This is part II of a series meant to capture my experience as I implement the Five Focusing Steps from The Goal to resolve some of my team’s worst issues. I recommend reading the first article here for background and context. But if you don’t want to, the TL;DR of part I is that after reading The Goal and The Phoenix Project, I realized that two of my teams were exhibiting all the signs of being a bottleneck. …

The most interesting revelations come by chance. During a regular one-on-one meeting with a TL, one thing led to another and he asked me if I had read The Phoenix Project. I vaguely remembered my wife saying that a “Phoenix book” is upsetting her because it’s too much like real life. Didn’t need telling thrice, I decided to pick the book pronto Toronto.

The IT novel captured my attention from the very start. It is relatable, funny and focussed on accurately illustrating life in the technology industry. I especially enjoyed the portrayal of day to day problems and instinctive solutions…


Let me start by saying that throughout my teenage years all the way through to undergrad, I was never a big book reader. Sure I enjoyed the occasional Da Vinci Code & John Grisham but a good year for me meant having read ~4 books. As luck would have it, I married a woman who reads a lot, and her book recommendations made me an avid reader too. These books have helped me in my career and I hope you find them useful.

A few things to note before we dive into the book list:

  1. I have consumed most of…

Asaf Gitai

Senior Development Manager at Shopify. Worked at successful startups and large technology companies in various high responsibility roles.

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