I recently had an opportunity to observe the Phoenix Project Game in action at UCAS headquarters in Cheltenham. Here's what I saw!
During the Introduction I learned:
- A few players had heard of this thing we call DevOps and read The Phoenix Project book - neither is a pre-requisite to playing the game although it's useful to have a few in the room with awareness of the DevOps principles - that is what we are here to learn though!
- Many of the players played their own roles in the game - some customers like to do this, some like to mix it up I have noticed. I guess playing a role that isn't your own is an opportunity to build more understanding and empathy for the challenges our colleagues face, but the advantage of playing your own is to be able to directly apply learnings to your everyday life. I don't think it's possible to switch roles during the game though - I think that would inhibit the flow of learning.
In the First Round
At the start of the first round, the CEO (the Game Leader, in this case, Helen) sets the high level business goals for the game - there are two:
- Revenue target - $110,000
- Share price - $23.00
Teamwork was visible from the start with Application Development's and Change Management's curiosity in what other players had at their disposal. A clear hierarchy was demonstrated with Retail Operations, the CFO and Human Resources taking turns in leading group discussions. It was also good to see players discuss the round's business objectives and current live issues around VP of IT Operations & CISO tables.