5 books that every Project Management Professional should Read

What is a Project?

A ‘Project’ is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.’ All Businesses don’t need a complex methodology when it comes to managing a project, but they benefit from a designated Project Manager.

Based upon my observations and experience for the role, there are many agreed responsibilities for a Project Manager however mainly he need to have control over project scope, effectively manage project cost as does schedules the work accordingly, if there are any potential risk occurs then he need to ensure to overcome those, effective stakeholder management and last but not the least completing the project closure activities after successful delivery.

Some organizations have project management offices and experienced team members to take on the challenge, while others divide the project management duties among multiple people from the strategy team. As per research conducted by PMI, employers will require 87.7 million project management-oriented roles by 2027.

Project management is evolving with time. It is important to stay ahead with the numerous tools, technologies, applications, and frameworks that are shaping project management for the modern world. There is a need for both beginners and pros to keep their strategic plans on track. In order to accomplish these activities one can, go with these expert-recommended reads of the best project management books.
1. Project Management Body of Knowledge which is PMI’s (Project Management Institute) flagship publication well known as PMBOK is a set of standard terminology and guidelines: The PMBOK Guide is process-based, meaning it describes work as being accomplished by processes. This approach is consistent with other management standards such as ISO 9000 and the Software Engineering Institute’s CMMI. Processes overlap and interact throughout a project or its various phases. Sixth edition of the book which was released in 2017 provides guidelines for managing individual projects and defines project management related concepts. It also describes the project management life cycle and its related processes, as well as the project life cycle and for the first time it includes an “Agile Practice Guide”.

2. PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments 2nd version): There have been two major revisions of PRINCE2 since its launch in 1996: “PRINCE2:2009 Refresh” in 2009, and “PRINCE2 2017 Update” in 2017. The justification for the 2017 update was the evolutions in practical business practices and feedback from PRINCE2 practitioners in the actual project environment. Recently in Jan 2020, AXELOS has renamed PRINCE2 2017 (the most recent updates to the PRINCE2 certification) to PRINCE2 6th Edition. PRINCE2 6th Edition is a rebrand and doesn’t come with any changes to the PRINCE2 2017 course material or exam. If we need to call-out benefits of PRINCE2 then the most important one is that it describes in detail the responsibilities of each project team member during the project’s lifecycle.

The most common project management certifications one might already be considering are the PMP (Project Management Professional) and PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments V2). Out of the many, PMP is administered by PMI, USA whereas PRINCE2 Certification is owned by Axelos, UK. Framework for PMP is based on knowledge areas such as scope, schedule, cost, risk, etc. whereas for PRINCE2 is based on best practices in the project environment

3. Strategic Project Management Made Simple: “Author Terry Schmidt makes you question your goals before you begin any project. What are you trying to achieve? What is success? How do we get there? And lastly what are the other impacting conditions that exist? Mr. Schmidt has fantastically outlined a logical, in detail step-by-step process to help you design projects and action initiatives strategically. The inclusion of memorable features and concepts (four critical questions, LogFrame matrix, If-then thinking, and Implementation Equation) make this book unique and simple. The book is informative for both beginners and experienced project managers however a project management experienced professional is more likely to relate and apply the concepts better.”

4. Project Management Absolute Beginner’s Guide:“Another good book which I have come across on project management book is by Author Gregory M. Horine as it also coaches on ‘soft’ skills, like leadership, communication, and teamwork. The latest edition keeps the reader in sync with recent industry changes and adds practical value by including useful diagrams. The author’s knowledge and lessons will definitely assist to shorten the project management learning curve quite efficiently.”

5. Project Management for The Unofficial Project Manager: “Author Suzette Blakemore and James Wood outlines helpful way for you to successfully set up and execute project frameworks and timelines, as well as gives recommendations for better communication from the start to finish of your project. This is a one of the great reads for anyone feeling overwhelmed by leading cross-functional teams or smaller, personal projects. It’s crucial for every employee in today’s workforce to have strong project management skills, even if they’re not a project manager.”

Every company has projects they need to manage and execute, but very few do those things well. Few of the many concepts from these books have helped me to adapt solid project management approaches to implement in my project planning and execution also have helped me in determining exactly which projects, teams should focus on (as well as how to eliminate the ones that waste time and money).

We would like to know your own opinion about one of these books.

Further what do you do with all the new knowledge you’ll gain reading these books?
Apply it to the awesome work you’re already doing!

Ashish Sherlekar

Ashish is a Principal Consultant at Verinite. He is Certified Scrum Master and SAFe Agilist with a demonstrated history of providing service in Retail and Commercial banking domain at various geographical locations. He is passionate about Music and loves singing. He believes in “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.