Looking back on 2005 I've gone through a number of books that have influenced my understanding of Project Management.
- Augustine's Laws, Norman R. Augustine - former CEO of Martin Marietta Corporation writes about how he sees business processes. Augustine's "Laws" can be applied to almost every project focused organization.
- Tuxedo Park, Jennet Conant - Loomis was a Wall Street broker with a passion for amateur science. He was responsible for bringing British scientist and engineers to Tuxedo Park on Long Island to continue with the development of radar during WW II
- The Management of Projects, Peter W. G. Morris - describes the history of project management prior to 1940 through now. This is an important book for many reasons, none the least is to bust many myths running around the forums about how projects were managed in the past.
- Effective Risk Management, Edmund Conrow. This is one of those tough read books that described everything you need to know about risk management.
- The Space Shuttle Decision 1965 - 1972 and The Development of the Space Shuttle 1972 - 1981 - is a detailed history of the design and development of the Space Transportation System. This is a myth buster book, like the Morris book, with detailed accounts and in depth references.
- IT Portfolio Management Bryan Maizlish and Robert Handler - is a detailed description about managing portfolios of IT projects. Many other portfolio books on my shelf are now in the donation bin at the public library. This is the one book to own if you do this kind of work for a living.
- Raise Heaven and Earth, William B. Harwood - is a history of Martin Marietta and Glen Martin.
- Before the Fallout, Diana Preston - is the story of the development of the atomic bomb from Marie Curie to Hiroshima.
- Collapse, Jared Diamond - like the previous Diamond book, this is a detailed account of the socio-economic processes leading to the collapse of many societies.
- Beyond Bullet Points, Cliff Atkinson - defines in public how to build presentations in the way I learned through Booze Allen consultants in private and proposal management training. This is a must have and must use book. It is story board based and demands you think thorough the "story" in three acts at various levels of detail before starting.
- Modelling Complex Projects, Terry Williams - describes how to model and manage complex efforts in the form of projects. Like the Conrow book, this is a serious read for serious project managers. No fluff, no generalizations.
- Systems Engineering, Richard Stevens, Ken Jackson, Peter Brook and Stuart Arnold - describes the details of seeing the world through the eyes of a Systems Engineering. In this paradigm Project Management is a Systems Engineering discipline. It does not stand alone nor does it have processes that are independent of the system that are being built. This is the core concept in any modern aerospace or military program as well as emerging complex construction or infrastructure projects.
- Managing Agile Projects, edited by Kevin Aguanno - is a collection of processes for manging projects in an agile manner. Most books with title "agile project management" are about software development and not about project management.
- How We Know What Isn't So, Thomas Gilovich - is about the falibility of human reason in everyday life. Very appropriate for the current Intelligent Design discussion and the myths surrounding any and all "magic fixes" for project management.
These books are practicum texts, not guidebooks, not survey books, not overview books - books by people who manage projects for a living. Not books by people who teach project management or talk about how project management should be done - but professionals in the field. Forget the other authors, read people who have survived in the field.