8 must-read project management books

Project management dominates the workplace these days. However, it takes more than one method to complete a project. In addition, it takes more than the right attitude to run a successful project team.
So, if you want to learn more about project management, then check out these 8 must-reads!
A stack of books.

1. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time – Jeff Sutherland

Looking for effective ways that you and your project team can complete tasks? Then Jeff Sutherland has you covered! In this book, Sutherland tackles the problem of not doing things with agility and efficiency. As he draws from his experiences as a West Point-educated fighter pilot, biometrics expert, early innovator of ATM technology, and V.P. of engineering or CTO at various technology companies, he also introduces possible solutions to any dysfunction those roles might face, tying them with lessons from:
  • Martial arts
  • Judicial decision making
  • Advanced aerial combat
  • Robotics, AND
  • Many other disciplines

2. Turn The Ship Around!: A True Story of Building Leaders by Breaking the Rules – L. David Marquet & Stephen R. Covey

Inspired by a true story from former Navy Captain David Marquet, he describes how it is important to apply effective leadership skills that:
  • everyone takes responsibility for his or her actions
  • followers grow to become leaders, AND
  • happier teams come up with desired results

That means, things like poor morale, poor performance, and bad retention rates have no place in project management – not if teams want to succeed in their work(s).

3. Manifesto for Human(e) Leadership – Marcus Raitner

As the world evolves – especially team ethics – the role of leadership must also be examined to be understood. Today, leadership is only legitimate if team members are allowed to lead themselves (self-leadership). In other words, leadership is about making others successful, making it more human(e) rather than lifeless (or robotic).
In this book, it attempts to answer the question of leadership with agility in mind, despite there being a possibility of these things taking place in today’s work environment:
  • Volatility
  • Uncertainty
  • Complexity
  • Ambiguity
  • Digitalization
  • Disruption

4. The Lazy Project Manager – Peter Taylor

Need a more focused approach to life, along with projects and work? Peter Taylor has you covered!
In The Lazy Project Manager, Taylor brings up the art of lazy productivity. By applying the simple techniques of lazy project management to activities, people can work more effectively, and even improve their work-life balance. This type of productivity allows people to concentrate their project management and work smarter. Thus, this book is ideal for project management gurus.

5. Cracking the PM Interview – Gayle Laakmann McDowell & Jackie Bavaro

This comprehensive book is about landing a product management role in a startup or bigger tech company. The ambiguously named "PM" (product manager / program manager) role varies across companies, especially when it comes to experience, resumes and covers, and landing interviews for such roles.

6. Strategic Project Management Made Simple – Terry Schmidt

Strategic Project Management Made Simple shows that projects and strategies won’t work with adhoc, haphazard, and obsolete methods. With an interactive thinking tool that helps you take a strategic approach to designing projects and action initiatives, this book attempts to answer the following questions:
What should we accomplish, and why?
  • How should we measure success?
  • What other conditions should exist in a project or strategy?
  • How do we get from Point A to Point B?

7. Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management – Scott Berkun

A Microsoft project veteran, Scott Berkun gives you a collection of essays that talk about field-tested philosophies and strategies for defining, leading, and managing projects. Each essay introduces complex concepts and challenges into bits of useful advice. While this book may not cite specific methods, it manages to focus on philosophy and strategy, bringing up topics like:
Making things happen
  • Good decision-making
  • Specifications and requirements
  • How to handle ideas
  • Avoid annoying people
  • Leadership and trust
  • What REALLY happens when you make dates
  • Solutions for when things go wrong

8. Project Pain Reliever – Dave Garrett

Since most organisations are project-oriented nowadays, it’s important to note that people in charge may have the following factors:
  • Different educational backgrounds
  • How much knowledge that they have
  • Skill sets, AND
  • Experiences gained over one’s life and career

Unfortunately, these don’t include the professional discipline (i.e. project management), thus creating accidental project managers in the long-run, and failing projects.
Fortunately, this serves as a handbook that not only helps people in leadership roles improve their practices, but also helps up-and-coming managers do things right the first time.


By checking out these 8 books, not only will you learn more about project management, but you might also grow to have an interest in managing a professional project of your own. So let these tips inspire you to become an (even) better project manager and leader.
About the author:
Katherine Rundell is a project manager and writer at OXEssays.com and Stateofwriting.com. She is also a business writer at Paper Fellows. As a project manager, she has overseen many writing projects nationwide.

Keywords: Knowledge, Tip, Project management, Books

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