15 books every project manager needs to read

Being a project manager is always looking for knowledge to improve your practices and develop new skills. Even after completing specialization courses and guaranteeing international certifications, it is important that the professional continues to learn and update. In this sense, books are a solution that combine the useful with the pleasant. To help you find the best references in the field, we selected 15 books that every project manager needs to read.


1. Manager is also people – André B. Barcaui

Our first suggestion is a book that uses fiction to present fundamental concepts for project management. Written by André Barcaui, a specialist with over 20 years of experience in the project management area, the book tells the story of a professional who has just been promoted to project manager.

By knowing the challenges that the character faces in his new routine, the reader can understand more about project management methodologies, how to lead teams and deal with conflicts and learn several good management practices.

For having a simple and easy to understand language, “Manager is also people” is suitable for any audience, from the most lay to those who already have knowledge and want to go deeper. In short, it is a different way of knowing more about the basic concepts in project management.

2. Design Thinking – Tim Brown

You have probably heard someone talk about the Design Thinking methodology. Known for being innovative and enhancing the creativity of those involved, the methodology encourages the emergence of innovative ideas and deserves to be studied and tested also by project managers.

In this book, the author briefly introduces the concept of the methodology and endeavors to give real examples of several companies that have used Design Thinking and managed to achieve success. Thus, the reader has the opportunity to be inspired and see in practice how the methodology can work.

3. Scrum: the art of doing twice the work in half the time – Jeff Sutherland

In the book “Scrum: the art of doing twice the work in half the time”, the author presents the process management method that has revolutionized the management and leadership processes by encouraging the constant search for efficiency.

Jeff Sutherland shows several real examples of how Scrum increased the productivity of companies by decentralizing the power of the “boss” and proposing a new approach that values ​​the participation of employees. The reader has access to the theoretical foundations and knows the reasons that led the author to create Scrum, making the book a reference mainly for beginners in project management.

4. Scrum and agile methods: a practical guide – Luiz Duarte

If your goal is to learn how to apply Scrum in your organization in a simple and objective way, this is the book for you. Luiz Duarte’s practical guide, who is Scrum Master certified, presents techniques and reports of what works and what doesn’t work in project management with agile methodologies.

The author explains what the methodology is, how to apply it in the company, how to train the team, shows tools and processes to improve the quality of deliveries and much more. Although Scrum is a method widely used in software development projects, reading the book helps to understand how agile methodologies can be interesting for any type of project.

5. Sprint – Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz

The Sprint method, developed by Jake Knapp while working at Google, is a simple and quick concept for testing and putting ideas into practice. The idea of ​​the book is to be a complete guide to the application of the method, which proposes the validation and prototyping of ideas for a project in just 5 days. The authors present a detailed step-by-step, full of examples, explaining how and why Sprint works.

We recommend reading especially if your organization has difficulty starting projects or is dealing with risky projects.

6. Emotional intelligence for project management – Anthony Mersino, PMP

To be a good project manager, you need not only technical knowledge, but also emotional intelligence to deal with the team. In this book, Anthony Mersino brings tools and guidelines for the reader to develop their emotional intelligence, change the way they interact with people and be able to close projects on time and within the stipulated budget.

7. Project management – Jack Gido, Jim Clements and Rose Baker

This manual provides several tips for the project manager to know how to organize and manage the project teams, to communicate clearly and to document the processes involved.

Each step of a project is explained in detail: planning, estimation of time and costs, definition of scope, use of resources, risk control and so on. To ensure the reader’s understanding, the book has summaries by chapter, cases and fixation exercises. It is a good book for reference and reference.

8. Project management: establishing competitive advantages – Ricardo Viana Vargas

If your intention is to learn more about the technical concepts of project management according to the PMBOK Guide, this book is a good option. Expanded and updated according to the 6th edition of the famous manual, the volume brings the reader a simple and objective version of the main concepts, in addition to using colored and visual schemes.

The difference is due to the suggestions of online content (videos, podcasts) about project management and exclusive access to the reader area, a virtual environment that the author constantly updates with new supporting documents.

9. Focus on success: 23 methods for more productivity, more discipline, less procrastination, less stress and more success! – Pedro Santiago

This book, which is not just for project managers, teaches some techniques so that, as the title says, the reader can have more productivity, more discipline, less procrastination, less stress and more success.

The author does not create crazy strategies, nor does he have a magic formula: on the contrary, he shows how it is possible to identify the time lost in insignificant things and make changes from daily attitudes to achieve high productivity.

For a project manager, reading can be interesting for bringing knowledge about the use of time, so that he can work more efficiently. In addition, this knowledge can be transmitted to employees so that they also improve their productivity.

10. Leadership: emotional intelligence in the formation of a successful leader – Daniel Goleman

Written by psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman, author of several articles published in the Harvard Business Review, the book describes the findings of neuroscience regarding the dynamics of relationships and the impact that emotional intelligence has on organizations.

The work consists of several articles already published by the author, handpicked to contribute to the knowledge of leaders, whether they are project managers, coaches, educators, etc.

11. The 80/20 principle: the secrets to achieving more with less in business and in life – Richard Koch

Starting from Pareto’s Law, which describes the worldwide distribution of wealth, author Richard Koch realized that the law of the 80/20 ratio was present in almost all aspects of modern life. According to the author, 20% of what is done produces 80% of the total result. In this context, the book shows how to find the essential 20% that lead to significant results, so that the reader can get more with less.

The benefits of this principle for a project manager can be great: in addition to applying it to your way of leading, it is also possible to better manage project activities and make resource allocation more efficient.

12. Agile Project Management – Vitor L. Massari

The book “Agile Management” is a guide that teaches you how to manage projects in an agile way from start to finish. In addition, it gathers essential information for the reader who wants to prepare to obtain the PMI-ACP® certification, which recognizes agile project managers. Thus, it is an interesting option both for lay people in agile management and for those who already know it, but are looking to obtain PMI-ACP® certification.

13. Time management in projects – André B. Barcaui, Danúbio Borba, Ivaldo M. Silva and Rodrigo B. Neves

The project Time Management in Projects is an introduction to this very important topic for a project manager. The authors explain that all other areas of project management are related to time management, and that good planning must be considered crucial to the use of time.

The book is part of the “Project Management” series, published by Editora FGV, which has other related volumes:

  • Scope management in projects;
  • Project cost management;
  • Project risk management;
  • Quality management in projects;
  • People management in projects;
  • Management of project stakeholders;
  • Project procurement management;
  • Project communication management.

14. A project management knowledge guide (PMBOK® Guide) – Project Management Institute (PMI)

We could not fail to mention the PMBOK® Guide, which is world famous for being a reference for any project manager. Reading the book allows you to learn about good practices, areas of knowledge and the stages of the project life cycle. Thus, the reading is valid to learn how to manage projects and also to prepare for the PMP certification, granted by the same institution that organizes the manual.


15. Basic Guide to Project Management: what it is and how to manage projects – Roberto Gil Espinha

To finish the list, we suggest reading our Basic Project Management Guide, which is a complete and free material for you to learn the most important concepts of project management in a simple and objective way. Furthermore, as the guide is digital (pdf), you can download it and keep it on your computer or cell phone to consult whenever you want.

We hope you enjoyed the book suggestions that every project manager needs to read. In our library , you can find other references on time management, Kanban, how to set up a project office and much more!

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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