Top 6 Books For Project Professionals

David McAughtrie

As digital technology and mobile devices take over the business world, project professionals are coming up against new obstacles. New communication tools, remote workers, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are changing the landscape of traditional project management, and the only path to success is adapting to an increasingly technology-driven world.

These six books offer new methods of operating in the era of digital transformation by making the most of enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools. These platforms can manage extraordinary amounts of information so you can make better-informed decisions—and implement them faster than ever before.

Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade, by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D.
This New York Times bestseller comes from expert social psychologist Robert Cialdini. He considers the foundation of influence and persuasion, then takes the concepts to the next level. Cialdini explains how to develop your communication skills beyond the point of simply getting your message across. Instead, you will learn to create the perfect environment to truly influence—a skill no project professional can succeed without.

Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals, by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic
As new technology transforms access to data, making it possible to gather and analyze unprecedented amounts of information, project professionals are left with a conundrum: how to present all of this information in an effective manner. Storytelling with Data offers clear-cut, actionable instructions on effective presentation, explaining how to weave facts and figures into a story that is easily understood by your audience.

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, by Chip Heath, Dan Heath
Project professionals are often tasked with planning and implementing complex organizational changes, and statistics show that most such changes are doomed to fail. It is simply too difficult to transition people from their comfortable present to an uncertain future. Digital transformation projects highlight this tendency, as they add in the extra pressure of becoming accustomed to new technology. Switch gives insight into the reasons why change is so hard, along with best practices for successfully managing organizational change.

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph, by Ryan Holiday
Though Ryan Holiday’s look at overcoming challenges has never gone mainstream, it is considered a must-read among the rich and famous. Holiday explores what separates ordinary people from extraordinary ones: the ability to persevere through adversity. Project professionals understand the nature of adversity all too well, as they face some of businesses’ greatest challenges in the course of implementing change. This book offers support and encouragement for staying the course when you know you are on the path to success.

Building the Future: Big Teaming for Audacious Innovation, by Amy Edmondson, Susan Salter Reynolds
Incremental change simply won’t cut it in a world where digital transformation is advancing rapidly. Infrastructure must be entirely recreated, and outdated processes must be replaced in order to compete. Building the Future explores the new normal, offering project professionals an inspiring look at how to go after audacious innovation.

Mapping Innovation: A Playbook for Navigating a Disruptive Age, by Greg Satell
New technology and innovative entrepreneurs are disruptive traditional methods of doing business. Long-time industry-leading organizations have discovered that they are no longer competing with other major industry players. Instead, crowd-sourced ideas and technology startups are driving innovation—and traditional businesses need to rethink their methods quickly if they want to stay on top. Satell takes a look at the nuts and bolts of innovation and how to turn a great idea into a workable solution. This book offers the critical next step for project professionals who are given a mission but no instruction on how to achieve it.

For more project management resources, see Top 5 TED Talks For Project Professionals.

David McAughtrie

About David McAughtrie

Dave McAughtrie is content marketing expert for SAP S/4HANA Cloud.