To keep up with the advancement of technology and customers' mindset, we need something that guides us correctly. That helps us maintain the balance in business, adapt to new things, and plan each move strategically. And that's why successful product managers always surround themselves with good books on product management.
In old times, learning a new thing could easily be managed alongside others. But with growing competition in the market, you cannot risk being outdated. Plus, to imply practical experience in product management, you surely need a book for guidance. However, picking a good product management book isn't as easy as it seems.
You can give it proper thought and learn about the author as well as whether they have practically implied his ideology and theory of their book or not. Your primary focus needs to be the case on studies and learning new techniques. And to help you out in picking the right books on product management, we have presented this article containing some of the greatest books. So, let's get started!
- Getting Things Done
- Mastering Leadership
- The Lean Product Playbook
- Inspired: How to Create Tech Products That Customers Love
- Predictably Irrational
- The Product Book: How to Become A Great Product Manager
- Cracking the PM Interview
- Crossing the Chasm
- Launch: Roadmap to Product Management Success
- Shape Up
1. Getting Things Done
Author: David Allen
A very well-known book written by David Allen who is widely recognized as the leading expert on personal and organizational productivity across the world. He has tutored several corporate managers and CEOs of some of the most prestigious American corporations, which made him enter Forbes' list of top five executive coaches in the U.S.A.
This book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, is considered one of the most influential business books and the supreme guide on personal organization.
It comprises the entire way of approaching personal and professional tasks and has produced tons of websites, seminars, organization tools, and offshoots. The author has elaborated on different perspectives on the new workplace and the adaptation of various proven principles.
2. Mastering Leadership
Author: Robert Anderson and William Adams
Mastering Leadership is considered the perfect guide for enhancing your Leadership qualities and turning them into a competitive advantage. It includes a systematic stage development model of leadership and the effectiveness of leaders, both individually as well as collectively.
Both the authors, Robert Anderson and William Adams, have created a comprehensive roadmap of various leadership features such as a complete integrated universal model of leadership, and thorough research connecting the increased effectiveness of leadership and business performance.
Moreover, you'll also find the five stages of leadership evolution alongside the organization's culture and structure developing at each stage.
3. The Lean Product Playbook
Author: Dan Olsen
Product management grew massively with the beginning of the lean startup movement because of the increasing popularity and implications of lean product principles among people.
However, with new theories and ideologies, many people struggled with implying such principles in their business. And that's when Dan Olsen published "The Lean Product Playbook" book, as a step-by-step guide for startups and large-scale companies to imply Lean techniques into their business. This book is widely preferred when it comes to product management and is counted among the best books for it.
This book includes the understanding of product failure because of a lack of fulfilling customers' needs. And six amazing repeatable lessons on how to achieve this equation. It also includes product road maps and case studies on how to build and iterate products meeting target markets.
4. Inspired: How to Create Tech Products That Customers Love
Author: Marty Cagan
Inspired, this book is considered a holy grail of product management books. It is authored by the Silicon Valley Product Group founder, Marty Cagan, who comes from a well-accomplished background.
In this book, the author has mentioned all those big tech giants that he has worked for as case studies. Along with this, it includes those key issues that arise in tech product management and strategies with proven solutions.
Here, you'd find all those key questions that you need to ask before marketing any product and making it a good market fit. And suiting the title, Inspired, helps and inspires its readers to come up with creative products meeting customers' demands.
5. Predictably Irrational
Author: Dan Ariely
In the book, Predictably Irrational, the author talks about the common assumptions in which we behave through various fundamental rational manners. It helps us understand human nature and why people sometimes behave irrationally.
Whether it's as small as choosing coffee or starting up a business, we go through underestimation, over budget, and procrastination. And we might think such behaviours are random or baseless, but actually, these are pretty systematic and predictable.
And being the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, Dan Ariely has great knowledge of human psychological behaviour. Through this book, which has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other prominent platforms, the author has elaborated the whole concept of being predictably irrational.
6. The Product Book: How to Become A Great Product Manager
Author: Carlos González de Villaumbrosia and Josh Anon
The Product Book is a go-to choice for anyone looking to sharpen their professional skills and a true classic for all product managers. This book includes all the information needed for product management and how to lead a fulfilling product team.
In simpler words, the authors have written this book as more of an interview book for product management. It helps the reader to lead the product team structurally and cooperatively. The book is based on the current curriculum of product institutions, as it includes practical lessons, tips, and techniques. And most importantly, this book has literally answered what a product manager does.
7. Cracking the PM Interview
Author: Gayle McDowell
Being the ultimate interview preparation book for product managers, Cracking the PM Interview, is authored by the founder and CEO of CareerCup. He has also authored Cracking the Tech Career and Cracking the Coding Interview.
Along with this, Gayle McDowell has great years of experience working in companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Apple as a software engineer. This gave him an amazing experience of interviewing various product managers. For all those aspiring product managers, Cracking the PM Interview by Gayle McDowell is the best book to prepare for the interview.
8. Crossing the Chasm
Author: Geoffrey Moore
We often wonder how 'some products often get more successful in a progressively large marketplace than others.' Crossing the Chasm book talks about this. The author has explained why this happens and how much impact the ability to cross chasm the audience holds.
The main thing that any product manager needs to do in the early market which usually gets dominated by Early Adopters, Innovators, and the Majority in the Technology Adoption Life cycle.
This book came out in the early 90s and since then, it has been proving its significance and capability in the market. It discusses the principles of crossing the chasm and guides the readers to deal with advanced technology.
9. Launch: Roadmap to Product Management Success
Author: Nathan Thomas
With the increasing advancement in the field of technology, every product manager needs a guide or roadmap on professionalism, their established legacy, and their area of interest. A book written by Nathan Thomas named Launch: Roadmap to Product Management Success, helps the readers to adapt their ways to the latest trends and tech cultures.
In marketing, blockchain, machine learning, and other innovations have heightened the usability of products. And this book is a great preference to learn the adaptation of such opportunities from experienced product managers.
10. Shape Up
Author: Ryan Singer
Shape Up, is another very amazing product management book authored by the head of strategy at BaseCamp, Ryan Singer. This book discusses the tips and techniques behind the successful products launched by BaseCamp for more than 15 years of its establishment, along with proper workflow.
This book is considered a must-read for every product manager who has an interest in the Agile process beyond scrum. Plus, it includes well-structured and proven strategies that need to be adapted by any workplace for its development.
In conclusion, we can say that, along with practical understanding and experience, learning the latest technology and adapting new strategies are equally important in product management. And to learn this, there are several books on the market that you can find and will surely help you in some ways.
The secret behind any successful product manager is their thrust to learn new things and adapt them to practical experience. The above-mentioned books are proven to be very helpful for product managers. So, gather these and get started with leading a successful product team.
What are the three major areas of product management?
The three major areas of product management are product discovery, product planning, and product development.
What are the four critical skills of a product manager?
The four critical skills of a product manager are strategic thinking, data analysis, excellent negotiation skill, and technical expertise.
What do you learn in product management?
Product management is the complete journey of a product right from researching, planning, developing, and selling it. Product management teaches the invention of new products as per the need and the optimization of the same product as per the customer's requirement.