Whether you’re new to project management or have been leading teams for years, it’s important to stay on top of trends and practice continuous learning. There is no single tip or piece of advice that will solve your project management woes – every project is different, and so are the solutions you need to implement. That’s where project management books come in.
Reading is a great way to keep up with professional development, and there are a lot of options. Yes, there are all kinds of project management apps and tools you can use to ensure deadlines are hit, but to be an effective project manager you need a solid base of knowledge to rely on to help round out your skillset and apply to your work, regardless of the type of project you’re working on.
Now, let’s look at some of the best project management books you should read in 2023.
Project Management Absolute Beginner’s Guide
Any introductory course to project management will likely mention this book or include it on the reading list. It’s the perfect project management book for beginners and outlines everything you need to know to begin a career in the field.
Horine outlines common issues and how to overcome them, the difference between agile, hybrid, and more traditional management approaches, how to budget various resources, manage cross-functional teams, and more. This book is highly regarded, as Horine is a certified PMP (project management professional) leader and well-respected within his field.
The Agile Practice Guide
Project managers who want to dip their toes into the world of agile management should pick up a copy of this book. It was developed through a collaboration between the PMI and the Agile Alliance, and is designed to help people “understand, evaluate, and use agile and hybrid agile approaches.”
It includes information and resources on different tools that can be used to implement agile approaches, situational guides, and case studies.
Doing Agile Right: Transformation Without Chaos
Rigby, Elk, and Berez are all partners at Bain & Company (a management consulting firm in the United States). They help leaders improve their skills, strategies for growing their businesses, and managing overall operations. Their book is perfect for those who implement the agile methodology, whether they’re beginners or seasoned project managers.
The key to agile project management is its implementation, and that’s exactly what this book focuses on. Readers will learn how to scale properly, focus their operations, and create teams that are efficient, reliable, and innovative.
Product Management’s Sacred 7
Neel Mehta, Parth Detroja, and Aditya Agashe, the authors of this book, are project managers at Meta (then Facebook), Google, and Microsoft, and come together to share tips, knowledge, and skills for anyone to become a successful project manager. The “sacred seven” skills focused on in this book are: product design, economics, psychology, user experience, data science, law and policy, and marketing and growth.
When writing this book, the authors interviewed product leads from top companies around the world and found that the best project managers excel in all seven of these disciplines. Readers, whether new to project management or seasoned professionals, will be able to learn from real-world examples, explore resources that will help them excel in their field, and land new job opportunities.
The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change
Camille Fournier was the chief technology officer at Rent the Runway, the VP of technology at Goldman Sachs, and is now a highly successful published author while working as a managing director at JPMorgan Chase. Her debut book, The Manager’s Path, is often recommended to managers of all levels, especially those working in the tech industry.
In it, she provides tips and advice on how to be a better leader and mentor for your staff, managing individuals, teams, and yourself, fostering unification between staff, and how to navigate the fast-paced, ever-changing environment. It helps build a base of solid people management, which is invaluable for project managers when it comes to keeping teams motivated and on track.
Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager
Kogon, Blakemore, and Wood are all senior executives at FranklinCovey, an American-based coaching company that focuses on leadership training and teaching effective habits that foster growth and success. Their book is perfect for those who find themselves in project management roles but don’t have the official title of “project manager.”
Regardless of your title or previous training, you may be tasked with leading projects – but how do you gain buy-in and trust from your peers? Don’t sweat it: your real-word experience and tips from this book will help you succeed. While reading, you’ll learn how to “initiative, plan, execute, monitor/control, and close” a project like a pro (which you are!).
Project Management in the Hybrid Workplace
In this book, prominent author Phil Simon – an expert on collaboration, communication, and technology – breaks down managing projects in our newly evolved hybrid workplace.
This book is a must-read for anyone who has found themselves managing work post-pandemic, when staff are both in-office and remote. In it, Simon covers case studies, agile software, supply chain management, staff resources, and offers practical advice on how to successfully bring everything together while managing successful teams and projects.
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
Are you trying to find structure in brainstorming sessions? Creative problem-solving is a sought-after skill in the tech industry but being able to rein it in and apply clear, concise execution can be difficult at times. A good project manager needs to be able to do this.
In this book Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz – who met while working as design partners at Google Ventures – explain how to solve problems and test solutions successfully by utilizing sprints. They use real-world examples and case studies to walk readers through their process.
It’s the perfect book for any project manager who finds themselves wishing they had more process and structure for their work. It also has checklists you can use, which help sum up their advice and apply it to everyday project management work.