Top 3 Product Management Books

Product management books are a great learning tool, considering the wide scope of the topic, and the numerous actual fields that contribute to its mixed existence. I am going to head myself off at the pass this time, and start talking about the value of literature as a knowledge base in this topic early on.

There are a ton of product management books out there, including the standard tomes by big business publishers that’re only good for confusing and boring the reader into thinking the subject isn’t vital and alive. I’m not going to talk about those here.

I want to tackle the product management books that are by product management people, for product management people. These are UX, CRM and design experts who understand the tenets of product management, but won’t waste time on clinical explanations and obsolete case studies to get their points across.

These are the real world writers with real world experience, passing on their experience and knowledge to new generations without the layer of obfuscation and tedium that scholastic copy on the subject so delights in.

#1 – 42 Rules of Product management (Greg Cohen)

Cohen is a moderately clinical writer in his formula, style and verve, but not an unpleasant one. Reminding me a lot of a “cool teacher”, he taps the minds of colleagues and experts to provide a basic book of good practices and common laws and ethics about product management, and takes the time to explain them in plain English.

For the reader who just needs the gist of product management, or wants to get their feet wet, this is a good introductory volume for them. It also works great as a refresher for the long term expert who wants a new perspective on things, or to reaffirm what they believe and understand about the topic.

#2 – The Phenomenal Product Manager (Brian Lawley)

Lawley’s like a story teller, presenting to you a journey of an ideal, if faceless product manager who goes through the various aspects of the tasks of product management, applying to UX, CRM, design, and finances as well as marketing over the lifecycle of theoretical, undefined products.

Through this book, we are posed with questions we want to ask or never thought to, and they are answered by this ideal manager’s decisions and reactions to different stimuli and situations or problems encountered.

This is a good intermediate book for the serious product management, UX, CRM or marketing professional to take a look at, since product management, and ideal practices thereof are applicable directly to their fields by inheritance alone.

#3 – Software Product Management Essentials (Alyssa S. Dver)

This is one of those book shelf reference and consultancy books that I suggest anyone in UX, CRM, finances or marketing absolutely have, if they’re working on digital products or material of any form.

Given the difference in lifecycles and production when it comes to software and similar types of products or services, but their lack of mutual exclusivity when it comes to general product management, this is great supplementary material to keep handy on top of the base product management wisdom you acquire from other sources.

Product management books are numerous, but if you have limited reading time, all or any of these titles are a step in the very appropriate direction you should go.

Danielle