best project management book [15 project management books for beginners and beyond]

Best Project Management Book of 2022 [15 Project Management Books for Beginners and Beyond]

🧠 Did you know? 93% of organizations report using standardized practices for project management.

What is project management?

Project management is the process of leading your team to success within the parameters of a given project. It’s used across countless industries including:

  • consulting
  • engineering
  • information technology

And beyond.

Project management is incredibly important. Plus, many companies require you to become certified.

The books we’re featuring today will help you complete the project (and keep your boss happy).

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you buy something. Read my disclosure for more details.

TLDR: Best Project Management Book

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)

💥 Best for Newbies 💥
The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management

💸 Best Value 💸
Project Management for The Unofficial Project Manager

💻 Best for Industry Veterans 💻
Information Technology Project Management, 9th Edition

Best Project Management Book

1. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), 7th Edition

↘️ Ideal for: project management professionals, FAANG engineers, software developers
↘️
Topics covered: development approaches, project outputs and outcomes

Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is a set of standardized guidelines and terminologies for project management.

The PMBOK Guide is the go-to global standard resource for aspiring project managers. Structured around eight performance domains, you’ll learn the 12 principles of project management.

You’ll also discover different development approaches such as:

  • predictive
  • adaptive
  • hybrid

➡️ In this 7th edition PMBOK Guide, you’ll learn how to address current and future project management needs while becoming more proactive and innovative.

See what project managers are saying about the PMBOK Guide:

Great book for those pursuing a project management professional certification.

Michael Theodore, Project Manager

🔥 Geena’s Hot Take 🔥

The PMBOK Guide is the gold standard of project management books. You’ll find that many of the books we list are heavily influenced by PMBOK.

If you want to do project management literally by the book, then look no further.


🌊 Get more in depth with project management with the course Open Source Management & Strategy by The Linux Foundation.

2. The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management

↘️ Ideal for: newbies and experienced project managers
↘️
Topics covered: leadership, project quality, managing projects

The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management is an in-depth guide offering project management techniques, tools and methods. You’ll find:

  • important project management concepts
  • real-world applications
  • case studies

And much more.

By applying practical strategies, you’ll discover how to manage and deliver projects on time and within budget.

Fast Forward MBA in Project Management includes PMP certification study tips.

➡️ Fast Forward MBA in Project Management is a comprehensive handbook for beginners and project management professionals.


3. Project Management for The Unofficial Project Manager

↘️ Ideal for: senior software developers, FAANG engineers, team leads
↘️
Topics covered: leadership

Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager guides you through key phases of the project management process such as:

  • initiating
  • planning
  • executing
  • monitoring
  • closing

Throughout the book, you’ll find anecdotes, proverbs and reviews to assist you in your crash course on project management.

➡️ Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager is useful both for team and individual projects.

See what project managers are saying about Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager:

This book is perfect for individuals learning how to PM at a professional level.

Justin Alemazkour, Project Manager

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4. Information Technology Project Management, 9th Edition

↘️ Ideal for: tech-savvy individuals, senior software engineers, software developers, team leads
↘️
Topics covered: PMP, PMBOK and Agile developments

Information Technology Project Management delivers effective tools and techniques to hone in on your project management skills. Using material mirroring the PMBOK Guide and Agile Practice Guide, you’ll explore some of the latest developments in project management.

In addition, you’ll discover:

  • exercises
  • cases
  • template files
  • Agile information

And more.

➡️ Information Technology Project Management is intended to help you prepare for the PMP and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) exams.


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5. Project Management: A Strategic Managerial Approach

↘️ Ideal for: business students, junior developers, aspiring FAANG engineers
↘️
Topics covered: project life cycle, techniques, applications

Project Management: A Strategic Managerial Approach follows the project life cycle to showcase what successful project management should look like. You’ll also discover change management which will highlight challenges you may face such as:

  • organizational
  • interpersonal
  • economic

While exploring techniques and applications, you’ll build your skill set to successfully navigate projects.

➡️ Project Management: A Strategic Managerial Approach uses real-world examples to demonstrate project management in action.

Project management in practice example in Project Management: A Strategic Managerial Approach

🧠 Learn more about the Foundations of Project Management with this video course on Coursera.

6. Contemporary Project Management

↘️ Ideal for: FAANG engineers, senior software developers, team leads
↘️
Topics covered: manual and automated techniques, PMBOK standards

Contemporary Project Management mirrors manual and automated techniques consistent with the PMBOK Guide, 6th edition. Using proven methods, this book is perfect for helping you build a portfolio to showcase your project management skills for future PM jobs.

➡️ Contemporary Project Management’s goal is to prepare you to become a certified PMP or CAPM.

See what project managers are saying about Contemporary Project Management:

…Highly recommend it for anyone seeking a sweeping introduction to Project Management…

Tobiah, Project Manager

7. Project Management: The Managerial Process

↘️ Ideal for: students, project managers, aspiring managers, team leads
↘️
Topics covered: how and why project management works

Project Management: The Managerial Process takes a realistic approach to project management. Rather than focusing on the theoretical, it extracts human and cultural aspects of organizations in order to:

  • propose
  • plan
  • budget
  • lead project teams

You’ll also find a digital component which contains a gamified operations management simulation, algorithmic problems and more.

➡️ Project Management: The Managerial Process teaches you the management process and why it works.


8. Project Management

Project Management is the best project management book for learning Lean, Agile and Scrum methods.

↘️ Ideal for: project managers, team leads, FAANG engineers, senior software developers
↘️ Topics covered: Lean and Agile methods, Scrum, Kanban

In Project Management, you’ll use three methods for optimizing people in the scope of project management:

You’ll also dive into Kanban, a Lean method to improve work across human systems.

Throughout Project Management, you’ll learn how to:

  • monitor and optimize data
  • accelerate your business
  • add value and quality to your products

And beyond.

➡️ Project Management is a practical guide for managing projects using Lean, Scrum and Agile methods.


9. Project Management for Humans: Helping People Get Things Done

↘️ Ideal for: managers, designers, senior software developers
↘️
Topics covered: planning, communication, accountability

Project Management for Humans is chock full of illustrations highlighting ways to develop personal skills in order to find a project management plan that works for the entire team.

You’ll also learn how to:

  • estimate and plan tasks
  • address issues
  • communicate

And hold people accountable.

➡️ Project Management for Humans uses intuition rather than templates to design project management methods.


10. Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme, Hybrid

↘️ Ideal for: project managers, students, FAANG engineers, team leads
↘️
Topics covered: PMBOK, Agile, Lean, Scrum

In Effective Project Management, you’ll learn Agile, Lean and Scrum methods you can apply to your project management style. Updated to cover PMBOK, 6th edition, you’ll discover some of the most popular project management tools.

You’ll also find a companion website containing exercises and PowerPoint slides.

I’ve got nothing left to say about this book. Buy it.


11. Project Management Metrics, KPIs, and Dashboards

↘️ Ideal for: managers, FAANG engineers, team leads, senior software developers
↘️
Topics covered: key performance indicators, metrics, dashboards

Project Management: Metrics, KPIs and Dashboards shows you how to use three key components of project management:

While metrics and KPIs evaluate project performance, dashboards provide performance data.

➡️ Project Management: Metrics, KPIs, and Dashboards aligns with the PMBOK guide with a strong focus on value-driven project management.


12. Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management

↘️ Ideal for: aspiring project managers, team leads
↘️
Topics covered: specifications, requirements, leadership

Rather than methods, Making Things Happen focuses on philosophy and strategy to teach project management. With a collection of essays, you’ll learn about:

  • good decision-making
  • project management specifications and requirements
  • leadership and trust
  • how to fix problems

And much more.

➡️ Making Things Happen is for both technical and non-technical readers who need to learn how to navigate large web development projects.

See what project managers are saying about Making Things Happen:

…As a developer I found the ideas about actually building products useful for my own projects…

Paul, Developer

13. Project Management: Absolute Beginner’s Guide

↘️ Ideal for: project management newbies, web developers, software developers
↘️
Topics covered: budgeting, managing teams, prioritizing

Project Management: Absolute Beginner’s Guide is geared towards absolute beginners. Going step-by-step you’ll master everything from managing teams to closing projects, budgeting to scheduling, and beyond. You’ll also navigate:

  • how to lead projects
  • using control and reporting techniques
  • learning Agile project management

➡️ Project Management: Absolute Beginner’s Guide will show you how to respond to real-world project management situations.


14. Alpha Project Managers: What the Top 2% Know That Everyone Else Does Not

↘️ Ideal for: project managers, FAANG engineers
↘️
Topics covered: project manager attributes, achievements

Alpha Project Managers seeks to highlight common traits found in highly successful project managers such as:

  • character
  • beliefs
  • organizational approaches

By providing multiple perspectives, you’ll gain an understanding of some of the strongest characteristics found in world class project managers.

➡️ Alpha Project Managers interviews over 800 project managers to identify what makes them successful.


15. Fundamentals of Project Management

↘️ Ideal for: project management newbies, software developers, web developers
↘️
Topics covered: PMBOK, PMP Certification

Fundamentals of Project Management aligns with PMBOK, covering a variety of project management concepts:

  • estimating
  • stakeholder management
  • communication plan
  • project closure

You’ll also find requirements for PMP certification.

➡️ In Fundamentals of Project Management, you’ll learn how to clarify project goals, produce realistic schedules, and evaluate progress at every stage.


Best Project Management Book: Conclusion

Today we looked at the best project management books including:

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)

💥 Best for Newbies 💥
The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management

💸 Best Value 💸
Project Management for The Unofficial Project Manager

💻 Best for Industry Veterans 💻
Information Technology Project Management, 9th Edition

So regardless of your needs, we think there’s a project management book for just about everyone.


Project Managers are also reading:


  1. What is the best project management book?

    Overall, we think the PMBOK Guide is the best project management book. For newbies, we liked The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management. And for value, we chose Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager. For industry veterans, we think Information Technology Project Management is the way to go. You can learn about these books and other project management books in today's post.

  2. Is the PMBOK Guide worth it?

    The PMBOK Guide is the go-to global standard resource for aspiring project managers. Structured around eight performance domains, you'll learn the 12 principles of project management. You can learn more about the PMBOK Guide and other books that reference PMBOK in today's post.

  3. How can I get a project management certification?

    You'll want to invest in the PMBOK Guide which will prepare you for PMP certification. Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is a set of standardized guidelines and terminologies for project management. If you want to learn more about PMBOK, check out today's list of project management books. In addition to the official PMBOK Guide, you'll find other books that align with PMBOK.

  4. What are some project management tools?

    Some project management software tools include Trello and Monday.com. Some other tools you may find helpful include network diagrams, project documentation and Gantt charts. If you want to learn more about project management tools, you can check out our list of project management books. You'll find 15 books that cover a variety of project management topics including tools commonly used in project management.

  5. What is PMBOK?

    PMBOK stands for the Project Management Body of Knowlege. The PMBOK Guide is considered the global standard resource for aspiring project managers. It focuses on 12 principles of project management. If you want to learn more about PMBOK, you can pick up the PMBOK Guide. Otherwise, you can check out one of the many other project management books on our list today that use PMBOK as guidance.