Project Management Books

Updated on April 11, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byWallstreetmojo Team
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM
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14 Best Project Management Books [Updated 2023]

Project management involves multiple teams and staff with different competencies to complete the work. It starts with identifying the right sponsor, setting objectives, scheduling deadlines, and budget projections. Below is the list of best books on project management that you must read in 2023:

  1. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge ( Get this book )
  2. The Art of Project Management ( Get this book )
  3. Strategic Project Management Made Simple: Practical Tools for Leaders and Teams ( Get this book )
  4. Project Management: Absolute Beginner’s Guide ( Get this book )
  5. Brilliant Project Management: What the Best Project Managers Know, Do and Say ( Get this book )
  6. Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager ( Get this book )
  7. The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management ( Get this book )
  8. Cracking the PM Interview ( Get this book )
  9. Project Management: Achieving Competitive Advantage ( Get this book )
  10. Construction Project Management ( Get this book )
  11. Identifying and Managing Project Risk ( Get this book )
  12. HBR Guide to Project Management ( Get this book )
  13. Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme ( Get this book )
  14. Product Leadership ( Get this book )

Let us discuss each project management book in detail and its key takeaways and reviews.

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#1 – A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge

by Project Management Institute

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge

About the book

This book is Project Management Institute’s (PMI) flagship publication that gets updated periodically to reflect the latest best practices in project management.

Book review

This book is a must-read for anyone seeking success in the Project Management Professional (PMP) test. It can also serve as a handy reference book after the exams. Over the years, the book has been updated to ensure its relevance across periods. The book’s latest edition specializes in strategic and business knowledge, including information on PMI Talent Triangle, business documents required for project management, and essential skills needed for success in today’s world. Besides, you will find a full project management industry-specific glossary and many formulas used for various calculations specifically related to project management. This book is worth every penny and should be on your study table.

Key Takeaways

  • It is a must-read for aspiring and experienced PMPs, especially in the Manager cadre.
  • It is an excellent reference book for PMP and CPAM learning/ examinations.
<< Get this book >>

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#2 – The Art of Project management

by Scott Berkun

The Art of Project Management (Theory in Practice (O'Reilly))

About the book

This book covers everything from practical methods you can use to ensure that work gets done the right way to the mindset you should have to become an inspirational project leader.

Book review

It is a fast-paced, jargon-free, and entertaining guide to all you must know to be a successful project (software) manager. It provides a wealth of valuable information about project management in an engaging and easy-to-read manner. In other words, it is an excellent introduction to the project management discipline. Whether you are a project manager, team member, or even a non-technical stakeholder, the author provides many practical tools and techniques he has learned over a decade while working in the industry. In addition, he has presented complex concepts into practical nuggets of advice that you can employ to ensure the success of your project. Overall, the book will serve your current workstream as well as help in your future projects.

Key Takeaways

  • If you are not a born leader, then this book can help you gather all the skills required to become more than a plain project manager.
  • It offers a lot of extremely practical suggestions that will be useful for managing projects.
<< Get this book >>

#3 – Strategic Project Management Made Simple: Practical Tools for Leaders and Teams

by Terry Schmidt

Strategic Project Management Made Simple: Practical Tools for Leaders and Teams

About the book

This book is a step-by-step guide with a strategic approach to translating groundbreaking ideas into logical and actionable plans, which could reduce the probability of project failure.

Book review

Over the years, the business world has become more demanding and competitive where the traditional project management techniques might not hold well. So, to accomplish these projects, you need to upgrade your thinking, planning, and actions, which means that you should take a fresh approach to tackle the new challenges. Whether you are a CXO, executive champion, team member, or project manager, this book provides a flexible approach to planning and project execution that you can use to build change initiatives that work quicker and more efficiently. Further, the inclusion of the LogFrame matrix, along with other concepts, makes this book unique. Overall, the book provides perfect and fascinating methodologies for building enterprise-wide strategies.

Key Takeaways

  • The logical framework is the main essence of the book.
  • It is a practical book that makes you feel that you don’t need any fancy degree to understand the concepts of project management at least.
<< Get this book >>

#4 – Project Management: Absolute Beginner’s Guide

by Greg Horine

Project Management Absolute Beginner's Guide

About the book

This book explains how to master overall project management, from budgeting and scheduling to team management and execution and project closure.

Book review

The book rationally addresses all the fundamental principles of project management without using too much technical jargon. It provides insights into how agile approaches work, how to deal with security & privacy priorities, and how to lead remote/ virtual teams. It also covers the latest on PMI standards and certifications and Microsoft Project. It has a special bonus chapter on preparing for the PMP certification and can be a great guide if you pursue a career in project management. The author has used very easy language and good use of pictures/ graphics that one can easily understand. Besides, the flow of narration is very smooth and engaging, owing to the little tips and notes that have strong relevance to real-world project management.

Key Takeaways

  • It is a great guide for anyone new to project management.
  • It is well-written and organized. It addresses all the important concepts most other books fail to do.
<< Get this book >>

#5 – Brilliant Project Management: What the Best Project Managers Know, Do and Say

by Stephen Barker

Brilliant Project Management: What the Best Project Managers Know, Say and Do

About the book

This book is a practical guide containing many suggestions and techniques taken from people’s real-world experiences to get to know what you should do to succeed in project management.

Book review

The book starts with the basic premise that the number of failed projects is much higher than that of successful projects. The failures are primarily in the form of spiraling costs and missed deadlines. However, the author states that if you can follow the best practices of successful project managers, then it is possible to ensure that projects meet their deadlines consistently and stay within the budget. In this book, he points out the areas where your behaviors and actions will mark the difference between a huge success and a fatal failure. Further, the author has used a “dip-in and dip-out” style, which makes it all the more interesting, while you can read the topics in any order owing to the writing style.

Key Takeaways

  • It is a very concise book with all the relevant project management information.
  • It is based on the practical experience of real people, which makes it refreshing in a book.
<< Get this book >>

#6 – Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager

by Kory Kogon, Suzette Blakemore & James Wood

Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager: A FranklinCovey Title

Book Review

This book offers real-world and practical insights for effective management of projects through the essentials of people and project management process, which includes:

  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Monitoring/Control
  • Closure

Key Takeaways

This edition is for all kinds of employees, whether struggling to keep multiple projects organized or managing projects without the benefit of a team. With resource and budget constraints, employees expect to manage and coordinate various projects routinely. The quality of dynamism has to go in sync with project management. The official title of a Project Manager may not be an official title for an employee. Still, with the correct strategies applicable in the individual situation, one can go a long way and lay down a strong foundation and examples for others to follow.

Since projects involve large capital expenditures and employees have to fill multiple roles, this book ties together a process that everyone can use for project work as it is applicable to all levels of an organization. Furthermore, the simple language of the guide enables one from being an amateur to being adept in this area.

<< Get this book >>

#7 – The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management

by Eric Verzuh

The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management

Book Review

This book is a complete guide targeted toward exceptional levels of project management with comprehensive guidance toward practical-world management methods, tools, and techniques. Readers will be confronted with cutting-edge and niche ideas delivered in quick turnover time and established segments that address common management issues. Project management is complex since the manager must handle conflicting demands to convert into a single and successful strategy achieved in time, resource, and budget constraints.

This book teaches ensuring how each step should within project management execute smoothly:

  • Navigation of complex management issues in an effective manner.
  • Mastering key concepts and their application in the practical world.
  • Learning from case studies involving leading present-day experts.
  • How to keep the project on track, on time, and within the provided budget.

Key Takeaways

Project management involves incorporating a wide range of competencies consisting of-

  • Identification of the right sponsor
  • Clarification of objectives
  • Setting a realistic schedule and budget projection. It would be across different departments, executive levels, or technical domains.

The latest edition includes modernized case studies, updated information for engaging stakeholders, change management, revised guidance on using swift techniques, and refined content that integrates current events and trends in project management.

<< Get this book >>

#8 – Cracking the PM Interview

by Gayle Laakmann McDowell & Jackie Bavaro

Cracking the PM Interview: How to Land a Product Manager Job in Technology (Cracking the Interview & Career)

Book Review

This book is about securing a role in Product Management (PM) within a start-up or an established technology firm. The readers are equipped with various roles across companies, what a PM resume and cover letter should look like, and how to crack interviews about the same. Certain critical components of the book are:

  • Role and Functions of a Product Manager
  • Various myths of project management and how to overcome them
  • Variation of roles in various firms such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, etc.
  • Importance of Technical experience
  • Transitioning from Engineer and Designer to Product Manager
  • Tips and Tricks for Career Advancement through Q&A from established Product Managers in the industry
  • Company Research Papers (Product, Strategy, Culture, Role, Q&A)
  • Behavioral Questions
  • Estimation Questions
  • Product Questions (Designing & Improving)
  • Case Study & Scenario Questions

Key Takeaways

It contains a rich level of information and provides new skills and techniques, which will improve individual practice, aid in enjoying the work, and enhance career. It has a slight bias towards software-driven products and companies. However, most of the principles are broadly applicable.

<< Get this book >>

#9 – Project Management: Achieving Competitive Advantage

By Jeffrey K. Pinto

Project Management: Achieving Competitive Advantage, Global Edition

Book Review

This book takes a decisive, business-oriented, and contemporary approach to learning and teaching project management. It balances current theory, hands-on practical experience, and research to offer a complete range of perspectives on the project management process. Contemporary and comprehensive case studies with detailed analysis and exercise offer the readers tools to assess projects in real-time, equipping them with razor-sharp decision-making skills.

Key Takeaways

It is considered a well-written introduction book to Project Management, providing a coherent summary of important concepts and practices. Experienced professionals can also use this reference since it provides a multi-industry understanding of the contents. The author addresses the project management theory within various successful organizations, whether held publicly, privately or in non-profit firms. The concepts are well explained, with many examples and live case studies offering credible and valuable information. It also highlights the importance of the latest technology used in the project management process with practical exercises.

<< Get this book >>

#10 – Construction Project Management

by Frederick Gould & Nancy Joyce

Construction Project Management

Book Review

This book will address all possible angles of successful construction project management in today’s complex environment. It will introduce all key players in the process, taking through each phase of the project and presenting tools for effectively managing the projects and the people.

It attempts to successfully infuse a blend of theoretical and practical reality with the importance of Owners, Designers, and Construction professionals throughout. It highlights new techniques, technologies, statistics, and career information, including new collaboration and project delivery approaches, and focuses on continuous improvement.

Key Takeaways

The flow of this book is highly commendable, focusing on the following:

  • Introduction to the profession and the modern industry.
  • Presenting emerging trends, roles, contractual agreements, and opportunities.
  • How to focus on the project ranging from the concept to occupancy.
  • Addressing the role of professionals in this industry during design and early construction.
  • Students will also gain knowledge of modern tools such as estimation, scheduling, controls, and feedback.
  • Supporting charts and images are also presented and authored by industry-leading professionals.

The content is simple to understand and recommended for students in their early career stages with detailed analysis and accuracy, especially for college students.

<< Get this book >>

#11 – Identifying and Managing Project Risk

by Tom Kendrick PMP

Identifying and Managing Project Risk: Essential Tools for Failure-Proofing Your Project

Book Review

All the projects carry an inherent element of risk. While balancing out time constraints, technical shortcomings, and resource issues, identifying potential risks becomes a critical component of a project manager’s job.

It outlines the risk management process and provides established methods of project risk planning based on real-life situations and multiple practical examples. In addition, an analysis of critical aspects is offered, includes-

  • Project Scope and available resources
  • Scheduling
  • Guidance on Programme Risk Management
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Risk Analysis
  • Project Modelling and Simulation
  • Significant “non-project” risks
  • Usage of high-level risk-assessment tools
  • Implementation of a system for monitoring and controlling of projects
  • Correct documentation for every kind of situation

Key Takeaways

This reference guide will offer an understanding and methods to define, analyze, record, and update risks. Though information is centric on the IT industry, one can successfully apply the methods to the industry. Furthermore, it provides a simple and clear understanding of how the risk methods are applied to managing any risk, thereby eliminating surprises and keeping projects on track.

This book on project management also offers new ‘risk sensitivities’ with special reference to the Panama Canal development, which mirrors the growth of project and risk management since the 1850s. Overall, it is a complete, well–structured, and easy-to-understand guide.

<< Get this book >>

#12 – HBR Guide to Project Management

by Harvard Business Review

HBR Guide to Project Management (HBR Guide Series)

Book Review

This edition of the Harvard School of Management focuses on meeting the goals concerning time and budget. Apart from the practical aspect, the aim must also be on Confidence and Motivation. These are highly important characteristics that have to exist for continuous improvement.

Whether managing the first project or improvising, this guide will offer the tools and confidence needed to define smart goals and achieve them for enhancement and ensure that future projects execute smoothly.

Key Takeaways

It will help the users:

  • Building a strong and focused team to achieve the desired goal with high confidence.
  • Creating a schedule that ensures all moving parts are under control.
  • Monitoring the progress continuously towards the desired goals and ensuring corrective actions are taken wherever required.
  • Managing the expectations of the shareholders with the help of regular communication
  • Smooth completion of the project, gauging the success and measuring the areas of improvement.

The contents are in an easy-to-understand language for handling large-scale project improvements and essential tools for managing routine tasks.

<< Get this book >>

#13 – Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme

by Robert K. Wysock

Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme, 7th Edition

Book Review

This comprehensive book on project management has been considered a standard for professionals and academics. Readers will learn an approach to project management that recognizes the project environment and how smoothly it can be adopted.

Key Takeaways

This book is ideal for instructors, students, and active project managers as it includes updated case studies and exercises with detailed analysis and solutions:

  • It is a comprehensive resource for project management practitioners, instructors, and students.
  • Examines traditional, agile, and extreme project management techniques (Project Management model; Kanban and Scrumban methodologies)
  • Inclusion of a companion website with exercises and solutions along with PowerPoint slides for all the tables and figures used
  • Advice on organizing multiple team projects and managing a continuous process improvement program
  • Ways to establish an enterprise project portfolio management process
  • How to create a practical, project-based model of an enterprise
  • Prevention and Intervention strategies for distressed projects
  • An in-depth understanding of the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) process groups
  • Techniques for dealing with the complex and uncertain project management landscape.
<< Get this book >>

#14 – Product Leadership

by Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson & Nate Walkingshaw

[1491960604] [9781491960608] Product Leadership: How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams-Paperback

Book Review

Modern, fast-paced technology requires smart product management, which is critical for maintaining a competitive advantage. This insightful guide offers interviews with nearly 100 leading product managers across the globe, in addition to the author’s experience in the style, approach, and other techniques of a successful product manager.

This book is with deep knowledge of the craft of Product leadership. A vast community of product leaders is facing similar struggles, and the authors have successfully distilled their experience and feedback.

Key Takeaways

It helps explore:

  • Themes and patterns of successful leaders and their teams and how one can attain those characteristics.
  • Suitable approaches for guiding the product team through stages such as start-up, emerging, and enterprise stages of a company’s evolution.
  • Strategies and tactics for dealing with customers, agencies, partners, and external stakeholders.

It is recommended highly for anyone who is a Product Leader or desires to understand their role, whether fresher or experienced, to manage human beings and complex product roadmaps.

This article guides the 14 Best books on Project Management. Here, we discuss what these books propose, their reviews, and key takeaways. You may also have a look at these suggested books below: –

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