What Project Management Books Should You Read?

Andrew Filev , Tuesday, July 14, 2009
People often ask me to advise them on the best resources that will help them deepen their project management knowledge or start their own project management journey. One of Wrike’s clients recently asked me: “I’ve been given the green light to seek out any useful resources in the field of Project Management to further my professional development. I’ve Googled a few things, but can’t really decipher what would be beneficial vs. a waste. I was wondering if you might be able to point me in the right direction and recommend  particular books or seminars that I could look into?”

I thought that it would be better to post my reply here, so that more people could take advantage of the advice.

When you look for information on project management, the first thing you’ll find will be resources affiliated with the Project Management Institute (PMI). PMI is a very influential organization in the project management world and offers a lot of materials and training. It can give you a good overview of the fundamentals (“old school”). So PMI courses might be your first choice when you start educating yourself in project management.

As for me, I am familiar with Project Management Body Of Knowledge (PMBOK) and walked through that river, but at the end of the day, my project management philosophy was much more influenced by the following themes:

•    Jim Collins’ works on leadership. I recently posted my ideas on how his Level 5 leadership concept is aligned with Project Management 2.0;

•    Agile project management methods:  they are close to Lean practices. Besides, there’s a SCRUM methodology, which I posted on in my blog;

•    Enterprise 2.0 principles (one of the best readings here is Wikinomics).

It’s interesting that all of the three above mentioned points come from different backgrounds, yet they have lots of commonalities.

Also, I recommend you take a look at works by David Allen and Stephen Covey. They are not related to project management in general, but they might help you improve your personal and team productivity.

What do you read to improve your project management skills? What did you like and recommend to others? Do you know courses in your area that you could recommend? Leave a comment below and share your wisdom with other readers.

Comments (4)

  • Glen B. Alleman, Tuesday, 14 July, 2009
    Andrew,

    It's the Project Management BODY of Knowkedge.
    Next, I'd NOT recommend PMBOK as the starting point to learn about project management. There are many others. Especially since PMBOK is a description of the processes and knowledge areas of PM, but doesn't tell you "how" to manage a project.

    The agile and lean stuff is not so much about "managing projects" but building products.

    Here's a list I built awhile ago.
    http://herdingcats.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/12/books-needed-for-program-and-project-management.html

    And two recommended books
    http://herdingcats.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/03/two_must_read_p.html

    and finally books back to 2005
    http://herdingcats.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/01/2005_books_on_p.html

    Great blog. I enjoy the point of view.
  • Andrew Filev, Tuesday, 14 July, 2009
    Thanks for the great comment!

    P.S. PMBOK's "book" was more of a "brain wiring driven" mistype. Consciously I know that it's "body", but unconsciously it's still a "book" for me. Since I haven't used PMBOK consciously for a while, unconsciousness dominated in the post. Thanks for the correction, let's wire readers' in the right way:-)
  • Bill Sanders, Monday, 20 July, 2009
    I highly recommend Goldratt's books on the theory of constraints - particularly Critical Chain in which he applies his theory to Project Management.
  • Andrew Filev, Monday, 20 July, 2009
    Thank you, Bill!
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Andrew Filev

Andrew Filev is an experienced project manager and a successful entrepreneur. He has been managing software teams since 2001 with the help of new-generation collaboration and management applications. The Project Management 2.0 blog reflects his views on changes going on in contemporary project management, thanks to the influence of collaborative web-based technologies. More >>

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