31 Product Management Books you should read

30 Product Management Books you should read

If you want to progress your career as a product manager, learning through reading books is undoubtedly a great way to do so. That is why I’ve put together this comprehensive collection of Product Management Books which will help you to improve your skills across a broad range of.

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Product Management Essentials

inspired v2 Book by Marty Cagan

One of the first books I ever read on ‘modern’ product development. It was one of the leading triggers for me to leave my current job at that time and to seek out other opportunities.

Agile Product Management with Scrum – by Roman Pichler

A go-to guide for hands-on tactics you want to implement when you take over a product role in an Agile team working with the SCRUM framework.

My Product Management Toolkit: Tools and Techniques to Become an Outstanding Product Manager

A great compilation of Marc’s must-read essays on practical product management best practices. Whether it is about software tools or specific frameworks – Marc has probably seen them all!

Product Roadmaps Relaunched: A Practical Guide to Prioritizing Opportunities, Aligning Teams, and Delivering Value to Customers and Stakeholders

Sooner or later, you have to not only deliver on a given roadmap, but have to shape and maintain one on your own. Why not approach this recurring challenge in a modern agile way instead of the typical static drawing of Gantt charts?

Cracking the PM Interview: How to Land a Product Manager Job in Technology – by Jackie Bavaro and Gayle Laakmann McDowell

The book provides practical tips which prepare you for the challenges and questions which come up in Product Management job interviews. Describing how the role is defined across various companies and how to land a great first impression with recruiters.


User Research, Design and Validation

The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback

Great lecture for operationalizing some of Eric Ries’ lean startup principles into hands-on product development.

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

That’s where most of your bosses ideas for testing out new things are coming from. 😉

Sprint: How To Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days

The logical result of coining the term Design Sprint and building a brand around that. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Design Sprints and can’t recommend this hands-on guide enough, if you’re thinking about how to tackle an upcoming challenge.

Little Bets: How Big Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries

Lots of stuff following the lean startup/lean UX approaches, but going one granularity level deeper.

Solving Product Design Exercises: Questions & Answers – by Artiom Dashinsky

Great tactics for preparing UX interviews. As product managers should participate in the hiring process for their team members, it’s valuable to know the drill.

Meeting Design – For Managers, Makers, and Everyone by Kevin M. Ho�man

While we always should keep in mind how precious the time of others is, meetings are sometimes the most ecient way for product managers to solve a problem. That doesn’t mean that they have to be painfully inecient snoozefests—if you design them.
The book will teach you the design principles and innovative approaches you’ll need to transform meetings from boring to creative, from wasteful to productive.

Customers Included: How to Transform Products, Companies, and the World - With a Single Step

Simple pitch: How to become better at giving customers what they truly want instead of getting lost in catching-up with feature requests.

Hacking Growth: How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success – by Morgan Brown and Sean Ellis

Growth means so much more than online marketing and an excellent registration funnel. Two of the most popular growth hackers out there share their hands-on advice for creating systematic growth for your product.


Product and Business Strategy

Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice – by Clayton M. Christensen

The best book out there for the Jobs to be Done theory. Going far beyond the famous milkshake metaphor, Christensen provides valuable insights into how to dig several layers deeper in terms of what your customers actually want.

Lean Enterprise: How High Performance Organizations Innovate at Scale

Transforming entire organizational structures is a completely different beast than 'just' shaping and maintaining an individual agile/lean team. Take a look at this playbook for how to transform entire departments and ultimately organizations.

The Hard Thing about Hard Things – by Ben Horowitz

Written with so much passion that you can almost feel the tension from the situations Ben is describing. Even though internet businesses themselves may have worked differently in the past, the critical questions remain the same.

Rework

Rework had a similar effect on how I think about my professional life as ‘Inspired’ had. Only a couple of years earlier and at a different stage of my career.

Remote: Office Not Required

Co-location is an outdated prerequisite for Agile teams. Learn more about the future of how teams and entire companies will be structured and operated in this book.


Product and Team Leadership

Product Leadership: How Top Product Managers Create and Launch Successful Products – by Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson, and Nate Walkingshaw

The first (real) book on product leadership from three experienced product people out there. It explains the challenges of transitioning from an individual contributor to a leader and shares best practices from some of the most respected product management experts.

Lateral Leadership: A Practical Guide for Agile Product Managers

The book helps you master the challenges of being a lateral leader – In small-scale startups and large corporations alike. It will guide you through chapters on strategic alignment with your organization, process alignment within your team, and individual alignment with other team members. By also recognizing empathy and escalation as helpful tools, you’ll be able to maintain and strengthen your leadership role.

High Output Management

High Output Management - by Andy Grove

A somewhat traditional approach to a lot of topics and I’d love to challenge the ‘High Output Management’ approach with a ‘High Outcome Management’ idea one day. But still incredibly valuable for Product Managers looking to lead teams.

Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager – by Michael Lopp

Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager – by Michael Lopp

Building up empathy for the various domains from your agile development team is a crucial part of lateral leadership. This book gives you insights into the challenges of an engineering manager and how he works with his direct reports.

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win - by Jocko Wilink and Leif Babin

Don't let the focus on military deter you from this book. The mix of honest war tales and concise prose around the pillars of ownership as a leader make up for a great book. If you can look past (normal) patriotism typically found in every military angle, you will be able to derive valuable lessons for your role as a hierarchical and lateral leader.

Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well

Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well – by Douglas Stone

As product managers work at the intersection of so many domains, gathering feedback after a failed or successful project is critical for improving. This book helps you to deal with the received input and how to make the most of it.


Productivity and Self-Organization

Pencil Me In: The Business Drawing Book for People Who Can't Draw

Product Managers often not only have to lead teams but also meetings which lead to decisions. Instead of annoying everybody with prepared slides, get to the whiteboard or flip chart and start communicating your ideas visually.

Creativity Rules: Get Ideas Out of Your Head and into the World – by Tina Seelig

Breaking-out of the busy day-to-day action is harder than ever. As a result, creative outbreaks for new features remain a rare occasion for product managers. Here’s how to make them count.


Consumer Psychology & Negotiation

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

The mothership of all growth and habit-forming product mechanics you may have heard of.

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It Hardcover – May 17, 2016 by Chris Voss  (Author), Tahl Raz  (Author)

One of the most impressive and practical books I've seen on the topic of negotiation. Learn from one of the top FBI negotiators on how you can approach the every day conflicts in your business life.

Getting To Yes – by Roger Fisher and William Ury

Whether you like it or not – Product Managers also need to be right negotiators. That’s why a hands-on guide for leveling up your negotiation skills is a must-read.


Data & AI

Data Strategy: How to Pro�t from a World of Big Data, Analytics and the Internet of Things – by Bernhard Marr

To establish data-informed decision making for your product, you need to be able to handle the increasing amount of analytics systems and data out there.