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As a professional in any industry, the only way to grow is by continuously learning. While taking a class or seminar can be an excellent way to improve your skills and range of knowledge, there’s an even easier way to grow immensely that also easily fits in with your busy project management schedule.

That method, of course, is reading! There are so many books out there that can improve your project management skill set, from team collaboration to leadership to client engagement and everything in between. Because we believe every project manager should have a book on their bedside table at all times, we put together this list of the best project management books available today.

Five Books Every Project Manager Should Read

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

David Allen

This is one of the best development books for project managers and just about any professional looking to get more done with less stress. The book outlines an effective productivity system, using lists and structures, that helps you juggle tasks with ease.

The philosophy behind the book is that, with structure in place, you’re no longer weighed down by to-dos, and better able to think about bigger picture items.

Many project managers swear by the GTD method, believing it helps improve productivity while reducing stress.

2. Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management

Scott Berkun

Making Things Happen is one of the best project management books because it covers the very foundation of project management: how to turn an idea into a successful project.

The book is casual and easy to read, yet still provides valuable information about every stage of the project process. From ideation to execution to analysis, this book provides concrete examples of successful projects for you to learn from.

Plus, the inspirational quotes will keep you going when you’re feeling stuck or in a rut!

3. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge

Project Management Institute

This is by no means the most fun book on this list, but it is widely regarded as one of the best project management books out there. The book can be a little dry and textbook-ish, but it’s the definitive guide to project management, and essential for anyone gearing up for the PMP exam.

While you may not have the energy or attention span to read it cover to cover, it’s a good idea to keep this guide by your desk (or on your Kindle!) as a reference.

4. Brilliant Project Management

Stephen Barker

While Brilliant Project Management is directed at project management specifically, we think it’s one of the best career development books all around. It’s funny, fun to read, and an essential read for anyone leading a team. The anecdotes are just as hilarious as they are revealing of common project management challenges and how to overcome them.

This is one of the best project management books for any individual or team that’s in a rut. Refresh the way you stay on schedule and on budget with this easy-to-digest read.

5. Risk Up Front: Managing Projects in a Complex World

Adam Josephs & Brad Rubenstein

Written by an incredibly talented designer (Josephs) and project manager (Rubenstein), this book demonstrates the depths of both authors’ expertise in the industry.

This is truly one of the best project management books out there, because it includes two very different perspectives of the industry and how to succeed in across both. Project managers will appreciate the tips for managing a team and avoiding common pitfalls.

Increase your business agility with Clarizen’s project management software

At Clarizen, we sincerely believe that some of the best career development books are project management books. Any professional, whether a project manager or not, can benefit from the leadership, team building, and productivity tips in these great reads.

And if you’re looking to take your project management processes to the next level, Clarizen’s industry-leading project management solution can help. Get in touch for a live demo.


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