Whether you are new to project management or have been managing projects for years, you must stay up-to-date and evolve by learning new techniques and strategies. Although you may already have some training, adding to your knowledge whenever possible can help you stand out among your peers.
While learning through experience or an online project management program are good ways to learn, brushing up on your knowledge and learning from industry professionals can prevent many mistakes. Reading project management books written by experts can be a great way to do this, but it can be hard to determine which books are worth your time when there are so many to choose from.
This article is here to help you out. The list of books below will give you a good start. Whether you are looking for project management books for beginners, books on project management for non-project managers, or want to take a deep dive into planning, Agile techniques, or product design, you should find a few books that fit the bill.
Best Project Management Books
A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge
This book is published by the Project Management Institute®, which administers the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification and is also known as the PMBOK® Guide. This guide provides project managers with a framework that outlines the processes, knowledge areas, and tools necessary for successful project execution. It is also a critical study aid if you are preparing for PMP exams and is considered one of the best resources for project managers.
Project Management Absolute Beginner’s Guide
If you’re just starting out, this book by Greg Horine should be your daily companion. It was designed for people new to the field looking for a practical, clear, and accessible guide to grasping project management essentials. Two important features of this book are that it demystifies project management terminology and focuses on addressing the challenges beginners run into.
Harvard Business Review Project Management Handbook
This project management book was written by Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez, and its subtitle is “How to Launch, Lead, and Sponsor Successful Projects.” That is just what you will learn from it. This book goes beyond the basics and presents readers with an in-depth exploration of advanced project management techniques and concepts. It is known for being authoritative and containing well-researched content.
Strategic Project Management Made Simple
This book by Terry Schmidt gives readers a unique perspective on project management by integrating strategic planning and thinking into the project execution process. It introduces the Logical Framework Approach (LFA), a powerful tool that helps project managers define goals, identify KPIs, establish milestones, and develop a roadmap for success.
The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management
As the title suggests, this book, written by Eric Verzuh, focuses on real-world applications. It provides practical tools, templates, and techniques that readers can use immediately on their projects. It also provides comprehensive information on all parts of the project management process and comes with an explicit index. It will likely become one of your most frequently used reference books.
Doing Agile Right
Agile isn’t the answer to everything, but it can be powerful if implemented correctly. That is one of the key points of this book by Darrell Rigby, Sarah Elk, and Steve Berez. It addresses the challenges businesses often face when implementing at scale and provides insights into agile frameworks like Scrum, Kanban, and Lean.
Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager
This is another perfect book for beginning project managers. Authors Kory Kogon, Suzette Blakemore, and James Wood wrote this practical and user-friendly book to help individuals who manage projects without having the official project manager title. It emphasizes practical application and offers real-world examples and case studies that you can use immediately.
Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
If you’ve heard of Agile, most likely you know what Scrum is. But you may not have learned it from one of the co-creators of this framework, Jeff Sutherland. Now you can. Sutherland draws on his experience in project management to explain why traditional project management falls short in today’s fast-paced world and how Scrum can be the key to delivering more value in less time.
Project Management Lite
This book by Juana Clark Craig is subtitled “Just Enough to Get the Job Done” and is the perfect project management book for non-project managers. This guide gives individuals unfamiliar with the field a simple and practical approach to managing projects. So, if you find yourself in charge of a project for the first time, this is one of the books you should check out.
Making Things Happen
This is not the traditional book on project management. Instead, it is a collection of personal essays by Scott Berkun that cover various project management topics, including scheduling, communication, relationships, leadership, trust, and more. It focuses on the philosophies and strategies of successful project management rather than specific methods and checklists.
Agile Project Management for Dummies
If you like the format of Dummies Guides, then you will love this project management book for beginners. It was written by Mark C. Layton, a well-known Agile expert, to be both a basic and comprehensive guide to project management that will guide fledging project managers to success. It focuses on practical tips and techniques you can use immediately and explores how Agile can be applied to a wide range of industries and project types.
The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try
The PMP Exam is a comprehensive test you must take and pass if you want to be certified by the Project Management Institute (PMI) as a project manager. This book, written by Andy Crowe, is one of the most popular PMP exam prep books. It covers all the processes and tools you’ll need to know to pass the exam and includes practice questions, quizzes, and a test exam to help you study.
Also Read: Is PMP Certification Worth It?
Getting Started in Project Management
If you’re new to project management, your first step is acquiring the knowledge you need to do the job well, and the project management books above will help you get your feet wet. They will give you practical tips, valuable insights, and proven methods that will make navigating the complexities of project management more effortless.
However, suppose you want to take your project management skills to the next level and excel in this discipline. In that case, the Post Graduate Program in Project Management, offered by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, goes beyond the pages of a book and will give you a more holistic approach to learning project management.
This project management course will equip you with the theoretical knowledge, practical skills, and strategic mindset to thrive in the complex world of project management through a combination of rigorous coursework, hands-on projects, and expert guidance. The online bootcamp is aligned with PMI-PMP® and IASSC-Lean Six Sigma and allows you to earn 146 Personal Development Units (PDUs) to maintain your Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR).
Once you have completed the 24-week course, you will have finished a capstone project, earned a certificate from UMass Amherst and Simplilearn, and will be welcomed into the UMass Amherst Alumni Association. Plus, you’ll be ready to tackle the next project that comes your way with a new set of skills.
Combining the wisdom you gleaned from the list of project management books above with the comprehensive project management curriculum offered by UMass Amherst in collaboration with Simplilearn in its Post Graduate Program will unlock a world of opportunities in the field. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a newcomer to project management, continuing education is a part of the job. Why not start right now?