This is the notion of that daily workaround. The Unicorn Project’s biggest challenges and most difficult decisions arise when addressing the Fifth Ideal. It is difficult to become nimble and agile if you are carrying around decades of technical debts that have this tundra of bad process and bad automation. He wrote that book in 1984, and it is a novel about a manufacturing plant manager who has to fix cost and due date issues in 90 days or else the plant will get shut down. That is why I [make comparisons with] Hogan's Heroes or The A Team. It was amazing to see these incredible stories of transformational leaders courageously taking on these powerful orthodoxies and ways of working who often did not have much interest in changing the way that worked. In this interview, we also cover the three objectives that The Unicorn Project looks to address, which is to describe what successful transformations have looked like to help others replicate those outcomes, the challenge of trying to figure out how you get data where it needs to go, and how we can overcome the strong opposition to the new ways of working. As a result, you end up with the happiest, most productive, and most engaged developers. (To listen to an unabridged podcast version of this interview, please click this link. The phrase improvement of daily work is more important than the daily work itself. High: The fifth of the five ideas is customer focus. Some of the most widely read business books tend to generally fit the style. The Phoenix Project was told through the eyes of Bill Palmer, the Head of Operations, whereas The Unicorn Project is told through the eyes of a senior developer, Maxine. In the ideal, the two pieces of a team can do what they need and the customer’s happy that afternoon. The Joint Special Forces had the most elite units including the Navy SEALs, The Green Berets, and The Army Rangers. One of the parts I loved hearing was from Chris O'Malley, the CEO of Compuware and its CFO, Joe Aho. A formative moment for me was about three years ago. The Unicorn Project is inspired by and dedicated to the community of these organizations that are dramatically changing the way they work. Could you talk about that concept? Similarly, in The Unicorn Project, I use the Five Ideals to frame what I think are the most important problems facing engineering and business today: Over the next several weeks as we release more of the excerpts, I’ll talk about each of the ideals, and share several personal stories that convinced me why they are so important. Similarly, the problem the book addresses is around how you get data from where it resides to where it needs to go. One of them is the Chief People Officer at Kronos. The model of that is the work of core versus context that comes from Dr. Geoffrey Moore. That was well known, but as part of this book, we did some studying about the pioneering work that Google did in trying to figure out what made great teams great. Kim: Chris O'Malley was a phenomenal person to interact within the DevOps enterprise community because the quest was to understand how to better talk to the top levels of leadership. What General McChrystal questions is how do you change your organization so that you can push decision-making down to the lowest possible level so they are being made by the people doing the work? The most famous automotive plant in North America was the notorious Fremont General Motors manufacturing plants. Join the DZone community and get the full member experience. In the middle of each outline is a little tombstone that says, "Here is the business process and the application that used to be here, and here is how much we are saving by getting rid of it.” That was the aha moment of what customer focus is. The first one is locality and simplicity. “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, “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. They are essentially saying that by getting rid of all the parts that customers are not willing to pay for, they get to reinvest $8 million back into R&D, which customers are willing to pay for. The Unicorn Project and The Five Ideals from Gene Kim. Published at DZone with permission of Gene Kim, DZone MVB. All of a sudden, you have to marshal, coordinate, schedule, and prioritize with dozens of other teams. These are not the generals, but they are the people on the ground. High: The second ideal is focus, flow, and joy. This is happening frequently in the commercial world. I got my graduate degree in compiler design and high-speed networking, but I believed Ops is where the excitement was. I am the president of Metis Strategy, a business and IT strategy firm that I founded in 2001. The Unicorn Project and The Five Ideals from Gene Kim. High: Can you talk about the advantages of telling this as a fictional piece as opposed to a framework the stories of actual companies and executives? This objective has increased the company’s ability to recruit and retrain, and when it has job openings, they are filled quickly.