Book Review: The Visible Ops Handbook

A few months ago, I purchased The Visible Ops Handbook: Implementing ITIL in 4 Practical and Auditable Steps, by Kevin Behr, Gene Kim, and George Spafford and published by the IT Process Institute (ITPI). Those names may sound familiar, as these are the same authors of The Phoenix Project. Where The Phoenix Project is a novel that teaches us general concepts through storytelling, TheĀ Visible Ops Handbook is a set of instructions to help us implement the changes that are now so vital to the DevOps movement – it’s all about executing! The Visible Ops methodology it teaches is one of many precursors to DevOps, and it’s a wonderful foundation that I feel should be explored by all.

Visible Ops has a nice structure. There are five sections describing the four steps of Visible Ops (70 pages) followed by a few appendices (30 pages). The content is a result of studies done by the ITPI (contemporary equivalents of today’s State of DevOps reports) and the implementation of Visible Ops, before it went to print, by IP Services. In those 100 pages, the lessons learned from the studies is codified using ITIL terminology. The writing is very accessible, but also very dense, and is worth referencing repeatedly as you work through the included steps. The target audience is decidedly technical, but everyone in an IT organization can benefit from the material.

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