Best Project Management Books of 2021

Project management is crucial for any organization because it gives the right direction to the projects. A good project manager should be aware of the latest technologies and trends to achieve project goals on time and on budget. Comparing old school practices with present changes, you can take the required actions that help your team best meet the customers' needs. Whether you are an owner or project manager it's a never-ending journey for you to learn about project management skills and best practices.

Since technological advancement has introduced several channels of gaining information or learning. But still, books remain one of the best ways to know about experts' thoughts and proven methodologies to run successful projects.

If you concentrate carefully you'll notice extreme reading habits in many successful entrepreneurs. Bill Gates reads 50 books every year whereas Elon Musk targets to finish two books a day.

There are thousands of books are written covering different topics of project management initiatives. Today we'll review 10+ Project Management Books and give you a quick glimpse of each.

Best Project Management Books to Overcome Initial Challenges

  1. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge by Project Management Institute
  2. Project Management for The Unofficial Project Manager by Kory Kogon, Suzette Blakemore, & James Wood
  3. Project Management Absolute Beginner’s Guide by Greg Horin
  4. Strategic Project Management Made Simple by Terry Dean Schmidt

Best Project Management Books for Mental Growth

  1. Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management by Scott Berkun
  2. Project Management Case Studies by Harold Kerzner
  3. The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management by Eric Verzuh
  4. Agile Project Management with Scrum by Ken Schwaber

Popular Project Management Books for All Levels

  • Getting Things Done by David Allen
  • Brilliant Project Management: What the Best Project Managers Know, Do, and Say by Stephen Barker, Rob Cole
  • The Essential Drucker by Peter F. Drucker
  • The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change by Camille Fournier

Why You Should Read Book (Instead of Watching Videos/Listening Podcast)

project management books

No matter how much you are successful in your life, staying updated with current affairs is essential. Warren Buffett reads five newspapers and 500 pages of corporate reports per day.

Watching videos or listening to podcasts are also beneficial. But most of the time these forms of content represent the information concisely. Short-form content will not give you the deep insight you need to make useful decisions. On the other hand, writers include edge-case scenarios to describe a topic in their books. Besides, you can read books at your own pace, as slow or as fast as you like.

After reading different types of books on project management, you will be able to make more realistic decisions. You have knowledge about various project management tactics hence you can pick the right tools to accomplish a particular project goal. These books shape your characteristics not only as a project manager but also as a leader.

However, learning how to do your work better than before is a continuous process. Whether you're just starting your career or have decades of experience, you must have the capability to adapt to the latest technologies. Check this list of best project management books to boost your skills as a professional and even as a potential leader.

Also Read: Top 10 ERP Books to Help You Make Better Resource Planning

Best Project Management Books to Overcome Initial Challenges

1. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge

Author: Project Management Institute

First Published Date: 1996

Latest Edition: 7th

This Book Covers:

PMBOK is the most popular book for understanding project management. This book is globally recognized as the ultimate guide to the principles of project management. Project managers and practitioners consider it as a career guide on the subject.

In fact, if you're planning to attend the PMP exam it will be your textbook. PMBOK Guide includes A-Z vocabulary of project management terminology, knowledge area, and concept you'll need to get started. Here, you'll have a complete overview of what it requires to be a successful project manager.

Besides, you will also find many useful formulas that help you with various calculations specifically related to project management. It got the highest recommendation from experienced project managers. However, you may face difficulties reading this book as the language is quite academic. But if you want to lead as a project manager, this guide is a must-have.

You'll get ideas about:

  • Initiate a new project or phase
  • Identify project goal and opportunities
  • Manage teams and stakeholders
  • Document project attributes
  • Track and control tasks & milestones
Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge

Who is this project management book for?

A learner intends to master the fundamental theories and language of project management.

2. Project Management for The Unofficial Project Manager

Author: Kory Kogon, Suzette Blakemore, & James Wood

First Published Date: 2015

Latest Edition: 1st

This Book Covers:

Project Management for The Unofficial Project Manager shows you the steps a project needs to execute. It follows the same structure as PMBOK- Initiate, Plan, Execute, Monitor and Control, Close. To make the learning process easier writers include real-life use-cases, examples, lists, and diagrams. There includes a short review at the end of each chapter for a quick recap.

This book is known as an actionable guide for leaders without titles. However, unlike other project management books, it uses simple language to illustrate things. So people from any background get a great boost to work inside a project. Also, you'll learn how to coordinate and organize elements that make a project successful.

You'll get ideas to:

  • Become an effective “unofficial” project manager
  • Engage team to the fullest
  • Real-world insights
  • Keep your projects organized
  • Run projects without help of an organized team
Project Management for The Unofficial Project Manager

Who is this project management book for?

People who face challenges to keep their projects organized will get a lot of insights from this book. It is also beneficial for the professionals who run projects without organized team support.

3. Project Management Absolute Beginner’s Guide

Author: Greg Horin

First Published date: 2005

Latest Edition: 4th

This Book Covers:

As the title suggests, this book is particularly designed for beginners. Greg describes here the fundamental theory of project management and the core responsibilities of project managers. New managers and apprentices can read this book to learn about common obstacles that first-time project managers usually face. You can use it as a guideline to overcome these problems and handle project tasks using most of the technology.

The Beginner's Guide contains charts and diagrams to illustrate the major attributes of a project execution process. The writer explains here various complex mechanisms in a simple approach. This book will help you develop your capabilities not only to manage projects but also to lead them.

You'll get ideas to:

  • Program management
  • Work breakdown structure
  • Agile approaches
  • Risk management
  • Advanced reporting techniques
  • Enterprise resource management
Project Management Guide for beginner

Who is this project management book for?

People want to master every project management task, from primary budgeting and scheduling through execution, managing teams through closing projects, and learning from experience.

4. Strategic Project Management Made Simple

Author: Terry Dean Schmidt

First Published date: February 9, 2009

Latest Edition: 2nd

This Book Covers:

You need to know the exact process to build a connection between your projects and strategic objectives. Schmidt shows a step-by-step process to design an efficient project execution plan in his book. He established an actionable framework for achieving goals and having deep insights.

According to the author, the team must focus on four critical questions to create their own strong and strategic foundation:

  • What are we trying to accomplish and why?
  • How will we measure success?
  • What other conditions must exist?
  • How do we get there?

This book also explores the missing part of project management and strategic planning. And provides practical solutions for leaders and teams to solve problems of all types and sizes.

You'll get ideas to:

  • Prepare action plans
  • Sharpen your strategy
  • Deal with pitfalls
  • Improve working relationships
  • Critical thinking
Strategic Project Management Made Simple

Who is this project management book for?

This book contains informative ideas for both beginners and expert project managers. But experienced people can relate more and implement the concept better.

Best Project Management Books for Mental Growth

5. Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management

Author: Scott Berkun

First Published date: March 25th, 2001

Latest Edition: 2nd

This Book Covers:

Scott Berkun has worked for more than 9 years as a program manager in Internet Explorer, and lead program manager in Windows and MSN. He wrote this book considering both technical and non-technical readers. It gives you a clear indicator to handle a large software or web development project. On top of that, every chapter ends with highly relatable exercises to focus on the topic dealt with and put readers into practice.

This book does not offer any specific methods but enriches your knowledge with actionable philosophy and strategy. In his writing, the writer focuses on the daily challenges of project managers and includes effective suggestions to overcome them. In the last edition, he emphasizes more on leadership qualities for managers of diverse project types.

You'll get ideas to:

  • Schedule your project activities
  • Plan and research with effective ideas
  • Write efficient vision statement
  • Make effective decisions
  • Establish interpersonal relationships
Making Things Happen

Who is this project management book for?

It's a great kick for project managers who belongs to the IT industry and intend to learn about project management in a simple manner.

6. Project Management Case Studies

Author: Harold Kerzner

First Published date: February 13, 2003

Latest Edition: 15th

This Book Covers:

Harold arranges this book in a different way. He covers more than 100 case studies from renowned companies to describe different approaches to project management. You will get the experience of Professional Training from this book. As it is full of great examples including real-life problems and solutions.

You can explore various challenges that a project manager can face in his job and possible ways to overcome them. All the things are explained like stories so you can easily understand the context and compare the available solutions. There are 21 chapters in total and there is a question section at the end of each chapter. It gives you an idea about project methodologies, implementation plans, organizational structure & culture, salary administrations, and others.

In the latest edition, you'll find some interesting case studies about Disney, the Olympics, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and Airbus 380. Also, it includes case studies focusing on agile and scrum methodologies.

You'll get ideas to:

  • Estimate project cost
  • Negotiate for resources
  • Project risk management
  • Project management lawsuite
  • Enroll Project Management Professional Certification Exam
Project Management Case Studies

Who is this project management book for?

This book can be a handy tool for experienced PMs or any participants in project management.

7. The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management

Author: Eric Verzuh

First Published date: July 12, 1999

Latest Edition: 6th

This Book Covers:

The Fast Forward MBA teaches simple methods and techniques to track projects. It also helps readers to lead and build strong teams. Getting ideas about foundation principles of project management, it becomes easier to organize a project upfront from beginning to end. Besides, advanced case studies empower its readers to take quick initiatives.

This book is full of cutting-edge PM ideas and hard-won insight of sector leaders. It is a synopsis for simple management issues like performance, teamwork, pressure, structure, timekeeping, support, etc. Eric introduced an interesting technique called Holy Grail Solution in chapter 18. This helps you to get control over your projects, programs, and portfolio as a whole. The stellar performer case study on Bill & Melinda Gate Foundation makes it easy to understand.

You'll get ideas to:

  • Work Breakdown Structure
  • Risk management framework
  • Budget projections
  • Realistic scheduling
  • Agile and waterfall framework
The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management

Who is this project management book for?

This bestselling PM book is a coursebook for universities and corporate training workshops. After going in the market, till now it comes up to six editions. The first printed version has sold over a hundred thousand copies.

8. Agile Project Management with Scrum

Author: Ken Schwaber

First Published date: 2004

Latest Edition: 1st

This Book Covers:

This Scrum book elaborates on agile methodology and how to break it up into several phases. Ken collects all the elements from his years of experience mentoring Scrum teams and teaching Certified ScrumMaster courses around the world. The book teaches a good lesson of problem-solving. It says feel the problem to solve from the root.

The best thing about the book is its simple expression, case studies, and success-failure stories. Ken also shares his failed projects history with the readers to prevent them from same mistakes. After reading them, you can use Scrum to solve complex problems and drive better results. This also enables you to deliver more valuable software faster.

You'll get ideas to:

  • Scrum theory
  • ScrumMaster responsibilities
  • Customer & team colleboration
  • Sprint planning meeting
  • Project reporting
Agile Project Management with Scrum

Who is this project management book for?

The book is suitable for a career coach, leader, and experienced agile project manager. Highly recommended for people who want to improve their software delivery. But a newbie may have faced some difficulty for understanding.

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Popular Project Management Books for All Levels

9. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Author: David Allen

Published date: 2001

Latest Edition: 2nd

This Book Covers:

This book introduced a systematic approach to high productivity. David names it “Getting Things Done”. The GTD workflow includes five stages: capture, clarify, organize, reflect, and engage. He divides the book into three parts where the initial is full of workflow and planning. The second part focuses on different aspects and obstacles to practical productivity. The book involves the process, tools requirements, collecting essentials, organizing them, and take a grip on the project. The final part that comes in the updated version focusing on science-based approaches to GTD mastery.

The author tries to convey his years of experience in this field and shares his recommendation. It is helpful to others in their need in GTD. If you are new to GTD, it is good to read it in sequence. But people familiar with this technique can start from where they like.

You'll get ideas to:

getting thing done

Who is this project management book for?

The book is a kind of fit for all. It would be beneficial for students, teachers, leaders, coaches, artists, who like the newer ways to Get Things Done.

10. Brilliant Project Management: What the Best Project Managers Know, Do, and Say

Author: Stephen Barker, Rob Cole

First Published Date: November 9, 2012

Latest Edition: 3rd

This Book Covers:

Brilliant Project Management is all about sharing the diverse experiences of two veteran Project Managers. Here you'll learn effective ways to meet the deadline within the budget. From the development of a project plan to its execution, this book encompasses the entire process. It also talks about risk management, quality issues, resource planning, training, meet-ups, etc.

This book shows you how to get the best output from a mistake. You'll also find the practical benefits of using additional resources. Writers make the lessons interesting with funny drawings and humorous discussions. Read the book from cover to cover to dip into the topics that amazed you most.

You'll get ideas to:

  • Dealing with risk and issues
  • Resource planning & management
  • Facilitation techniques
  • Effective leadership
  • Running productive meetings
Brilliant Project Management

Who is this project management book for?

The book is suitable for the newbie to ex-pat project management professionals. It benefits both long-term and short-term projects.

11. The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management

Author: Peter F. Drucker

First Published date: 2001

This Book Covers:

The Essential Drucker is all about the business philosophy and analysis of socio-economics. It contains a pack of experience of sixty years. This book helps you to learn management practices, theories that reflect on performance from a single to a larger unit of people. In simple words, it is a compilation of the experience of the industry legends.

This book illustrates a systemic approach to show various challenges of management. You can find many cases which tell about problems and their solutions. The Essential Drucker says how professionals deal with challenges to meet the socio-economic future demand. It is a base text of modern management that influence people to reshape their mind logically to get better outcomes.

You'll get ideas to:

  • The practice of management
  • The frontiers of management
  • Future demands & tools
  • Available opportunities & possibilities
  • Basic principles & concerns of management
The Essential Drucker

Who is this project management book for?

The book is a must-read for people who have an interest in learning new ideas and their nourishment. The Essential Drucker is suitable for many people that includes students, teachers, management leaders, etc.

12. The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change

Author: Camille Fournier

Published date: January 1, 2017

This Book Covers:

Human management is a difficult task. IT guys are even worse in it. IT companies lack a structured system to do good here. Available texts and guides are only explaining how to do well in IT work. At this point, the Manager’s Path is an excellent piece that tells how to run staff, secure their career and ensure company growth.

The book is full of actionable advice and methods to overcome the obstacles of IT management. This book contains ideas to supervise a multilevel team that creates a team grooming culture. It also tells about how to mentor people in their problems. You will also learn how to control yourself in challenges that many leaders face difficulty. All these events are presented practically in this book.

You'll get ideas to:

  • Be a good manager
  • One-on-one meetings
  • Workplace guidance
  • Training & career growth
  • Agile software management
the managers path

Who is this project management book for?

This book is suitable for anyone who wishes to manage people. Managers, HR Personnel, Leaders are the key person who should read the book. The book shares a feeling of practical scenario.

Grab Some Coffee and Enjoy Reading a Project Management Book Today!

Working on a project, you have an important role to play and specific acts to do. Project Management Books help you with numerous methods and tricks so you can pick the right way considering your project needs. This also boosts your skills to emerge yourself in all adverse situations with great effort.

Having ideas over all possible solutions, it becomes easier to identify the most efficient method for a particular project. Many excellent project ideas never see the light just because of primary mishaps, scattered elements, and inappropriate methods to execute them. Good Project Management Books show you the most practical and workable plan to handle all kinds of projects and strategic initiatives.

All these project management books articulated the common project management strategies that most project manager still follows even at this digital age of technology. Implementation of these strategies is made much easier with advanced project management tools like WP Project Manager. The solution enables project managers and team members to collaborate productively and helps to manage their tasks at hand smartly.

Which project management book have you read last? How did it help your professional career as a project manager? Share your experience and thoughts with us in the comment section below!

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Sabirah Islam
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Sabirah Islam

Sabirah Islam is a creative content writer who loves to work on diverse topics. She has a deep interest to work with new marketing strategies and different buyer persona. In free times she loves to play with her twin boys.

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