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The Unicorn Project: A Novel about Developers, Digital Disruptions, and Thriving in the Ageof Data Hardcover – 26 November 2019

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,794 ratings

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Review

"As important as The Phoenix Project was for managing organizational change, The Unicorn Project is for the vast majority of us who actually solve problems. This book provides a vision for software engineers for generations to come."--Dr. Tom Longstaff, Chief Technology Officer, Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute

"DevOps fans around the world rejoice! The Unicorn Project fills in all the gaps that The Phoenix Project never got to cover! Automated QA, loose coupling and APIs, democratized access, psychological safety, balancing current work with innovation, and more. It's all in there! Do yourself a favor and read this now to know where your practice should head next."--Stephen Fishman, Director Customer Success Architecture, MuleSoft, a Salesforce Company

"The Unicorn Project is amazing, and I loved it 100 times more than The Phoenix Project....It made me remember every step we've gone through at adidas in the last 4 years."--Fernando Cornago, Senior Director Platform Engineering, adidas

"The Unicorn Project takes you on a fun and imaginative journey into some of the most difficult IT and business challenges we face today. The project may be mythical, but the lessons and ideals encountered will provide real help to any leader seeking to unleash powerful potential within their organization. This should be required reading for any student, IT professional, or business leader who is serious about tackling data-driven digital disruption, customer focus, and workforce empowerment to deliver business value faster, better, safer, and happier."--Jason Cox, Director of Platform Engineering & SRE

"Want to win in the digital economy? Read The Unicorn Project and take the bold steps framed in the Five Ideals and watch your people become your game-changers."--Raj Fowler, Principal Consultant, DevOpsGroup

"What are developers' two typical experiences? Frustration, fatigue, anxiety, and aggravation when nothing comes together like it should and projects run late, over budget, and under promise. The Unicorn Project gives an empathetic over-the-shoulder look at how a peer can escape these too familiar circumstances, and Gene Kim does a masterful job of showing how a dynamic, discovery-oriented approach to technology transformation can combine the efforts of many to create lasting business advantages for all."--Dr. Steven Spear, author of The High-Velocity Edge, Sr. Lecturer at MIT, and principal of HVE LLC.

"Every company going through a digital transformation needs to make this a must-read for all leaders. Not only will they recognize and empathize with the struggles of Maxine and team, they will also find insights for success with the Five Ideals. This book gives a roadmap to the type of rebellion every organization wishes for."--Courtney Kissler, VP, Global Technology, NIKE, Inc.

"A bona fide digital transformation, one that makes a worthy difference in customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and cash flow, is a hard-fought victory through a gauntlet of agonizing battles. Wins, losses, and the unexpected are inevitable, and true grit--a combination of passion, courage, and perseverance--is required. The Unicorn Project is the organizational civil-war novel that every technology and business trailblazer must read."--Christopher O'Malley, President and CEO, Compuware

"If you liked The Phoenix Project, you will absolutely fall in love with The Unicorn Project. This is the other side of the story that you need to fully understand modernized DevOps processes."--Dr. Branden R. Williams, Technology Executive

"If you read The Phoenix Project and wondered if the author had been following you around at work, then The Unicorn Project is going to give you a sense of deja vu."--Erica Morrison, Executive Director of Software Engineering, CSG

"In the tradition of The Phoenix Project, we follow Maxine and her colleagues as they work to salvage a critical project in time for Black Friday. The Unicorn Project puts you right in the middle of the action during a major technology refactor, building relationships with stakeholders, and ultimately understanding which applications bring value to the enterprise. I was reminded of many of the hurdles we've navigated during our own digital transformation."--Scott Nasello, Director, Delivery Engineering, Columbia Sportswear

"In The Phoenix Project, Gene Kim clarified the what and why of DevOps. Now his latest book, The Unicorn Project, clarifies the what and why of digital transformation. Being great at DevOps without focusing on the customer means that you can be excellent at something that doesn't matter."--Jeffrey Snover, Technical Fellow, Microsoft

"Just as The Phoenix Project introduced the Three Ways, The Unicorn Project introduces us to the Five Ideals. By illustrating how these underlying principles enable a small group of rebels to drive meaningful organizational change, Gene is providing us with a blueprint to follow in our own organizations."--Scott Stockton, Regional Vice President, Sonatype

"The Unicorn Project is an entertaining glimpse below deck of the chaotic IT ship and provides guidance on how to get everyone rowing together."--Josh Atwell, Sr. Technology Advocate, Splunk

"The Unicorn Project is an inspired followup to The Phoenix Project, telling the same events from the perspective of technical contributors and digging much more deeply into key questions of team dynamics, leadership, automation, and misguided governance. Readers working in real-world IT or digital organizations will again find themselves nodding and grimacing in recognition that as an industry we have a long way to go; fortunately, Gene is continuing to light the way."--Charles Betz, Principal Analyst and Global DevOps Lead, Forrester Research

"What I loved about The Phoenix Project is that it made me feel not alone. Reading that story, I closely identified with the experiences the characters were having in the software development process. In The Unicorn Project, he's written another cure for the forsaken tech managerial nerd. And this time he's extended to another whole group in the world of technology--those who deal with data, analytics, reports, and predictive models. Anyone working with software or data analytics will feel a kinship to the characters and the problems the teams encounter in The Unicorn Project, and will cheer them on as they apply the Dev and DataOps best practices to succeed. It's scary how close the characters, dialog, and situations are to what we daily experience. Is Gene listening in to our beer-soaked after-work conversations? I wonder..."--Christopher Bergh, CEO & Head Chef, DataKitchen

About the Author

Gene Kim is a multiple award-winning CTO, researcher and author, and has been studying high-performing technology organizations since 1999. He was founder and CTO of Tripwire for 13 years. He has written six books, including The Unicorn Project (2019), The Phoenix Project (2013), The DevOps Handbook (2016), the Shingo Publication Award winning Accelerate (2018), and The Visible Ops Handbook (2004-2006) series. Since 2014, he has been the founder and organizer of the DevOps Enterprise Summit, studying the technology transformations of large, complex organizations. In 2007, ComputerWorld added Gene to the "40 Innovative IT People to Watch Under the Age of 40" list, and he was named a Computer Science Outstanding Alumnus by Purdue University for achievement and leadership in the profession. He lives in Portland, OR, with his wife and family.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ IT REVOLUTION PRESS (26 November 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1942788762
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1942788768
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 16.15 x 3.02 x 23.65 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 1,794 ratings

About the author

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Gene Kim is a multiple award-winning CTO, researcher and author, and has been studying high-performing technology organizations since 1999. He was founder and CTO of Tripwire for 13 years. He has written six books, including The Unicorn Project (2019), The Phoenix Project (2013), The DevOps Handbook (2016), the Shingo Publication Award winning Accelerate (2018), and The Visible Ops Handbook (2004-2006) series. Since 2014, he has been the founder and organizer of the DevOps Enterprise Summit, studying the technology transformations of large, complex organizations.

In 2007, ComputerWorld added Gene to the “40 Innovative IT People to Watch Under the Age of 40” list, and he was named a Computer Science Outstanding Alumnus by Purdue University for achievement and leadership in the profession.

He lives in Portland, OR, with his wife and family.

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Safa246
2.0 out of 5 stars Should be in the fantasy section
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 November 2020
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34 people found this helpful
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Gavin Deadman
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling noval on continously improving the value stream using the modern DevOps tech stack
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 November 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling noval on continously improving the value stream using the modern DevOps tech stack
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 November 2021
Written in the same novel thriller style as The Phoenix Project, Gene Kim touches on every element you need to transform a slow-moving monolithic digital setup to a more modern Agile and Lean operation which allows you to validate ideas and solve problems at speed, getting ahead in the market.

I found the original Phoenix book gripping and a fun read as I've not experienced a manufacturing plant environment before, but I found the Unicorn Project more predictable as I was reading it, but I guess that's due to going through various Agile and DevOps transformations over the past few years...

...saying that, it was still a pleasure to read the heroics of Maxine, Kurt and Brent with their relentless perseverance and motivation to continually improve and learn whilst getting ideas to customers, hearing about the fruits of the impacts they were making, and the value that a dedicated and empowered team can have, through a different lens.

"A healthy software system is one that you can change at the speed you need, where people can contribute easily, without jumping through hoops."

"Because the distance from where decisions are made and where work is performed keeps growing, the quality of our outcomes diminish."

"It's been true for hundreds of years and probably thousands more: employee engagement and customer satisfaction are the only things that matter. If we do that right, and manage cash effectively, every other financial target will take care of itself." Amen!

Another fantastic book by Gene which I'd recommend for anyone experiencing significant delays in the value stream or generally interested in DevOps.
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Zahari Zankov
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 December 2019
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Stephen Cummins
4.0 out of 5 stars A genius idea
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 December 2019
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Olga
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great book, especially for those, who is losing hope!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 August 2021
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