The busy life of a project manager means there’s little time to sharpen or even learn new skills. You may rarely have several hours to complete a book. Therefore, it is of utter importance that that you select and read books that are relevant to your level and experience.
Here are some books project managers should have on their shelves across all levels.
Project Management Body of Knowledge
by Project Management Institute
Also known as the Bible of Project Management, this book covers all elements of project management. It is a guide to what you should do as a project manager and what to avoid. The book has an array of knowledge areas, which includes project integration management, scope management, quality management, and project cost management among others. It comes highly recommended for project managers at all levels.
by Scott Berkun
The author of this book, a veteran project manager, has complied a series of philosophically tested articles on the topics of strategies and leadership on managing projects. It is quite unique from other project management books because it uses strategies and personal essays to relay the message.
by David Allen
Project management entails a lot of stress. Getting Things Done is a book that explains in detail how to be productive without any stress. It is based on a time management method where planned tasks are broken down into actionable items thus making it easy to accomplish. It is a must-read book for procurement managers at all levels.
Project Management for Dummies
by Stanley E. Portny
This book acts as a cheat sheet to remind project managers of the reasons why the project they are working on was created in the first place. Topics in the book, such as ‘Clarifying What You’re Trying to Accomplish — And Why’ are well detailed and fun to read.
by Frederick Brooks
This book is considered to be one of the most compelling in software engineering and project management. It is based on the premise that “adding manpower to a late software project makes it later” which has become known as Brook’s law.
by Eliyahu M Goldratt
This is a business novel that has revolutionised the basics of conducting project management all over the world. It’s an inspirational method on methods of planning and managing projects. Furthermore, it emphasises executive project tasks and resources such as people, equipment and physical space.
by Harold Kerzner
This book is relevant to all levels of project managers and students. It includes comprehensive coverage of topics including project closure, project sponsorship, team work and trust. Additionally, this book acts as a guide to project management practices on what is to be done and what to avoid. The author also uses an array of case studies on real-life experiences to enable the student and practising project manager get a grip on the facts with ease.
Fast Forward MBA in Project Management
by Eric Verzuh
This book is a comprehensive introduction to project management that is relevant to beginners in the industry. It has been designed and written in a simple tone which makes it easier to read. The main objectives of the study is shine light on how to find the right sponsor, clarity on objectives of project management and how to set accurate and realistic budget and schedules.
by Peter Taylor
Just as the name suggests, this book exemplifies how a project manager can achieve more without using more energy, time and money. The author of this book uses relevant examples of how you can use ‘productive laziness’ to achieve what you need in project management. The approach encourages the use of focusing your efforts on matters of importance rather than wasting time and energy on less important issues. The reader gets to learn how to promptly schedule tasks and work smarter without using much effort.
by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister
This book is full of informative content well written with wisdom and full of humour. It is a perfect book for software project managers. The book has dozens of tips on many software elements such as making it acceptable to be uninterruptible, loosening up format methodologies and fighting corporate entropy. Furthermore, the reader learns how to successfully cultivate working teams that are both productive at what they do and healthy.