Many Project Managers I have spoken to, myself included, had difficulties finding the ultimate Project Management book (no, in the Guerilla Project Management blog you will not find a recommendation for PMBok). I was asked a thousand times by friends and "wanna-be" PM's what book do I recommend for beginners. So here goes the best PM book in my opinion.
It's the tenth edition of Project Management by Harold Kerzner. It has around 1100 pages and content for both the beginners and the advanced, the conventional and the Guerilla PMs. Although it contains references for PMBok to every chapter, it is the most real, down-to-earth project management book I have ever encountered.
Actually, although I strongly believe it to be the best PM book, I do not recommend this book for preparing the PMP certification. It is just too real and the PMP exam is one special species.
I liked the book right when I saw the table of contents. On the very first page, in the first chapter, there it was: one subject that is very dear to me, and very neglected in the PM literature: "Working with senior executives".
Other Guerilla Project Management ideas that recommend this book:
- In companies that do excelent Project Management, Project Managers don't need to negociate in order to get resources from Line Managers. They ask, and the Line Managers make sure they balance their resources right to grant this, since this is their primary role;
- There is an entire chapter dedicated to methodology for creating new projects as a project in itself (aka NPD - New Project Development). It is somehow misleadingly called "Marketing in the project driven organization";
- There is a topic on Concurrent engineering, meaning paralelizing different functions and tasks within a project in order to achieve time to market and flexibility to change. This topic accepts rework as necessary cost to achieve these benefits;
- Topic about how the wrong people get selected to be a Project Manager.
And many others, which is why I strongly recommend that you read this book.