As a project manager, it’s literal in your job description to keep growing and improving. If you want the best for your business, then you’ll have to keep up to date. However, it can be challenging to sit down and browse the thousands of books on online libraries and find one that’s worth the read.
You may not be attending school due to either being employed full-time or busy with everyday life. If you’re like me, you most likely don’t have the time or the finances to attend seminars and training to help improve your skills. So, why not learn at a pace that’s comfortable for you?
I’ve done most of the research for you and have come up with a handful of project manager books that can help enhance your skills. These resources provide up to date methods and techniques for project management.
The only advice I can give is to select the books based on your experience level. Project management books range from beginner to professional level. Some team building techniques may be too advanced for those who haven’t mastered the basics.
Beginner project manager books tend to focus on necessary skills and are suitable for those still in school or training. The intermediate books are perfect for those who have some experience and are looking to improve their skills.
Advanced project management and leadership books are suitable for those who have been in the industry for a while. And lastly, the industry-specific books get into techniques for business owners.
Best Project Manager Books
I’m a technical guy. I studied the IT field and did software development for a long time until I discovered the business world. So the path for me is to slowly adapt from the clear, technical world, to the fuzzy, way more complex, business world. All the books that I recommend help this transition.
“Succeeding with Agile” - Mike Cohn: for approaching the process involved into building a product in an organized manner.
I read this book at a time when Udemy was rapidly growing—over the 18 months where we went from 30 to 200 people. It was helpful to read about Horowitz's challenges, worries, and triumphs when addressing the same types of issues at a similar stage of growth. There are so many big decisions you need to make where there's just no clear-cut, right or wrong answer. There are a lot of gray areas. You gather information from your team, but the hard decisions rest with you. This book helped me realize that while I needed to carefully and objectively consider feedback, I was responsible for making a decision in the end—even when it was an unpopular one.
This book is amazing—it didn't change my mind, so much as it has changed the way I think. It helps to understand the difference between the way you make quick decisions, versus considered decisions—it takes different mechanisms in the brain. Understanding which you're doing at any given time can have a profound impact on what you ultimately decide.