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The Ultimate Guide to the 9 Best Project Management Books of 2024

Updated: May 31

In the ever-evolving world of project management, staying up-to-date with the latest methodologies, strategies, and tools is crucial for success. Project management books are vital in providing professionals with the knowledge they need to excel in their careers. But with countless books available, how do you choose the best ones to read?


Worry not! We have curated a list of the top 9 project management books for 2023, ranging from beginner to advanced levels and covering various methodologies and approaches. These books offer invaluable guidance, tips, and techniques to help you become a better project manager and lead your teams to success. So, let’s dive in and explore these must-read books!


Key Takeaways


  • This ultimate guide provides the top 9 project management books for 2023, including essential reads and best for beginners.


  • It also covers the Agile approach, Scrum success, leadership focus, advanced techniques and a comprehensive overview of topics related to project management.


  • It includes tips on choosing the proper certification & utilising PM software, implementing the knowledge gained from books & exploring additional resources.


Top 9 Project Management Books for 2023

Project management books offer proven frameworks and experienced guidance for successful project management. These manuals divide operations into straightforward components, assisting you to remain organized and manage timely results for successful projects.


Our selection of the top 9 project management books for 2023 is based on ranking, relevancy, and customer feedback. From beginners to seasoned professionals, these books have something for everyone.


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Whether you want to learn the basics of project management, explore Agile methodologies, or hone your leadership skills, our curated list has got you covered.


Therefore, let’s explore the top 9 project management books for 2023 and see how they can assist in improving your project management skills.


Essential Read: A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide)

PMBOK Guide book cover

The PMBOK Guide is a comprehensive resource for project management principles and practices, catering to professionals across all levels. This comprehensive guide, published by the Project Management Institute, encompasses 12 project management principles around eight project performance domains. With its thorough coverage of project management principles and practices, the PMBOK Guide is essential for professionals seeking to enhance their skills and knowledge.






The most recent edition of the PMBOK Guide is the seventh edition, comprising 250 pages. A notable quote from the guide highlights the need for project managers to capitalise on cultural differences and promote working together interdependently in a climate of mutual trust. Available on Amazon.com, the PMBOK Guide should be on every project manager’s bookshelf.


Best for Beginners: Project Management Absolute Beginner's Guide


Project Management Absolute Beginner's Guide

The Project Management Absolute Beginner’s Guide is the perfect companion when starting your journey in the project management field.


This introduction to project management provides an in-depth look into:


  • Essential qualities of successful project leaders

  • Common missteps that first-time project managers can make

  • Comprehensive guidance on how to manage various tasks


Not only does this book cover the fundamentals of project management, but it also offers updated insights regarding:

  • Agile project management approaches.

  • Security and privacy policies

  • Leading remote and virtual teams

  • Project Management Institute standards


This guide equips beginners with the necessary knowledge and confidence for mastering project management and starting their journey in this field.


Agile Approach: Doing Agile Right


Doing Agile Right

Agile project management has taken the world by storm, and Doing Agile Right by Darrell Rigby, Sarah Elk, and Steve Berez is the perfect resource to help you understand and implement this approach. The book debunks myths about Agile, such as it being only for software development or a one-size-fits-all solution.


According to Doing Agile Right, balance is the key to implementing Agile effectively. This book gives project managers insights into the Agile methodology and strategies for successful implementation within their organisations.


Don’t miss this opportunity to enhance your Agile management skills and elevate your projects.


Scrum Success: Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time


Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

Scrum, a popular Agile framework, has revolutionised how teams work on complex projects. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland and J.J. Sutherland provides an in-depth exploration of the Scrum methodology and its various applications.


The fundamental belief of Scrum is that customers may modify their requirements, necessitating product teams to be agile and adjust their strategies to deliver solutions promptly. With a notable quote stating that unnecessary heroic effort should be seen as a sign of inadequate planning, this book is a must-read for anyone looking to master the Scrum framework and improve their project management skills.


Leadership Focus: Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager


Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager

Leadership skills are critical for project managers, even those without formal titles, as they are indispensable for successful project management and effectively managing projects. The book Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager examines project management strategies for those without formal project management experience, emphasising the significance of leadership capabilities.


This book teaches readers how to effectively lead a team, motivate them, and accomplish objectives. Focusing on the significance of leadership empowers project managers to realise their potential and lead their teams towards success.


Don’t miss the opportunity to enhance your leadership skills and become a more effective, experienced project manager, avoiding the pitfalls of a lazy project manager.


Advanced Techniques: Strategic Project Management Made Simple


Strategic project management made simple

For experienced project managers looking to level up their skills, Strategic Project Management Made Simple by Terry Schmidt is an excellent resource. This book delves into advanced project management strategies and techniques, providing guidance on tackling projects with a strategic viewpoint and adequately addressing a project's overarching rationale.


The revised edition of this book includes:

  • An expanded section on transforming ideas, problems, and opportunities into projects

  • A new chapter for attaining project excellence

  • New case studies to assist businesses in meeting evolving needs with successful project delivery


This project management book allows experienced professionals to develop their expertise further and stay updated in the dynamic field of project management.


Comprehensive Overview: The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management


The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management

The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management by Eric Verzuh, PMP, offers a complete guide to project management, including practical solutions, tips, and case studies. The sixth edition of this book covers topics such as:


  • Project Quality

  • Digital project management

  • Prioritising leadership

  • Current practices in change management


In addition to the main content, this book includes a section dedicated to PMP Exam preparation and a selection of downloadable forms. With a notable quote stating that the best project managers are also excellent leaders, The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management is a must-read for anyone looking to enhance their project management skills and knowledge.


Real-World Wisdom: Making Things Happen


Making Things Happen

Practical advice and real-world experiences are invaluable for project managers trying to define, lead, and manage projects effectively. Making Things Happen by Scott Berkun provides precisely that, sharing insights into strategies for effectively managing initiatives and leading teams.


The content in Making Things Happen is divided into Plans, Skills, and Management. This book enables project managers to comprehend the potential real-world challenges and offers strategies to tackle them.


A notable quote from the book states that even on our projects, we should avoid the tendency to escape and conceal failures, emphasising the importance of learning from mistakes.


Streamlined Solutions: Project Management Lite


Project Management Lite

Project Management Lite by Juana Clark Craig, PMP, offers a straightforward approach to project management, suitable for non-project managers involved in or collaborating with project teams.


This book includes:


  • An overview of its purpose

  • The initial steps to take

  • The necessary steps to complete the project

  • Simple worksheets and checklists


Project Management Lite, with its simplified approach, aids non-project managers in comprehending the project management process and collaborating effectively with project teams. If you’re not a project manager but find yourself working in or with project teams, this book is an excellent resource to help you navigate the world of project management.


Enhancing Your Project Management Skills

Continuous learning and improvement are vital for project managers aiming to excel in their careers. Here are some ways to enhance your project management skills.


  • Reading project management books to refresh your understanding of project management fundamentals and gain knowledge of new principles and skills.

  • Attending workshops and conferences to learn from industry experts and network with other project managers.

  • Utilizing project management software to streamline your processes and improve efficiency.


By actively seeking opportunities for learning and improvement, you can stay ahead in your project management career.


Remember, the best project management books provide you with the necessary knowledge and inspire you to put that knowledge into practice. Investing time in your professional development enhances your effectiveness as a project manager, equipping you to manage the challenges that may arise.


Choosing the Right Project Management Certification

Project management certifications play a crucial role in validating a professional’s capabilities and can be beneficial in distinguishing them in the job market. Consider your career objectives and the nature of projects you might deal with when choosing a certification. Investigating the different certifications available, such as the Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), and Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP), can help you decide which one is the most suitable for your needs.


Additionally, evaluate the cost and time commitment associated with each certification. Choosing the properUtilising project management certification helps showcase your expertise, experience, and dedication to the field, distinguishing you from the competition and enhancing your career success prospects.


Utilizing Project Management Software

In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, leveraging project management software is crucial for ensuring efficient and effective project management. Project management tools provide managers with an overview of each project, enabling them to:


  • Plan

  • Manage tasks

  • Collaborate with team members.

  • Schedule

  • Report on project progress


Project managers can streamline their processes and enhance their project management skills by integrating the knowledge acquired from books with efficient project management software. Don’t underestimate the power of technology in helping you become a better project manager. Invest in project management software complements your needs and watch your projects thrive.


Tips for Implementing Knowledge Gained from Books

Applying the lessons learned from project management books to real-world projects and situations can be challenging. To ensure that the knowledge gained from books is retained and can be easily referred to in the future, consider highlighting significant points in the book, making notes in the margins, and summarising the main points.


Start slow and maintain consistency when applying the knowledge acquired from books. Divide the knowledge into smaller components and take the time to comprehend and apply each. Setting achievable objectives and taking incremental steps towards them allows you to effectively apply the lessons from seminal books to your projects, enhancing your success as a project manager.


Additional Resources for Project Managers

To further enhance your project management skills and knowledge, consider exploring additional resources such as ebooks, articles, and online courses and networking with other project managers. Some best ways to find additional resources for project managers include exploring project management blogs and websites, enrolling in online courses or certifications, reading project management books and eBooks, listening to project management podcasts, and joining project management knowledge bases and online communities.


Remember, the best resources may vary depending on your specific needs and interests as a project manager. Hence, investing time to find apt resources can foster your professional growth and improve your effectiveness as a project manager.


Summary

In conclusion, project management books are critical in helping professionals enhance their skills and knowledge in the field. By selecting the right books, attending workshops, and networking, project managers can continue to grow and stay ahead of the curve in the ever-changing world of project management.


We hope that our curated list of the top project management books for 2023, along with the additional resources and tips shared in this blog post, has inspired you to take the next step towards becoming a better project manager. Remember, the journey to mastering project management is continuous – keep learning, keep growing, and keep making things happen.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the six roles of a project manager?

The six roles of a project manager include planning and developing the project idea, creating and leading a team, monitoring project progress and setting deadlines, solving issues that arise, managing the money, and ensuring stakeholder satisfaction.


They are responsible for the day-to-day management of the project. They must be competent in managing the six aspects of a project, i.e. scope, schedule, finance, risk, quality and resources.


What are the top 3 things in project management?

Effective communication, strong leadership, and excellent management are the top three qualities of an effective project manager.


Hiring executives prioritise these skills when looking for the ideal candidate.


Is project manager a stressful job?

Project management can be stressful as there are many responsibilities and deadlines to meet. Missing deadlines or over budget can lead to increased stress levels, consequently impacting productivity.


Is a project manager job hard?

Project management may appear to be a difficult job, but the fact is that it can be pretty straightforward, significantly, when aided by the right software.


The reality of the job is that the real challenge lies in managing teams and handling client relationships.


What's the best way to learn project management?

Gain experience by starting with smaller projects and gradually increasing complexity, developing your style as you go.


Networking with other project managers is an excellent way to enhance learning and discover new approaches.


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