Another 20 Books That Every Project Manager Should Read

Here we go with another list of books that can help every project manager become more productive and effective(Check out the first one!) You can learn from them how to properly manage your team, increase your own as well as others creativity, deliver better-developed products, make use of your time in an efficient way and much more.

We are aware of the fact that only a few days has passed since we published our last article with the list of 20 books on the topic of project management and productivity. You probably haven’t got time to take a look at a single one of the proposed titles, not to mention twenty.

However, there is no need to rush. These articles are not going anywhere and you can always come back to them and check if the lists contain the title that may be fitting your needs at the right moment. Among the 40 described books everyone should find one or two that will be just what they need. So take a look and find those that will help you! =]


1. Finding Allies, Building Alliances: 8 Elements that Bring—and Keep—People Together – Mike Leavitt and Rich McKeown

One of the authors, Mike Leavitt, is a former governor and cabinet member. Together with his former Chief of Staff and business partner, Rich McKeown, they advise how to build a team and alliances that can face the biggest challenges and find collaborative solutions to them. A read recommended to all business leaders.

2. Stop Workplace Drama: Train Your Team to have No Complaints, No Excuses, and No Regrets – Marlene Chism

Marlene Chism who was asked for consultation concerning workplace management by the giants like NASA and McDonalds shares her ideas in this book. The interpersonal challenges are very common in a confined space. The gossip, power struggles, and confusion, even quarrels tend to happen – not only disrupting the atmosphere but also holding back the business. The practical methods suggested by the author may help you in solving such problems.

3. Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration – Kelly Leonard

The improvisational techniques described in this book have been proposed by the executives from The Second City – the world’s premier comedy club, comedy theater and school of improvisation. Those techniques may prove very useful in building transformational businesses, encourage adaptable leaders, and develop innovators. Use them at your working place to increase team’s creativity and collaboration. The results may surprise you.

4. Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It – Ian Leslie

This book will show you how to most efficiently use your curiosity. The “desire to know” accompanies us from the early childhood. The author proves that being curious is not a reason to be ashamed but a great way to improve, gain information, and learn. He also argues that even though we have all the developed technology around us, providing answers to almost every question, we should not rely on it and still foster our curiosity.

5. Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values – Lawrence A. Cunningham

This is a book about Berkshire Hathaway, one of the world’s largest and most famous corporations build by one of the richest people on earth – Warren Buffett. Though many assume that without its genius creator, this conglomerate would not survive for long, the author proves them wrong. Lawrence Cunningham depicts the inside of this gigantic company, showing that it is the combined force of regular workers that stands behind its greatness.

6. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action – Simon Sinek

Another book by Simon Sinek, the bestselling author, and very popular speaker (his TED talks were watched by more than 30 million people.) In this one, he asks the simplest question – “why?” Why are some people more successful, more influential, more inspiring than others? Why some companies have better results and more customers? The proper understanding of this question may be your key to success – just start with why.

7. Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization – Dave Logan and John King

The authors of „Tribal Leadership” focused their attention on human interaction and success. They divided the closed business environment into “tribes”, the inner circles that function within huge corporations. They demonstrate how such tribes develop and suggest what can be done to properly organize and manage them, boosting their productivity and efficiency in the process. Great read for every project manager.

8. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard – Chip Heath and Dan Heath

As the title suggests, authors try to describe the difference between two systems in our brain – the rational mind and the emotional mind. They are constantly competing for control and the tensions between them may lead to crisis. However, we are able to unite them and achieve outstanding results. Authors give examples of people who managed to do just that, at the same time providing clues and ideas how we can do the same.

9. Crystal Clear: A Human-Powered Methodology for Small Teams – Alistair Cockburn

The methodology described by Alistair Cockburn is designed for software development. It offers solutions that may help small software development teams in delivering a sound product to the market without crossing the deadline and budget. The author is a successful and experienced entrepreneur. Also, he is one of the founders of the Agile software development movement, so we can safely assume that Alistair Cockburn is an expert on the topic.

10. Information Technology Project Management: Providing Measurable Organizational Value – Jack T. Marchewka

The fifth edition of the book written by Jack Marchewka (who must have Polish roots, his surname is so familiar – marchewka is Polish for carrot.) The author focuses on creating MOV (a Measurable Organizational Value) through IT projects. He combines the concepts of project management and IT, offering ideas that can help one develop in both fields.

11. Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future – Leonard A. Schlesinger & Charles F. Kiefer

This book was written to encourage readers to take action, take this crucial first step to fulfilling their goals. In today’s world, it is hard to follow a particular goal; the environment is constantly changing and not many things are certain. We must work really hard to achieve our most important desires. But we also have to work smart, this book offers ideas how to do it.

12. Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Reviews – Norman L. Kerth

Norman L. Kerth is a consultant who wrote this book to guide his readers through the process of product development. This title is full of detailed scenarios, great illustrations, and thorough instructions that every project manager should find helpful. If you feel that your team is lacking in collaboration and needs more mutual trust and belief, this book may help you in establishing it.

13. Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules – Steve McConnell

The author of this book tries to provide an answer to one of the project managers’ most common problem – how to deal with the high-pressure of deadlines when developing a project? He suggests specific practices, strategies, and tips that can help you keep your schedules under control while ensuring that the project is being properly handled.

14. Waltzing With Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects – Tom DeMarco & Timothy Lister

The title is a metaphor of starting up a project. More than 80% of start-ups fail, so you can imagine how big the risk is. Big as a grizzly bear inviting us to dance =] However, the greater the risk, the bigger the reward! We just have to stay focused and deal with the obstacles, as they appear on our way (and many will appear for sure.) Fortunately, the authors offer guidance in that matter.

15. Alpha Project Managers: What the Top 2% Know That Everyone Else Does Not – Andy Crowe

The book is based on surveys filled by more than 800 successful project managers. How did they achieve the success? Why they draw the attention of senior managers, stakeholders, and customers? Why are they popular among team member? Those are just a few questions that Andy Crowe answers in his book, presenting the assets and attributes of the project management elite.

16. The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management – Eric Verzuh

Eric Verzuh wrote a comprehensive guide to project management, describing methods, tools, and techniques that are commonly used in the successful companies. The book is written in a very accessible way, it is a pleasure to read but also a great way to find out what stands behind the success of leading project managers.

17. Project Management: From Beginner to Professional Manager and Respected Leader – Timothy Short

A complete guide to project management. The author describes all the stages of learning about project management, the role of a project manager, expectations and requirements of the job, the qualities of a good project manager, and the rules that govern the PM world. A must-read to everyone who aspires to become a successful project manager.

18. Project Management Lite: Just Enough to Get the Job Done… Nothing More – Juana Clark Craig

Juana Clark Craig tried to offer her readers an easy-to-use guide to project management. This definitely is the book for beginners, though even pros will find inside it many insightful suggestions. If you have no clue how to begin your career of project manager, this book should provide help in a very accessible way.

19. The Project Manager Who Smiled: The Value of Fun in Project Management – Peter Taylor

A very optimistic and even humoristic approach to project management. Peter Taylor is an experienced project management professional and trainer. He teaches how to find the balance between fun and work – this will not only make your typical day at the office more entertaining, but it will boost your productivity, increasing results.

20. Rescue the Problem Project: A Complete Guide to Identifying, Preventing, and Recovering from Project Failure – Todd C. Williams, PMP

The author of this book gives solutions to the most dramatic situations in project management world. Whenever there is a problem with the budget or a passing deadline, or there are errors in the project, the tension rapidly grows. The results are usually quite tragic – failed project, team members arguing with each other, project manager losing control. Todd C. Williams advises how to overcome such situations and solve the problems in the most efficient way.

Another 20 Books That Every Project Manager Should Read

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