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8 Project Management Books That Absolutely Belong in Your Library featured image

8 Project Management Books That Absolutely Belong in Your Library

If you want to learn about project management, there are a lot of great resources out there. It’s hard to rank books in general, but if you’re looking to learn all there is to know about project management, there are a few which include some fantastic insights and information about what project managers do. 

In this post, we are going to talk about 8 of the best project management books that are a must-read if you’re a project manager or aspiring to become one!

1. The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try

The PMP Exam How to Pass on Your First Try

This book is a favorite among project managers due to its clear and concise explanations. It covers all of the essential topics that you need to know for the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam, including an overview of the process groups, tools and techniques, inputs and outputs, and more. 

The book also includes a number of helpful practice questions so that you can test your knowledge as you go. The good thing is that you can glean a lot of information from this book, even if you have no intention of taking the PMP exam. 

It covers some of the most commonly used concepts in project management, including managing risk and balancing deadlines. If you want to improve your project management skills, you can’t go wrong with this one.  

From a purely technical standpoint, this is an excellent read and will give you all the concepts about project management that you need to get started.

2. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide)

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide)

The PMBOK Guide is considered the gold standard when it comes to project management. It’s published by the Project Management Institute (PMI), and it provides a detailed overview of everything from initiating and planning a project to executing and closing it out. 

If you want a comprehensive resource that covers all aspects of project management, this is the book for you. 

Just keep in mind that it can be a bit dense, so it might be better suited for experienced managers who are looking for a reference guide.

Again, like the first book, this one’s more about technical concepts and understanding exactly what project management is all about, as well as the key concepts. 

Instead of focusing on abstract ideas, this one focuses on established project management concepts that are backed by research and have been tested. 

3. Agile: An Essential Guide to Agile Project Management, The Kanban Process and Lean Thinking + A Comprehensive Guide to Scrum

Agile An Essential Guide to Agile Project Management, The Kanban Process and Lean Thinking + A Comprehensive Guide to Scrum

This book is perfect for anyone who wants to learn about project management but doesn’t know where to start. It provides an overview of all of the major project management methodologies, including Agile, Kanban, Scrum, and Waterfall

Each methodology is explained in detail, with information on when and how to use it effectively. This book also includes helpful tips on creating project plans, estimation techniques, risk management strategies, and more. 

Whether you’re just starting out or trying to brush up on your skills, this book will give you a solid foundation in project management concepts.

Different companies often rely on different project management techniques, and I’m sure you’ve heard names like “agile” or “scrum” being used quite commonly. If you want to know the differences and the nuances between these and other project management techniques, James Edge’s book is an excellent place to start. 

4. Agile Project Management For Dummies 

Agile Project Management For Dummies

If you want to learn about agile project management but are feeling overwhelmed by all of the jargon and concepts, this book is for you. 

It breaks down everything from scrum roles and ceremonies to product backlogs and sprints in plain English so that you can understand how agile methods work without getting bogged down in details. 

The book also includes real-world examples so that you can see how agile principles are applied in practice. Whether you’re new to agile or just want a refresher course, this book will give you a good understanding of what agile is all about.

For those who don’t know, the agile methodology is one of the most commonly used concepts in the world of project management. 

5. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation To Create Radically Successful Businesses

The Lean Startup How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation To Create Radically Successful Businesses

While this book isn’t specifically about project management, it’s still required reading for anyone who wants to be successful in business today. 

The author discusses how traditional businesses are often too slow to adapt to change, which can lead them to miss out on opportunities or make decisions that ultimately hurt their bottom line. 

He then outlines a leaner approach that startups can use to move quickly and efficiently while still maintaining quality control. If you’re looking for an edge in today’s competitive business world, this book will show you how to get it.

6. The Manager’s Path

The Manager's Path

This book is less about specific project management techniques and more about developing the skills you need to be a successful leader of software development teams. Fournier walks readers through all the major stages of a manager’s career, from individual contributor to director-level positions. 

She also offers helpful advice on common challenges managers face, such as conflict resolution and performance reviews. If you’re looking for help transitioning into a leadership role or want to brush up on your management skills, this book is definitely worth checking out.

It’s a fascinating read that details Fournier’s own experiences working as a project manager and the challenges that the tech world brings. 

7. The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team A Leadership Fable

Many project managers will tell you that the key to success is having a great team behind you. But what do you do when your team isn’t functioning as well as it should be? 

In The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni uses a leadership fable to explore the five main dysfunctions that can plague any team: absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results

If you want to learn how to build a high-performing team, this book has all the details that you’ll need, and it’s written in a way that perfectly addresses the challenges that any project manager might face, not just ones working at companies like Alphabet or Meta.

8. Making Things Happen

Making Things Happen

In “Making Things Happen”, author Scott Berkun provides readers with an inside look at how successful projects are really managed. 

Drawing on his own experience leading projects at Microsoft and other companies, Berkun offers up valuable lessons on topics such as team dynamics, conflict resolution, and effective communication

This book is packed with useful information that will help you take your project management skills to the next level. It’s important to note that the book doesn’t really delve too deeply into specific project management methodologies. 

Instead, Berkun talks more on a strategic and philosophical level, explaining various concepts by citing his own experiences. Using personal essays to great effect, Berkun gets his point across, providing a fascinating read that’s filled with excellent ideas and information. 

Conclusion

There are countless books out there on project management, but finding the truly helpful ones can be tough. There’s also extensive research on this subject. 

For more on the subject, you may want to read Organizational Alignment: How Project Management Helps by Abul Rizvi, which combines the concept of project management with organizational alignment to help companies achieve success. 

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