The Unicorn Project

A Novel about Developers, Digital Disruption, and Thriving in the Age of Data

Gene Kim

Publisher: IT Revolution Press, 2019, 344 pages

ISBN: 978-1-942788-76-8

Keywords: DevOps

Last modified: Feb. 7, 2021, 3:37 p.m.

Bestselling author Gene Kim returns to the cutthroat world of Parts Unlimited with The Unicorn Project. The company is on the brink of failure, likely the next casualty of the Retail Apocalypse. The Phoenix Project, on which everyone's hopes for survival rests, also seems headed for disaster.

Unjustly blamed for a payroll outage, Maxine, a developer of the highest caliber, is exiled top the Phoenix Project. Once there, she finds development teams under immense pressure to deliver, paralyzed by a culture of fear and blame, and suffering from nearly a decade of neglect and technical debt. Striving to create excellence, Maxine fights an impenetrable bureaucracy and software architecture, where even the smallest change seems impossible or causes catastrophic outcomes and recriminations.

When the Phoenix Project fails to achieve its goals, Maxine sets out to save the company with the help of the mysterious Rebellion. She must figure out how to overthrow the existing order, enable developers to be productive, and bring joy back to technology work so that Parts Unlimited can win in a time of digital disruption.

Maxine utilizes the Five Ideals to forge the Unicorn Project, transforming how business and technology works together. Mobilizing the organization to harness Big Data, the Rebels work to execute their ingenious plan. But will it be enough to save Maxine and Parts Unlimited?

In this highly anticipated follow-up to the bestselling book The Phoenix Project, Maxine struggles to build a dynamic learning organization to re-ignite innovation while battling an entrenched, risk-averse hierarchy, because she knows only the most adaptable can survive in this time of unprecedented uncertainty… and opportunity.

  • Prologue
  • Part One: September 3 — September 18
  • Part Two: September 23 — November 9
  • Part Three: November 10 — Present
  • Epilogue; One Year Later