- Results Without Authority: Controlling a Project When the Team Doesn’t Report to You — A Project Manager’s Guide
- Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management (Theory in Practice (O’Reilly))
- Software Project Survival Guide (Pro — Best Practices)
- The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition)
- Applied Software Project Management
Results without Authority and Making Things Happen are the two books in the list that do not focus on IT/software project management. The authors of these books focus on how you can be a project manager by focusing on communication and the stakeholders. This sounds pretty basic, but it never hurts to be told (and told, and told) that as PMs we need to focus the majority of our energy on communicating.
The remaining three books come from an IT-background, but the ideas of them can be applied to projects in every arena. Many of you have read the book The Mythical Man-Month. This book was one of the first to raise that throwing resources at a problem won’t fix it because the complexity and communication needs for the project skyrocket and can actually slow down you project. This is just one of the insights in the book.
Reading these books will not make you a better PM…only practice and application of what you learn can do that. However. I am confident that reading these books will provide you with more information and ideas on how to be a better project manager.
Please let me know your thoughts on these books and let me know if there are other books that are essential on your bookcase.