The Essential Books on Project Management

These are a collection of books on project management that I have found useful over the course of my career, and in many cases I have read these books more than once.

The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition)

The Mythical Man-Month by Fred Brooks is a classic of project management and something I read very earlier in my career. The central tenet of the is that add people to a late project will only make it later, which I often hear colloquialized these days as “nine women can’t make a baby in a month.” Despite being 41 years old as of this writing it’s a lessons that is still being learned by project teams across the world.

Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules

Rapid Development pre-dates the massive adoption of agile techniques, and yet still has many best practices and sound advice for software development project management in particular.

Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life

The New One Minute Manager

Who Moved My Cheese? and The One Minute Manager are both essentials for anyone who has to manage people, and as project managers the reality is that is 90% of our job if we are doing it right (hint: if you are spending all your time managing your gnatt charts and requirements then you’re doing it wrong.) The One Minute Manager provides you will a toolkit full of tools for better managing your teams, and Who Moved My Cheese? helps you better understand, empathize with, and manage people impacted by change.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

Building a high performing team is critical to project success, and as project managers we must be the ones to lead our teams to greater effectiveness. Not to mention it is just plain more fun to work with a well functioning team, and who doesn’t want that? The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is a great quick read which will help you identify common dysfunctions that will get in your team’s way, and help you overcome them with actionable steps you can take with your team.