I'm a young manager moving into more of a project management role and I'd like to find some good reading material about project management skills.

Any recommendations for books or websites in the following areas:

1. Project management skills in general.

2. The Prince2 methodology in particular, with the aim of getting into a certification program as a next step.

Any guidance much appreciated.

iann22's picture

For websites often use, there are others but this is the one I seem to come back to regularly.

There are also a couple of good podcasts: Controlling Chaos & The PM Podcast.

For PM skills from books I'd recommend any of the good management books without worrying that they're not specifically project management. For example I would say I have learnt from, and applied PM practices that I picked-up from, 'Leadership' by Rudolph Giuliani.

For the Prince II certification you'll need the Prince II manual (which you should get when you go on the course - maybe you could borrow a colleges beforehand?)Here's the Amazon link, but its not cheap -

Hope this helps.


stephenbooth_uk's picture

Before buying anything about PRINCE2 bear in mind that a new version comes out this year. Any books you buy are likely to be for the 2005 version or even earlier! There have been significant changes between versions in the pas. The changes that led to the 2005 version were, apparently, to make it more useful in non-IT projects. I gather there are likely to be significant changes for the 2009 version.

"Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2" is the definitive text and the one you should be given a copy of when you go on the course (the one I linked is the latest, the 2005 version). You may also want to check out "Paractical PRINCE2" and "PRINCE2 Revealed", both by Colin Bentley. Colin is, or at least was,the lead examiner for the PRINCE2 certification. Both books are good introductions to PRINCE2. "PRINCE2 Revealed" is particularly good as the second half of the book explores which bits to leave out for different sorts of projects.

Something to always bear in mind, which many people seem to miss, is the PRINCE2 is a methodology for project management, it is not project management. Training for certification in PRINCE2 will not teach you how to manage a project, just how to apply PRINCE2 to the management of a project. It certainly will not equip you for managing a project using a different methodology.


littlejus's picture

Hi Stephen and Ian,

Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I'm going to be investigating how to get further into Prince2. There's so much material out there it seems difficult to know where to begin. The pointers you gave look like being the right kind of direction to follow.

Many thanks and best regards,

thaGUma's picture

Prince 2 is due an update in 2009 so keep an eye out. OGC says it will be simpler and better ... lets hope!

nelsonclassic's picture

Hello friend,

I  have read some Project Management books like "Making Things Happen" by Scott Berkun if you want to start from the basic then you can go for "The Principles Of Project Management" by Meri Williams as suggested by one of my friend as he has done this course and during his course he took help from these books .He only suggested me about other Business Management Books   like moose on the table, leader's digest and many others which not only helped me in project management but helped me learning other business skills like leadership, management development, team building and others. So I got help  from these books if you wish you can go through this may be you will get what you want. 




contractpm's picture

Some of these books are designed to be a reference to help you in your job, some of them to help with specific PM qualifications and some just to read and retain. I have placed the books in order of importance and influence to my knowledge as a Project Manager:

* A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge: PMBOK Guide (PMBOK Guides) - Project Management Institute (Paperback – Oct 2004)

The PM Bible, this contains all terms and of course is required for PMI, CAPM and PMP exams.

* Project Management for IT-related Projects: Textbook for the ISEB Foundation Certificate in Project Management - Bob Hughes, Roger Ireland, Norman Smith, David I. Shepherd (Paperback – Aug 31, 2004)

This is the official text for the ISEB Foundation Certificate in IS Project Management, one of the best introductions to IS PM.

* Project Management in the Real World - Elizabeth Harrin (Paperback – Nov 1, 2006)


This is a great book, probably suited to those who have already worked in PM.

This book gives case studies and real world examples of what works.

* Goal Directed Project Management: Effective Techniques - Erling S. Andersen, Kristoffer V Grude, Tor Haug (Paperback – Feb 26, 2004)

This is one of the first PM books I read! Groundbreaking at the time in changing the paradigm from task orientated to goal orientated project management.

* PMP Exam Prep: Accelerated Learning to Pass PMI’s PMP Exam on Your First Try! - Rita Mulcahy (Paperback – Sep 30, 2005)

Widely known as THE product to help you pass PMP!

* 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey (Paperback – Jan 4, 2004)

I believe this will help anyone with planning, organising and prioritising work.


* The Mythical Man Month and Other Essays on Software Engineering - Frederick P. Brooks Jr. (Paperback – Aug 8, 1995)

Brilliant book on all aspects of project management in the "real" world

* PRINCE2 Pocketbook - Office of Government Commerce (Paperback – Jul 15, 2005)

This is a pocketbook overview of all of the main principles of Prince2 – I found this book useful as an aide memoir.

* Passing the PRINCE2 examinations - The APM Group based on the original book Ken Bradley (Paperback – Nov 30, 2007)

I used this for my exam, it is essentially just tips and past papers, but useful nonetheless.

* Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 - Great Britain. Office of Government Commerce (Paperback – May 31, 2005)

This is the official text, and is required in the exam! However to read the text is really dry – like reading the dictionary!

* Prince2 for Dummies - Nick Graham (Paperback – Apr 18, 2008)

This book is a good starter and is readable as a book on the way to work etc… Gives a good overview of Prince2!

* PRINCE2: A Practical Handbook (Computer Weekly Professional) - Colin Bentley (Paperback – Dec 6, 2001)

This is a readable Prince2 book also – I read this as a pre-cursor to my formal training.

* The Project and Programme Support Office Handbook: Foundation v. 1 - David E. Marsh (Paperback – Jan 1, 2000)

THE text required to prepare for the ISEB Certificate in Programme and Project Support Office Essentials exam.

* The Project and Programme Support Office Handbook: Advanced v.2: Advanced Volume 2 – David E. Marsh (Paperback – Apr 1, 2000)

A more advanced text to help prepare for the Advanced Certificate in Programme and Project Support Office exam.

* More Secrets of Consulting: The Consultant’s Tool Kit - Gerald M. Weinberg (Paperback – Jan 15, 2002)

Useful for contractors and surviving all project work

* The Complete Project Management Office Handbook (ESI International Project Management) - Gerard M. Hill (Hardcover – Aug 15, 2007)

A comprehensive reference text for setting up a Project Office.

* Waltzing with Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects - Tom DeMarco, Timothy Lister (Paperback – Mar 31, 2003)

Excellent book on risk and risk management

* Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams - Tom DeMarco, Timothy Lister (Paperback – Feb 28, 1999)

Great project based info.





tbarbosa's picture

 Hi there,

I have to first admit there are various books and websites out there for anyone interested in Prince2 courses on project management scheme of things. But the reality is which one do you go with, especially any young men new to project management such as myself. So I do understand where people are coming from when they enquire about these things from experience. Speaking of books, I think an excellent book for project handling is OGC's Managing Successful Projects with Prince2, ISBN-10 0113309465. Rita Mulcahy's paperback is also a good one. The truth with managing projects is that you can't afford to overlook anything, so mustering proper sources for information is a must!

But what I realise with self study is that a person can mislead him or herself hence why I've decided to look into classroom based training myself. I would advice the same for anyone seeking a role in project management. I'm recently browsed a number of websites all giving relevant information on what I'm looking for, one of them Firebrand Training in Denmark caught my attention, but I'm still looking, if anyone has heard of them, lease let me know. 

Hope this helps!



stephenbooth_uk's picture

 When looking for books on PRINCE2 be very careful to check which version they are based on.  Colin Bentley (who was chief examiner on PRINCE2 at the time) wrote some excellent books on PRINCE2.  Unfortunately these, in the final editions, were based on the 2002 version of the methodology so are now of restricted use, there has been a 2005 review and a 2009 rewrite since then.  The 2009 release made some pretty major changes, mostly addressing problems people had come across implementing the 2002 and 2005 releases. 

The PRINCE2 manual (aka "Managing successful projects with...") is the best I have come across for the 2009 version and is essential if you intend to pass the exams to get certification (the practitioner exam is open book that that is the book).  I would recommend doing a classroom course if you intend to take the exams as it will give you the opportunity to sit practice papers.  In the 2009 Practitioner papers ther is a style of question (Assertion-Reason) that I've only seen in one other exam (the CHAMPS2 practitioner paper), although I understand that it has been or will be introduced in other APMG papers such as M_o_R and MSP.  These catch a lot of people out as they really test your ability to think about what the material is actually saying.

Having used both the 2005 and 2009 releases on PRINCE2 I would say if you're going to use PRINCE2 go for the 2009 version.  A number of the quirks of the 2005 version have been sorted out and customising has been made easier.  In fact the method now specifies that you should customise to suit your project.  Earlier versions got a bad name due to project managers implementing the whole method robotically which in many cases caused a massive overhead, the 2009 version emphasises that you should customise to the project you are running and if something doesn't fit you should throw it away, but be clear as to why you are throwing it away.  The only part that cannot be thrown away is the set of principles, one of which is to customise.




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