Mark Smalley

Mark Smalley

The IT Paradigmologist / Global Ambassador
Smalley.IT / DevOps Agile Skills Association
All levels

Target audience

The game is used by various roles for various reasons:

  • IT practitioners in development and operations roles who want to enhance their theoretical knowledge of DevOps with experiential learning
  • IT managers (and sometimes directors) who want to get a better understanding of what DevOps means for their organization
  • IT managers and IT practitioners who use the game as a team building exercise
  • IT managers who want to ‘sell’ a DevOps way of working to their clients

Required skill

No prior experience with DevOps is necessary – just some experience in IT roles or in business roles dealing with IT.

Required for participants

The participants do not need to bring anything – laptops are not used.

October 9
Duration 09:30 — 17:00
Lunch 13:00 till 14:00

Workshop: The Phoenix Project DevOps Game

“There is a role for training and books – the goal of experiential learning is ... to provide low risk ways to try working in a different way ... there’s no better way than through simulations.” – Gene Kim, co-author of The Phoenix Project.

This interactive game, or ‘business simulation’, is based on the ground-breaking DevOps book The Phoenix Project. The game, that has been played more than 500 times in 30 countries, lets you experience the practical application of Lean, Agile and IT service management principles in a DevOps setting.

It helps you develop your culture to achieve better collaboration and in so doing, derive more business value from your investments in IT.

You play one of the business, application development and IT operations roles and your challenge is to work well as a team for an afternoon. Time and capacity are limited, so you have to make the right decisions and execute work correctly.

Most people say that the game reflects real life and that they take away concrete findings that they can apply at work.

More general information about The Phoenix Project at


Mark Smalley, also known as The IT Paradigmologist, thinks, writes and speaks extensively about IT 'paradigms' – in other words our changing perspectives on IT.
His current interests are the digital enterprise, IT operating models, value of IT, business-IT relationships, co-creation of value, multidisciplinary collaboration, working with complexity, and as the overarching theme, management of information systems in general.
People collaborate with Mark to discover where they are and to visualize where they want to be. Mark is an IT Management Consultant at Smalley.IT and Delivery Partner for GamingWorks' The Phoenix Project DevOps business simulation.
He is Global Ambassador at the DevOps Agile Skills Association (DASA). He is a contributor to bodies of knowledge such as ASL, BiSL, BRM, COBIT, DevOps, IT4IT, ITIL, and VeriSM. Mark has lectured at various universities and has spoken at hundreds of events in more than twenty countries.