project-