Project management plays a crucial role in ensuring the success of an organization. With the increasing competition among businesses, the demand for project managers who can oversee projects from start to finish has grown.
To excel in this role, a project manager must possess strong leadership skills, effective communication abilities, and a thorough understanding of current project management methodologies and principles.
Whether you’re just starting your career as a project manager or have years of experience, the following list of top ten best project management books (ranging from beginner to advanced) can help you improve your skills.
Project Management Books List
As you work to improve yourself professionally, it’s essential to also foster a growth mindset within your team. While you may have gained valuable insights from academic studies, seminars, and summits, knowledge is constantly evolving.
To stay ahead of the curve, make learning a regular part of your weekly routine, particularly as a Project Manager. Reading books filled with relevant information can serve as a powerful tool in advancing your skills and knowledge.
Surround yourself with literature that will give you a competitive edge as a Project Manager, and help you tackle current and future projects with confidence.
1. Project Management Absolute Beginner’s Guide
Author: Greg Horine
This book is a widely-used and well-regarded resource for those new to project management. It covers all essential concepts every project manager should be familiar with, from planning and control to the basics of agile project management.
The fourth edition of this book has also been updated to include the latest and most widely-used web-based project management tools, providing you with the necessary knowledge to pass the latest PMP Certification Exam.
2. Be Fast or Be Gone: Racing the Clock with Critical Chain Project Management
Author: Andreas Scherer
This book offers a unique approach to learning about Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) through the use of fiction. The story follows two characters, Mike Knight and his son Tim, as they navigate the complexities of CCPM in order to bring a cancer treatment to market faster.
The book uses a relatable narrative and approachable writing style to make a complex topic more interesting and accessible for those new to project management. This makes it an engaging and informative read for project managers at the beginning of their careers.
3. Project Management for Non-Project Managers
Author: Jack Ferraro
As the title suggests, this book is specifically designed for non-project managers looking to gain a better understanding of project management principles.
Even if you’re a functional manager, you may already be implementing project management techniques in your work without realizing it.
This book aims to empower all functional managers to confidently enter the project management field by providing them with crucial skills such as work breakdown structures, risk management methods, performance reports, business analysis techniques, and program sequencing techniques.
4, Project Management Case Studies
Author: Harold Kerzner
This book is considered one of the top resources for project management, featuring real-world case studies from well-known companies such as Disney, Airbus, Motorola, and the Olympics.
As case studies are an invaluable tool for project managers, this book provides a unique opportunity to learn from the experiences of some of the world’s most high-profile organizations.
The fifth edition of this book has been updated to include a focus on Agile and Scrum methodologies, making it an excellent resource for preparing for the latest PMP Certification Exam.
5. The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management
Author: Eric Verzuh
One of the best-selling project management books ever published. Eric Verzuh is president of a project management consulting and training company, Versatile Company, in Seattle, United States.
He and his team have spent more than twenty years improving the quality of projects for various types of organizations, including giants such as Adobe Systems, Inc., The Boeing Company, GE Capital, Lockheed Martin Corporation, to Nordstrom.
The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management is a comprehensive guide to real-world relevant project management methods, tools and techniques.
This book is packaged with practical, easy-to-understand, but dense information that can answer your confusion when faced with a project.
The discussion in this book covers all the basics of defining, planning, monitoring project progress, and building stronger project teams.
This new book edition includes a new chapter on Agile project management, Project Management Professional (PMP) exam preparation tips, and more.
6. Briliant Project Management: What The Best Project Managers Know, Do, and Say
Author: Stephen Barker and Rob Cole
Written by Stephen Barker and Rob Cole, this book adequately describes the experience of the two, who have been active in the world of project management for 35 years.
This 200-page book is divided into ten chapters. Starting from the introduction, then discussions on project planning, risk management, resource management, leadership, to facilitation skills.
This book also discusses the best ways to learn from mistakes while managing projects and discovers additional resources that project workers can take advantage of.
Even more fun, this book is packed with simple conversational language. In the discussion, there is an injection of humorous illustrations to emphasize his points. Each chapter begins with a famous quote.
The paragraphs are divided into headings and subheadings. This book also summarizes every critical discussion in point-by-point form so that it is easy to remember and understand.
This includes how to keep the project running on schedule and budget, aspects that drive success, and how to achieve the main agreed goals.
7. Project Management Lite: Just Enough to Get the Job Done…Nothing More
Author: Juana Craig
This 138-page book is recommended for beginners in project management, new project managers, or those new to managing projects but need help knowing where to start. Concerns about project management books with heavy and difficult language will disappear in this one.
This book by Juana Clark Craig is a step-by-step guide packed with simple terms. Project Management Lite: Just Enough to Get the Job Done…Nothing More also has worksheets and a list of notes for easy project management that you can follow.
Craig draws on over twenty-five years of project management experience while working for the Fortune 500 to provide a minimalist and straightforward approach to managing projects with this book.
8. The Lazy Project Manager: How To Be Twice As Productive And Still Leave The Office Early
Author: Peter Taylor
This book highlights the benefits of utilizing TOC, Lean, and Six Sigma methodologies to achieve improved outcomes. It delves into advanced project management techniques and skills that can lead to superior on-time delivery and increased profitability.
Additionally, it covers the widely-known Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, which suggests that 80% of effects stem from 20% of the causes.
9. Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management
Author: Scott Berkun
This book is a valuable resource for project managers in the software industry, drawing on the author’s extensive experience as a project manager for Internet Explorer, Windows, and MSN. Instead of outlining specific project management methods, it focuses on the philosophy and strategy of effective project management.
Topics covered in the book include “How not to annoy people,” “How to make things happen,” “Making good decisions,” and “What to do when things go wrong.”
It offers a unique perspective on project management and provides insights that will be useful for both current and future projects.
10. Advanced Multi-Project Management: Achieving Outstanding Speed and Results with Predictability
Author: Gerald I. Kendall, PMP and Kathleen M. Austin
This book offers an advanced multi-project management strategy for completing projects more efficiently and managing a higher volume of projects with the same resources.
It addresses the common challenges that senior project managers face when selecting and implementing the right projects at the appropriate time.
You will learn how to manage the flow of active projects, establish a strategic buffer, speed up project execution, and recover lost projects.