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Rolling Rocks Downhill

The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Entertaining Way to Learn Agile and Lean
Narrated by: Paul Kearney
Length: 6 hrs and 43 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Technology
5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An impossible deadline. A runaway project. And then you get the 5:30 a.m. phone call… what could possibly be wrong?

Rolling Rocks Downhill is a fast, fun and often funny read. It's a business novel, just like Eli Goldratt's classic The Goal, where you sit on the characters' shoulders, watching them fight to save their jobs and their baby - a large software-intensive project, called FPP, that has been running late since day 1, but now, suddenly, needs to launch on an impossibly early date, or else. You feel their pain, and their joy, as they battle problem after problem until, slowly, torturously, they rediscover the few - but fundamental - principles underlying successful commercial software development.

Sometimes you're a step ahead. Sometimes a step behind. Sometimes it feels like you're sitting in the room with them…

©2014, 2016 Clarke Ching (P)2016 Clarke Chning

What listeners say about Rolling Rocks Downhill

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really outstanding book

really like how the story is used to introduce and expand the concepts. the narrator is very good and the story engaging.

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Good story, excellent narration.

Well written, covers the principles involved very well. Very good narrator. I would definitely recommend it.

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A well written and useful book

A lovely story that teaches great work flow practices in a easy to understand way. I really enjoyed it. And now l’m thinking about my work place, where is our bottle neck? What will be our French fry revaluation?

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  • Sheila Shovlin
  • 12-05-2016

Very applicable to our situation

It's comforting to hear there is a way out. Even dealing with the executives' impression of the teams' capability level; it's comforting to hear this happens elsewhere.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Maarten
  • 24-03-2017

Be agile, don't go chasing waterfalls

I liked the story-telling nature of the book. It is a novel about how to change to an agile mindset from a waterfall mindset. The main character learns the do's and dont's from a coach, which turns out to be a great way of getting some theory into a novel. The characters are realistic, somewhat stereotyped, but I think the stereotyping is actually beneficial to the book. The clear personalities helped me to transfer the setting to my own working environment.

The only complaint I have is that I think parts of the book remain too shallow for its audience. For example when the theory of constraints is introduced, it hardly gets more in depth than what intuition will teach you in the first place (tackle bottlenecks first).

3 people found this helpful

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  • ELo
  • 26-08-2017

Better books are available

The Phoenix Project and The Goal explain the topics covered in this book in more depth and more relevant ways.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nick Hodnick
  • 26-08-2016

An Agile Transition Book that really hits home

Would you listen to Rolling Rocks Downhill again? Why?

Absolutely! This book was a great story about a company that is so similar to the one I'm working that is undergoing an agile transition.

What did you like best about this story?

It's agile but doesn't scream agile at you along with Clarke's sense of humor and love for bacon is wonderful. The story was told in a way that allows me in my agile transition to take a different look at how everything is working, from the scrum teams to the executives within the organization.

Have you listened to any of Paul Kearney’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to any other of Paul's performances. He was good an being an American I appreciate the UK accent!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The ending, how everything pulled together in the big moment with the CEO.

Any additional comments?

Clarke is an amazing author and his book is a great resource for understanding what and how agile works in a real world setting of an organization (which is oddly close to one that I work in!).

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ewa Barczykowska
  • 10-07-2016

Fantastic!

If you could sum up Rolling Rocks Downhill in three words, what would they be?

Fantastic agile novel.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved the lady who was technically Steve's boss. Confident and fearless.

What does Paul Kearney bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Paul has a great voice, he made the story more captivating.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-06-2016

Great information for my first agile-ish project!

Great story! Great information that will surely help me with my first agile-ish project that has a very short time frame!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 25-05-2017

Good listen

Fictional case study of a project deployment in action: I wasn't crazy about the narrator's voice but I did pick up a few ideas to apply to my own work. Worth the listen

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dionicio Perez
  • 26-01-2017

wonderful story, grrat story telling,

i have told others about the book and the audible program. it was a wonderful story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jeff
  • 02-05-2017

good narration but

if you've read the goal or the phoenix project nothing new here in terms of material. was a pleasant listen though.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-08-2020

Great story, but strong accent

The narrator is good, but his British accent makes it a little harder for a non native speaker.
The story is very good and entertaining, with a nice sense of humor and good insights. It is worth reading.

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  • Jennifers Daddy
  • 19-10-2017

Pretty good, not too long.

The parable was interesting and we get quite a good idea of how changes were implemented. I think I slightly preferred The Phoenix Project, but this is defo worth a listen too.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mark
  • 10-06-2018

better than the Phoenix Project!

brilliant story, strong message, gripping I've recommended this book to everyone I work with - thank you

1 person found this helpful

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  • jo
  • 18-01-2018

Great book

Fantastic addition to 'The goal'.. provides a live account of project fragmentation with customer at the heart of everything!
Good story to listen: hang in there the beginning might seems technical but everything unfolded after a couple of chapter.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Craig McPheat
  • 03-05-2020

Recommended 5*

Easy listen, also pride of place on my bookshelf. essential reading alongside all the usual big hitters.

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  • Rob
  • 04-07-2019

light hearted yet bullseye accurate

It felt at first a lot like a little brother of "The Phoenix Project", although it easily holds its own.
The story is more focussed so is much easier to digest and offers a different situational context.

The ending felt a little bit "normal", which left me initially a bit underwhelmed. On reflection though, it's strength in this case is that it's adds to the realism of it all.

As with all good books of this kind there are plenty of things to learn from it, and I loved how the strategies presented are utilised in different situations (even personal ones) which adds another realistic dimension.

overall a great read.

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  • adi ben-nesher
  • 06-07-2017

Not as inspiring as the phoenix project

I have listened to both this book and the phoenix project, I found this one less inspiring and informative even as the story underlining is basically the same and relatively get you a good intro to lean and agile methods for DevOps

2 people found this helpful

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  • Bobbie B
  • 11-02-2018

A nice story and annoying narrator voice

Content is a refreshing story telling view of agile. Without getting too dull with the academic style.

Only wish could choose a different narrator as the person sounds a whining guy without a back bone. For 20 mins ok but several hours It is too painful. Best heard on double speed.