Phoenix book cover

PhoenixThe Full Story of Canada’s Pay System Catastrophe


“An important book. An incredible tragedy!


“Every manager needs to read this now.”


“Easy to read in an afternoon.”


“My MBA students need to understand this catastrophe.”

What is the Phoenix?

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An IT system called Phoenix was meant to replace old payroll systems in Canada’s federal government. They estimated it would cost $5.7 million. Then $300 million. A decade later, $4.2 billion has been spent and the system still doesn’t work.

While politicians continue to throw money into the fire, Canada’s federal employees have been underpaid, overpaid, or not paid at all. Some have lost their life savings, their home, their marriage, their dignity. It’s a catastrophe with no end in sight.

Why Buy This Book?

The catastrophe of Canada’s Phoenix project has been told by journalists, auditors, consultants, and bureaucrats.

Until now, the perspective of an independent digital systems development expert has been missing.

How could this happen? Who is to blame? Was it preventable? Get answers to all these questions.

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About The Author

Whether consulting in the c-suite, embedded with product development managers, or teaching developers new agile engineering practices, I consult, train, and lead teams that produce high-quality, large-scale software. I work with startups who produce medical robotic devices, cloud platforms, and AI, as well as enterprises in the areas of retail, energy management, IoT, and finance.

He grew up in the Canadian prairies and has lived and worked in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Arizona, Florida, Bahamas, and Alberta. David is a management consultant, product & program manager, author, technical coach, and software engineer. He teaches Scrum, Kanban, and is a frequent presenter at conferences. He is Executive Director of Ontario Scrum Community®, a TEDx alumnus, former professional musician, husband, and dad.

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I have trained thousands of Scrum & Kanban practitioners worldwide.

As Professional Kanban Trainer (PKT) with and Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) with, I work to improve the profession of software delivery. I help organizations deliver products and services of the highest possible quality and value.

My career highlights the intersection of business, technology, and education. With broad experience, I help organizations and teams understand agility at all levels: practice and delivery, leadership and stewardship, organizational design and culture.

© 2001–2024 by David Sabine

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