As we established in our last post, being a project manager is not an easy job. There are so many things you need to keep track of and control that at times it may seem absolutely impossible for a single person to do.
The way we see it, if you want to be successful in the project management field, you’re going to need all the help you can get. That’s why we got in touch with several project management professionals and asked them about the books that helped them hone their skills and get them where they are today.
Another gem from the author of the bestselling Developing Products in Half the Time, Donald G. Reinertsen’s Managing the Design Factory is a challenging and unconventional guide to product management that discounts the notion of “best practices” and instead focuses on a systematic approach with practical tools that account for varied situations.
“Without a doubt the most influential book I’ve read about product management,” says Jacob Smith, founder and lead product manager at Productviz
, an illustration services company from Chicago. “This book draws its source material from manufacturing management and applies those principles to managing digital (and physical) products. Most PM books focus on the creative process of coming up with ideas – or managing personalities. This book takes a very different approach, focusing on how to manage products and innovation at the system level. Completely changed the way I manage my team.”
Widely known as the “Project Management Bible,” Harold Kerzner’s Project Management is required reading in pretty much every classroom on project management. A comprehensive and practical guide encompassing all aspects of project management, it features an extensive coverage of the tools and methods used in project management today.
“When I think of the best project management book,” says Scott Perry, a full-time project manager by day and sports blogger by night at CatchersHome.com
, “I think of one that has served me well as a comprehensive, all-around reference book on everything related to project management. That book is Project Management
by Harold Kerzner. It has reserved a key place in the bookcase in my office, and it is a book I regularly go to for reference. I’d highly recommend it to other project managers interested in a very comprehensive reference book in our field.”
The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) is an essential read for both experienced and aspiring project leaders. The book provides practical real-life examples of effectively executed initiatives and offers time-tested and proven practices on how to successfully deliver important projects amidst the onslaught of urgent activities.
“The project management book my teams and I have sworn by over the years, and one I recommend to all of my mid-level professional clients,” reveals Nicole Littmann, founder at Aurelian Coaching
, “is The Four Disciplines of Execution
. Yes, it’s an older book, but when something works, it works! This instructional book is golden because it provides solutions to how teams working on important projects most typically struggle or fail. It teaches teams how to own the work and be accountable to each other, as well as how to successfully progress on important projects despite the day-to-day whirlwind of emails, meetings, and distractions.”
Project Management Tactics for Pros is a free eBook put together by the project management team at Netguru. Drawing from years of first-hand experience delivering projects to customers all over the world, this book features four chapters of actionable strategies and tactics on the most essential aspects of project management.
“Project Management Tactics for Pros
by Netguru is a great book for when you’re looking to expand your PM knowledge and get better,” writes Iga Wójtowicz, a project manager at INVO Technologies
, “It mostly focuses on IT project management, but a lot of the practical advice it offers could be useful in other fields as well. For me, the most important aspect of project management is communication, and this book has some excellent points on how you can improve in that department.”
A fictional premise, but based on the author’s many years of experience doing management consulting for IT companies, Tom DeMarco’s The Deadline features a very believable story that follows a project manager protagonist as he tackles all kinds of different obstacles on his way to meeting an impossibly strict deadline.
“A project management guide in the form of a novel,” says Arina Katrycheva, our very own marketing lead here at
, “The Deadline
is perfect for people who aren’t fans of more traditional business textbooks with their often dry and encyclopedic tone. Even though it’s a fictional novel, the book offers some excellent points and covers the most essential aspects of project management in a very accessible and easy to read manner. Thanks to the author’s great sense of humor and an engaging story, The Deadline
is a great read for anyone, whether you’re a PM or not.”
Level Up Your Project Management Practice with actiTIME
As a high-quality work hour tracker, actiTIME can help managers and team members stay aware of performance progress and the amount of time utilized on tasks. But besides, this tool may be of great assistance across different stages in the project life cycle: plan activities and assign duties to responsible employees, review task statuses on the Kanban board, run comprehensive reports to learn about project outcomes, both in real time and historically – actiTIME has everything needed for an integrated and result-oriented project management experience.