Project Management Books

10 Best Project Management Books You Should Read In 2018

One of the most important project management skills? The willingness to learn. Being a good project manager requires learning each and every day. While there are many great resources for project management you can use, often, a valuable book will be the best choice. But what book should you read first and will it really help you to make progress? We asked 7 project management experts for their favorite project management books.

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

Scrum The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

This book by Jeff Sutherlands explains how to use the Scrum approach to improve your project management processes and how to successfully run your projects.

Ryan Scollon, SEO & PPC Freelancer at ryanscollon.co.uk

“Working for a rapidly growing agency has certainly proved difficult when trying to manage the various projects that we can have running at a given¬†time. And I have found that having a good team is only part of the battle.

If they aren’t feeling busy or productive, they can very quickly lose¬†motivation and passion.

Not only does the book help cover the basics of project management, it allows your team to be super efficient and productive. When you are reading¬†through it, it really does pay off to stop and think about how each¬†important lesson that you learn would have helped you change and improve¬†previous projects.”

2. Finally! Performance Assessment That Works by Roger Ferguson

Finally Performance Assessment That Works

Project Managers will need to be able to assess the performance of co-workers and provide valuable feedback. Roger Ferguson precisely describes in his book how to optimize your performance assessment processes.

Roger Ferguson, iSi Human Resources Consulting

“This is a great book for PM‚Äôs who are struggling with how to hold team members accountable and how to assess individual/team performance.

It provides a simple process for having members submit a quick/concise monthly report highlighting their five most significant accomplishments from last month and their five highest priorities for the current month.

Reports are due on the 5th calendar day of each month. Managers respond, in writing, with praise/affirmation, coaching, and correction.

The results are better and more frequent communication, better alignment, and improved bottom line performance. In addition, this process can actually replace the traditional, annual employee appraisal process.

It is a quick and worthwhile read.”

3. Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Flow is a state of mind that includes deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. This book helps you to get into this mood.

Nate Masterson, Marketing Manager at Maple Holistics

“Flow is one of the rare strokes of genius which has the ability to¬†significantly improve someone‚Äôs personal and business lives equally.

The modern classic address how to achieve the ultimate experience by taking a unique approach to balancing order and chaos through positive psychology.

Flow offers aspiring project leaders an ideal approach to management that is only accomplished by full immersion. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates how to develop the skills necessary to properly face life’s challenges and be present in all of your dealings.

He illustrates that it‚Äôs¬†not so much about what you do as it is how you do it. These messages are¬†vital for everyone, but especially for project managers who must maintain a¬†strong sense of self while balancing the selves of others.”

4. Fast Forward MBA in Project Management by Eric Verzuh

fast Forward in MBA - Project Management

Eric Verzuh provides a profound guide about contemporary  project management methods, tools, and techniques.

Jon M. Quigley, Value Transformation

“Quick get¬†up and running and small enough to be able to keep close at hand.¬† “

5. Head First PMP by Jennifer Greene & Andrew Stellman

Head First PMP

Head First PMP helps you prepare for the PMP certification exam while providing a lot of visuals and useful explanations.

Cerila Gailliard, Project Manager Professional Consultant at OYS

“My favorite book continues to be Head First PMP. It has real-life¬†examples where you can understand the material and the concepts. I still¬†refer to this book as¬†a consultant with clients on project management.¬†“

6. Project Tool Box by Russ J. Martinelli & Dragan Z. Milosevic

Project Tool Box by Dragan Z. Milosevic

Project Management ToolBox provides a comprehensive overview of when, where, and how to use project management tools and techniques to improve your project management skills.

Jon M. Quigley, Value Transformation

“Comprehensive and academic¬†approach to project management, including decision-making tools that serve¬†double duty as management and project management. This book is not so easy¬†of a read and has been used in Master level project management classes. “

7. Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky & Braden Kowitz

Sprint How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days

The book by Knapp, Zeratsky, and Kowitz provides a genius formula for testing promising ideas. It doesn’t matter if you’re working at a startup or an enterprise organization.

Sarunas Budrikas, Owner of Angle 180

“I‚Äôd strongly recommend any project manager (or even a business owner) to get their hands on Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days.

Many project management books focus on problems. Sprint is great because it focuses on solutions and gives practical examples how to achieve them. It’s a pretty simple 5-day strategy that includes sketching, generating ideas, decision making, prototyping and testing out. In other words, you don’t get stuck in the strategizing phase but get to work immediately.

The thing I like the most is that you focus on one thing at the time. When time is limited, it‚Äôs easy to fall into a trap of doing all kinds of things but nothing actually productive. To use your time in the most efficient manner possible, you do need to focus and that‚Äôs a no-brainer to any project manager.¬†“

8. Project Management The Managerial Process by Erik W.
Larson & Clifford F. Gray

Project Management the managerial process by Erik W. Larson

This book covers the technical and behavioral issues in project management but also teaches the reader in using specific project management approaches across different industries.

Jon M. Quigley, Value Transformation

“This book is another treatise of project management from academic¬†to practical application demonstrating many of the tools and techniques from¬†scope control to economic controls. “

9. Brilliant Project Management by Stephen Barker & Rob Cole

Brilliant Project Management by Stephen Barker

Brilliant Project Management provides you with the perfect project management tools and techniques to make sure that your projects succeed each time.

Andrei Vasilescu, CEO and Digital Marketing expert of DontPayFull

“There are so many fantastic books which will help anyone to learn how to¬†manage your projects along with your team. Among them, what helps me most¬†to successfully overcome the critical situations when handling a vital¬†project with a bunch of extremely skilled and crazy professionals is Brilliant Project Management. This book is like a made easy reference for advanced project management.

In this book, Barker explains the common challenges you might face when¬†working on a serious project with a number of team members. It provides the¬†fresh ideas when you have run out all you had but you need one to get your¬†team out of a deadlock situation. This book offers the ideas which will¬†help you to maintain the time schedule of the projects and stay on your¬†budget. Therefore, I will advice to keep and get help from Brilliant¬†Project Management¬†by Stephen Barker to manage your projects.”

10. The Enterprise and Scrum by Ken Schwaber

The Enterprise and Scrum by Ken Schwaber

The Enterprise and Scrum is a comprehensive guide to making Scrum work at all levels of organizations, typically in business processes that are knowledge-intensive.

Jon M. Quigley, Value Transformation

“This is my favorite agile¬†introduction book. This book thoroughly¬†explains the minimalist approach to project management via scrum. This book¬†covers the philosophy and mechanism of this approach to project management.
It is an easy ready, and small enough to carry along with you as a reference¬†book but easy enough that that would not be required.”

Conclusion

There are many great books about project management out there. Of course, our list of project management books is not complete and subjective. But it should give you a good starting point when searching for PM literature.

Do you think that we have missed an important book about project management? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment and to tell me about it.

Max is a SaaS enthusiast and loves actionable content that provides direct value.

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