Andrew Filev asked on his Blog awhile back, "what Project Management books should you read?" This is a good question for all project managers. But I have difficulty with the books he listed. Which may be my same difficulty with grasping the notion of PM 2.0 paradigm.
His first "book" PMBOK® is not a "book" about project management in the sense of the books listed below. The PMBOK® speaks its name. It is a Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge. The Knowledge Areas (Integration, Scope, Time, Cost, Quality, HR, Communications, Risk, and Procurement) and Process Groups (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing) in PMBOK® provide a framework for managing projects. Which by the way, if you're not doing these knowledge areas and process groups in some way, you're not doing project management. You might be doing something else, developing code, collecting "to do lists" in your email, chatting with colleagues on IM and Twitter.
So first of all, please do not use PMBOK® as a starting place for learning about project management. PMBOK® is a framework assessment book.
Here's what's on my self that I use for our practice of Program and Project Management and Program Planning and Controls.
- The Management of Projects, Peter W. G. Morris, Thomas Telford, London, 1997. You can get this book from Amazon UK or sometimes from Amazon US
- AntiPatterns in Project Management, William Brown, Skip McCormick, and Scott Thomas, John Wiley and Sons, 2000. They have other AntiPattern books as well. Although Patterns and AntiPatterns have good out of favor in the ADD world of WEB 2.0, knowing these AntiPatterns will allow you to resist the siren song of IM, Twitter, and email as a replacement for good project management processes defined in PMBOK®.
- Modelling Complex Projects, Terry Williams, John Wiley & Sons, 2002. All nontrivial projects are complex in some way. All attempts to simplify complex projects usually fail in some spectacular way. Dr. Williams book explains how this happens and how to avoid it.
- Software Project Management, Walker Royce, Addison Wesley, 1998. This book is getting a bit long in the tooth, but still has lots of good advice for enterprise class software development projects. This Royce is the son of Winston Royce of TRW, who's paper on Water Fall is the mots misinterpreted piece of writing in all of software development. I worked in the same build as Royce and Boehm (O6, TRW, One Space Park, Redondo Beach, CA) in the hey days of software development methodologies.
- Managing Agile Projects, Edited by Kevin Aguanno, Multi-Media Publications, 2004. This is a good survey of how to manage "agile" projects. It is not an agile "project management" book. There is a dramatic difference between the two. Without knowing the difference you fall victim to the belief that agile software development is the same as project management.
- Catastrophic Disentanglement: Getting Software Projects Back On Track, E. M. Bennatan, Addison Wesley, 2006. This is one of the paradigm changing books. Bennatan provides a step-by-step process for rescuing software projects from the brink. Again a software project management book, not a book about software development.
- Agile Project Management, Jim Highsmith, Addison Wesley, 2004. I run hot and cold on Highsmith. I'm back, now that the hype around "agile project management" has died down.
- Reinventing Project Management: The Diamond Approach to Successful Growth and Innovation: Aaron Shenhar and Dov Dvir, Harvard Business School Press, 2007. This is one of the best books for corporate IT project management. I share writing duties with Dr. Shenhar in the newsletter PM Weekly Insights.
- IT Governance: How Top Performers Manage IT Decision Rights for Superior Results, Peter Weill and Jeanne Ross, Harvard Business School Press, 2004. The concept of "decision rights" is completely lost on many in the project management world. Who gets to decide is a governance question. When "all" get to decide and anyone gets to decide, the results is usually chaos at the enterprise IT level.
There are books you need that don't have Project Management in the title. These books are about the processes underlying the management of projects.
- Effective Risk Management: Some Keys to Success, 2nd Edition, Edmund Conrow, AIAA Press, 2003. Ed worked on the proposal for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (now called Orion). Ed and this book changed completely my view of programmatic and technical risk management.
- Effective Opportunity Management for Projects: Exploiting Positive Risk, David Hilson, Taylor Francis, 2004. While the notion of "positive risk" is counter intuitive and cautioned against by Ed Conrow, this book is a good survey of the concept of exploiting opportunities in projects. This is applicable during the early stages of development where change has less cost.
- Performance Based Earned Value®, Paul Solomon and Ralph Young, John Wiley & Sons, 2007. If you want to learn how to do Earned Value right, this is the book. The "iron triangle" for modern projects is Cost, Schedule, and Technical Performance. Paul's book shows you why and how to put this concept to work. Paul is retired from Northrup Grumman where he lead the EV activities for the B-2.
- The Art of Systems Architecting, 2nd Edition, Mark Maier and Eberhardt Rechtin, CRC Press. Rechtin, is the retired president Emeritus of Aerospace Corporation, an arctitect-engineering firm specializing in space systems for the US Government. Aerospace Corporate "invented" GPS.
- The Requirements Engieering Handbook, Ralph Young, Artech House, 2004. You can't have project management without requirements management.
Yes I have the Collins book as well. It's getting less interest these days as the data from book is not holding up in practice. But sill good core ideas.
One final book The Story of Managing Project: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Elias Carayannis, Young Hoon Kwak, and Frank Anbari, Praeger, 2005. This is a survey of a broad range of project management practices in a variety of industries. My chapter "Agile Project Management Methods for IT Projects," starts on page 324.