I personally hate books that tell me how to do something but don’t bother to explain any of the reasoning why that approach is better than any other. It could be due to my stubbornness, or the fact that the first inclination I have when shown something new is to take it apart to understand how it works.

In any event, I wanted to make sure that I would never write a book that didn’t explain why. That made writing the book Lean DevOps a difficult journey.

Writing a book about why you approach creating and growing high performing IT service delivery ecosystems a particular way is surprisingly difficult to do. I spent a lot of time walking back through all the experiences I have had throughout my career to find the sources of my approach. Other than some Game Theory bits that I was formally taught at university, everything else had been picked up informally. 

I spent a lot of time walking back through all the experiences I had throughout my career to figure out the sources of the very ideas that make up the way I approach IT service delivery. It was surprisingly difficult to do. Other than some Game Theory I learned at university, everything had been learned informally. This took me on a journey of the influences I picked up from the wisdom and experiences of some of the great people I have been so fortunate to have worked with over the years.

While I did what I could to explain these sources in the book, I always feel that I can do more. This page is a series of links to some of those influences for those of you wanting to go deeper into the thinking behind Lean DevOps. Some are writings from people providing background or explaining influential concepts, while others are writings from myself and others who cobbled together a similar set of ideas and influences. I will add and rework this page in the hopes that you can both better understand and build it into something even better.

Lean DevOps Book







Resource Links


Seven Dimensions of Agile Maturity in the Global Enterprise: A Case Study – This is a paper that I wrote for IEEE in 2010 providing the outlines of an Agile Maturity model I developed and successfully deployed at a large international telecoms company. I have since enhanced this model and deployed this model at a number of other companies

Agile Deployment: Lean Service Management and Deployment Strategies for the SaaS Enterprise – This is an IEEE paper I wrote in 2009 that tries to describe some of the most basic tenets of Lean DevOps, before the self-reflection and research I did to write the book.


Influences and Useful Further Reading



A very useful but often misunderstood sensemaking framework developed by Dave Snowden that can be used to understand the dynamics of the ecosystem you are in to guide decision making and action. 

Chasing The Rabbit

Chasing the Rabbit

This is a book by Steven Spear, which has a lot of great stories about how organizations become overly complex, tightly coupled messes, and how you can help your company avoid/get out of it to be successful.

Toyota Kata

Toyota Kata

A book by Mike Rother that attempts to explain the continual improvement mechanisms in use at Toyota, What is useful about it is that it goes about describing how to keep improvement directed toward target outcome attainment.

Continuous Delivery

Continuous Delivery

This is an excellent book about how to build in a continuous delivery capability in your IT organization. The patterns they identify are very real, including many of the mistakes that people make with repository structures and branching strategies. I have gotten to know Jez (and to a lesser extent Dave) over the years, and their insights are great.

Turn The Ship Around

Turn the Ship Around

This is a book by L David Marquet, which I think symbolizes the power of letting the team deliver objectives unobstructed by top-down management. 

Team of Teams

Team of Teams

A book by General Stanley McChristal, where he discusses the importance of information sharing and trust to build situational awareness, rapid response, and continual learning. 



Team Topologies

Team Topologies

A book by Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais. It describes some useful team design patterns that accommodate for cognitive load



Mary and Tom Poppenieck

Anything by Mary & Tom Poppendieck

Mary and Tom provide a lot of really great insight into the common problems that so many delivery organizations face. They were one of the first to really apply Lean thinking to IT in a critical way.


John Boyd

Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War

Robert Coram’s book on John Boyd is an interesting read for those who want to better understand Boyd and the evolution of his thinking in the run-up to developing the OODA Loop.



Implementing Beyond Budgeting

Implementing Beyond Budgeting

Traditional budgeting processes are broken. This book goes through not only how they are broken, but also how you can reshape your budgeting processes to drive the right behaviors, allowing your and your organization to innovate and get things done while still keeping the P&L healthy.