I had the opportunity to read Gene’s new book The Unicorn Project last month. Like the Phoenix Project, I was riveted – nearly missing my tube stops on the way to work. My distractions came from usually as a result of my attempts to align the concepts of The Five Ways with how many of my legacy clients have (continue) to work. I found myself (once again) immersed in looking for ways to best unravel those old ways of thinking that need to change. Yes, once again, I found a book that makes me think hard.
The Unicorn Project is written from the perspective of application developers – a perspective that was somewhat glossed over in The Phoenix Project – not intentionally I am sure, but because each book has to choose an audience. The Unicorn Project challenges many of the ways companies have done things in application development and the approach to the products and services they offer out through IT. Some of the challenges seem trite (and yet still pervasive) such as silos, turf wars, politics, and finger pointing. Some of the challenges are pervasive and yet unavoidable such as legacy systems that no one wants to touch, applications that have tentacles of dependencies that seem insurmountable, and an unwillingness to tackle the big issues and technical debt that litters our data centers.
I took away many ideas from The Phoenix Project back in 2013, and now I have many more from The Unicorn Project. For one, the concepts of startups and innovation within large organizations really tickled my fancy. And as always, here are the usual parade of wonderful ideas for achieving Lean, collaboration, and The Five Ways. Yet, one concept that really endeared me The Unicorn Project was the focus on Flow and Psychological Safety – something that is very near and dear to me. This book should inspire you to scratch your head, maybe even miss a few stops on your ride to work, and get you thinking about how to change how you and your people can work better in IT.
Oh, and now its available, here: https://itrevolution.com/the-unicorn-project/