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8 Of The Best Project Management Books For 2020 & Beyond
Both beginners and pros can keep their strategic plans on track with these expert-recommended reads of the best project management books.
Effective project management is absolutely critical to the successful execution of any strategic plan. In fact, most strategies never get off the ground because there wasn’t a well-organized approach to project management.
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 on the strategy team. Whether you’re fully resourced or not, a beginner or a pro, it’s always smart to learn the latest and greatest strategies. Here are eight of the best project management books to read for 2020, recommended by experts in various industries. (If you're looking for strategy resources, here's our list of top strategy articles).
1. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland
“Scrum is mostly used in software development, but I’ve found that its principles apply to every department within my company. Sutherland, who co-created the Scrum methodology, takes the proven processes that work in application development and makes them applicable for anyone trying to manage any type of project. His book is a fantastic guide for project management.”
Reuben Yonatan, Founder and CEO, GetVoIP
2. The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management by Eric Verzuh
“The book provides both a high-level overview of project management, as well as covers the smaller details of the discipline. It explains the significance of things like a communications plan and a stakeholder report. There are also a ton of tactical templates you can download and implement into your own business operations.”
Raven Beria, Founder, Brandalaxy
3. Strategic Project Management Made Simple by Terry Schmidt
“This book makes you question your goals before you begin any project. What are you trying to accomplish? What is the purpose? And then, how do you get there? Schmidt outlines a logical, step-by-step process to help you take a strategic approach to designing projects and action initiatives.The book is informative for both beginners and experienced project managers, but a senior-level professional can likely relate more and apply the concepts better.”
Gintaras Steponkus, Marketing Manager, Solid Guides
4. Project Management for Humans: Helping People Get Things Done by Brett Harned
“Besides focusing on project structures and technical management aspects, Harned puts equal emphasis on communication, facilitation, and managing expectations. He lays out all the traits of a good project manager, including spot-on communication skills, collaboration with multifunctional teams, and efficient resource management. Harned uses storytelling as a tool to help readers understand the concepts in this book, which I think is very effective.”
Mike Bran, Founder, ThrillAppeal.com
5. Project Management for The Unofficial Project Manager by Suzette Blakemore and James Wood
“This is a great read 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. The book outlines helpful ways 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.”
Ryan Pitylak, CMO, ZenBusiness
6. Project Management Absolute Beginner’s Guide by Gregory M. Horine
“Besides tackling the required ‘hard’ processes of project management, I’d recommend this as one of the best project management books because 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 helped me shorten the project management learning curve quite efficiently.”
Avinash Chandra, Founder & CEO, BrandLoom
7. Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman
“This book goes beyond project management and deep into the vision for an organization’s growth, creating a strategic bullseye that all projects are judged against. The tools and assessments in this book are vital to help any leadership team know if teams are working on the right projects to achieve your vision and goals. Because when you have the right target (vision) with the right people to enact it, are tracking the right data, and are aware of any speed bumps along the way…you get traction.”
Kimberly Spencer, CEO + Certified High Performance Coach, Crown Yourself Enterprises, LLC
8. Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management by Scott Berkun
“Authentically written using a collection of real experiences, this book covers all the essential ingredients—idea generation, communication, management, strategies, planning, decision making, and many other techniques—that are required and helpful in project management. The author includes tricks and techniques for technical and non-technical readers that he learned during his nine years of managing projects at Microsoft.
The concepts are to the point, using simple language with guides and understandable diagrams. This is a must-have business project management book that doesn’t bore, and helps you navigate challenging situations.”
Aqsa Tabassam, Editor-In-Chief, InsideTechWorld.com
Every company has projects they need to manage and execute, but very few do those things well. These books can give you solid project management approaches to implement in your organization. And if you need help determining exactly which projects your teams should focus on (as well as how to eliminate the ones that waste time and money), check out the comprehensive guide below.