Continuing education is something that we definitely promote at SuccessPMP.com. Being a student of Project Management not only makes you better, but it makes your company or your business a more value asset in the corporate world today. To be a student of project management doesn’t mean that you have to take the PMI suggested webinars or study for exams, you can first start with some of these books to guide you through different aspect of project management to enhance or refresh your knowledge and skills as a PM. This list is in no particular order.
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High (Second Edition) by Kerry Patterson and Joseph Grenny is self explanatory when reading the title. Unlike many self-help/business strategy books, this book gives you real life examples, breaks down what happened, what should and could have been done, and how it may relate to something that you will go through. By far the best book to learn how to handle conflict or potential conflict within your team or with your stakeholders.
The Lazy Project Manager
The Lazy Project Manager: How to be twice as productive and still leave the office early by Peter Taylor is a must read for any mid to senior level PM. Taking the Pareto Principles, this book teaches you to work smarter, not harder by focusing on the tasks of Project Management that really matter. This is a must read and an easy read for those who don’t like to don’t like to read those long drawn out books about techniques of Project Management.
Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management
Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management (Theory in Practice) by Scott Berkun is a perfect book for those PMs who currently manage or plan to manage high profile, high dollar, or critical enterprise projects. From both a technical and non-technical aspect, this book guys you through manage a project from initiation to closing. Author Scott Berkun has experience managing those high profile, high dollar, and critical projects while working at Microsoft and he’s breaking down this experience in this book.
Project Management: A Beginner’s Guide to Effectively Manage Any Project Like the Pros Do
Project Management: A Beginner’s Guide To Effectively Manage Any Project Like The Pros Do (Project Management, Beginner’s Edition, Project Management Guide) by Adam Richards really gives you a new found appreciation for the practice of project management. If you’re a new PM or was placed in a role to manage projects without the initial knowledge on how to do so, this is the right book for you. While this may be a useless for the experience PM, the novice will definitely appreciate having this book into their hands.
Project Management for Dummies
Project Management for Dummies by Stanley E. Portny is one of the top books for PMPs or those taking the exam. While “For Dummies” books have declined in popularity, this book does a great job to break down some of the PMP concepts into clear and relevant knowledge. For Senior Leadership Teams, this is a great book to give you the knowledge to want to buy in to PMP and PMO processes. If more C-Levels and VPs read this book, they would see great value in having project management processes in place.
Project Management: A Compact Guide to the Complex World of Project Management
Project Management: A Compact Guide to the Complex World of Project Management by Jefferson Hanley gives you all of the real-life scenarios that you need to manage your projects. Like some of the other books on this list, it’s an easy read.
Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling
Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling by Harold R. Kerzner has many different editions, with enhance concepts as project management has changed over the years. With this book, Kerzner targets the areas that most project managers struggle with. He takes a deep dive into the areas of planning, scheduling, and controlling making it a bestseller as well as being known as the “bible” of project management. This book takes the PMBOK and PMP Certification Exam and develops a completely comprehensive guide to what project management is all about.
Scrum: A Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction
Even though you may not use Scrum or Agile methodologies, Scrum: A Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction by Chris Sims and Hillary Louise Johnson gives you just enough to know what you’re talking about in a room of Scrum Masters. As a note, this book is exactly what it says, an “Introduction”, so don’t expect to take a deep dive into Agile and expect to be a Scrum guru once you’re done. This book is on this list because many PMs don’t use scrum and also do not see the benefit. Sims and Louise guide you through why It’s a relevant practice.
The Project Management Pocketbook: A Beginners Guide To The Project Management Process and How To Successfully Complete Projects
The Project Management Pocketbook: A Beginners Guide To The Project Management Process and How To Successfully Complete Projects by J. D. Rockford is one of my favorite beginner’s guides to project management. Yes, this is yet another beginner’s so bare with me experienced PMs. As far as the name of this book, I would have called it “The Daily Guide of Project Managers” because that’s exactly what it is. If you’ve never been in a PM position before and are not at a level to take your PMP, this book is a comprehensive guide to make sure that are performing the correct tasks as a PM.
Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager: A Franklin Covey Title
Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager: A Franklin Covey Title by Kory Kogon and Suzette Blakemore is arguably The Project Management book of the decade! These authors have taken practical principles and real-world scenarios to a different level. Not only do they discuss all aspects of a project, they even dig into success and failures of projects (not so commonly written about like this in project management books). This is both a project management and a business process management book in one’s opinion and definitely a must read for any PM. Even if you’re experienced, you will find pieces of information that you can use in your own practice.