The IIL shares an the Phoenix Project which is used for training purposes to simulate real life scenarios in leadership

Key Takeaways from ‘The Phoenix Project’ DevOps Simulation

QUOTE:    These were the headlines confronting the team participating in a walk-through of The Phoenix Project DevOps Business Simulation as they failed to effectively collaborate and apply DevOps principles.   The simulation walk-through, held 16 May at IIL headquarters in New York City, was part of a meetup organized by IIL and the DevOps Agile Skills Association (DASA). The meetup was to explore the types of skills required for an IT organization in this age of fast-paced, digital disruption

Captured Challenges — During the simulation walk-through we captured challenges the team experienced that they also recognize in their daily work:

Unclear flow of work; work was ping-ponging back and forth.
Unclear insight into the work being done and the business initiatives and goals.
Tester involved too late, lack of insight.
Poor decision making on prioritization.
Priority information not passed downstream.
Filling up workloads with scarce resources, not cross-training to remove skills constraints.
Lack of security insights into work impacting financial data.
Poor business insight into progress.
Lack of insight into impact of issues and technical debt.
Too many assumptions about what was important and what to prioritize
Lack of business understanding and business engagement.
Flow of work kept stopping and going back upstream because of lack of information.
Defects being passed downstream and not being made visible.

Captured Takeaways — What did you discover in this simulation exercise that you need to take away and apply?

Prioritize skill development and cross training to deal with constraints
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! – Foster and practice active listening, confirm understanding, confirm agreements and decision making, blame-free feedback.
Coaching for communication and collaboration skills, as well as DevOps skills
Start fostering more collaboration between end-to-end stakeholders including business.
Agree on ‘collaboration behaviors’ – what behaviors will we see? And coach and give feedback on these behaviors. Practice! Practice until these behaviors become a habit ‘the way we do things here’.
Visibility. Don’t just visualize work, but also visualize improvements.
Team validation of agreed ways of behaving and working, team build visualization together to support their own work and support decision making.
Accept that failure will happen. Experiment. Learn fast & improve.
Ask ‘How does this affect you?’, ‘What information do you need to be able to do your work and make decisions?’
Traceability. Work in progress, work done, work not done. Traceability of planned vs unplanned work and visibility; where does unplanned work come from? Defects passed downstream? What is impact of unplanned work?
Creating buy-in to responsibilities, new ways of working, end-to-end collaboration.