Reading Corner: The Unicorn Project by Gene Kim

The Unicorn Project by Gene Kim is a book that everyone working in IT should read, regardless of their role within the organization. Don’t let the title or the format deceive you; I also had doubts that a novel about IT could be interesting, but I was so wrong. I guarantee that the story told in this book occurs in thousands of companies worldwide, and even if you don’t work in IT, I bet you will find something that relates to your daily job.

The Unicorn Project

In “The Unicorn Project,” Gene Kim introduces the reader to a 100-year-old auto parts retailer that is fighting for its survival as new digital and agile competitors are revolutionizing the traditional way of doing business. After spending millions trying to create an app to respond to these new competitors, Parts United is on its last legs. With hundreds of developers working in silos and being pressed by business leaders to release the app in just a few days, it causes massive damage to the reputation of the organization and leaves Parts United on the verge of being sold for scrap.

Gene Kim guides us through several stages of developing a software product through the eyes of Maxine, an experienced software engineer who, after being punished for something she didn’t do, ends up transforming the company culture, forever changing the way business and technology work together.

Without revealing too much about the story, the book illustrates how often companies look outside to solve existing problems when the talent and the people they need are already within the organization. You will remember this when you meet the Rebellion, a cross-functional team that comes together to fix decisions made by management.

If you are a leader in an IT company, don’t think this book isn’t for you—it absolutely is! It will teach both engineers and business leaders how to work better together and how to adjust processes, technologies, and ways of working to support a greater cause.

View on Amazon

To learn more about the book and the author, I recommend listening to this episode of The Cloud Cast podcast.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

I've been working with Microsoft Technologies over the last ten years, mainly focused on creating collaboration and productivity solutions that drive the adoption of Microsoft Modern Workplace.