Remember candy cigarettes? When I was a kid I thought they were the greatest.
Growing up there was one summer when an actual candy shop opened downtown where my friends and I could take just our pocket change and still manage to walk out with a nice handful of goodies. (It is long gone…) With a limited budget and what seemed like a million options, picking out the best candy was always a bit overwhelming.
Which glass jar of colorful sugar do you even start with? We’d never seen anything like that selection before.
In a way, searching for the most useful project management resources on the web can be just as crushing. Whether you’re just getting started in a project management role, or you’ve spent decades in leadership and could use a fresh perspective, there is a wealth of resources (and awesome free project management tools) online to help with whatever you’re looking for.
Here, then, is a list to help you get started. We combed through reviews on Amazon, read testimonials, and scrutinized roundups to find the most engaging, helpful, and entertaining project management resources. Maybe you’d like a podcast to kick off the day and get you through your morning commute. Or maybe a book to leave on the nightstand. We’ve got all of those and more, organized alphabetically.
What we don’t have are candy cigarettes.
I can’t recommend them, they taste like chalk.
9 Brilliant Project Management Blogs
When your morning coffee isn’t enough and you need a little project management pick-me-up to get your day started, we recommend subscribing to a few of these. These writers bring a unique perspective to project management writing.
Dr. Jim Anderson looks to the real world to analyze and interpret examples of project management success and failures from companies that we all know. Anderson has spent over 25 years applying project management science to products at companies of all sizes and has much to share about developing and managing for success.
Capterra is a leading online resource for business software buyers, and on this blog, you’ll find everything from software reviews to recommend project management book lists and guides to new, cool project management tools.
Based in the UK, Elizabeth Harrin has been writing here since 2006 with the goal of building a community for working project and product managers to support each other with real-world solutions. Her blog is full of practical tips, guides, and reviews.
4. Herding Cats
Here, Glenn B. Alleman goes deep on project management philosophy, alongside posts with book and presentation reviews. (Just don’t expect to find any gifs. Missed opportunity, Glenn.)
Senior product managers and project managers alike will find his insights useful.
If you’re looking to integrate Agile techniques into your workflow, Leading Agile’s blog has plenty of advice, guides that dig deep into the small details you’ll need to consider, and video explainers.
Mike Cohn has been blogging for over ten years. Every week you’ll find an insight into team building or a new training video that will help keep your ideas fresh. As a bonus, if you’re visiting for the first time he has a round-up of all the most important topics for getting started.
Natalie Warnert is the founder, president, and executive director of Women in Agile Inc. Her blog covers everything from productivity and Scrum methodology to discussions of corporate life and leadership drawn from her experience as a consultant and speaker.
ProjectManagement.com wants to the first place you turn when you need help. The site offers community where you can find blogs written by experienced project managers alongside space to discuss issues and ask questions, and a whole variety of project management tools and templates when you need a launching pad.
Insightful Project Management Books
Whether you’re just getting started or have years of experience under your belt and are looking for a fresh perspective, there is always something more to learn. In these books, you’ll find new ways to approach project management and your career.
Chris Hadfield takes you outside of our usual orbit to the international space station, giving insight to personal development and project management through the eyes of an astronaut. Though most of us will never find ourselves in outer space, Hadfield examines his experiences under the most extreme conditions, and translates them into ideas that can still help us manage projects and face adversity down here on earth.
This story is more than just a fable. Throughout the book, Patrick Lencioni details a team’s struggles and outlines the steps to overcome them, while you keep turning the pages to find out what happens next.
Rather than another step-by-step, longtime Microsoft project manager Scott Berkun has written a series of essays that examine the philosophy and strategy of project management with topics like “leadership and trust,” “how not to annoy people,” and “what to do when things go wrong.” Berkun breaks down complex concepts and turning them into real-world advice, making this a particularly effective project management resource.
When it comes to best project management practices, Terri L. Griffith argues that we often focus on managing people or organizational issues or technology, but rarely all at the same time. Griffith shows you how to incorporate all three into a management strategy and to use that combination to succeed.
If you’re just beginning your project management journey this step by step guide has clear concise instructions and covers the basics of project management. In the book, certified PMP Gregory M. Horine explores common mistakes to avoid, key qualities of every project manager and how to get started with Agile. It has everything you’ll need to get a headstart in your new role.
Another one for those just getting started in project management. Kim Heldman, an IT Director for the Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology, focuses on the fundamentals of project management, with real-life examples to study and review questions at the end of every chapter.
7. Project Management For You: How to Turn Your Ideas Into Reality, Deliver on Your Promises, and Get Things Done
Cesar Abeid is a project manager, consultant, and author who wants to “bring project management best practices to a wider public.” Here, Abeid breaks down project management principles into steps that can be used on the job and in everyday life while utilizing stories to drive his points home and without corporate jargon.
8. Rescue the Problem Project: A Complete Guide to Identifying, Preventing, and Recovering From Project Failure
Todd C. Williams is an executive consultant and specialist that helps companies save failing projects. In this book, he wants to guide you as you walk way back from the edge of disaster (or help you recover and move on if it’s too late).
Author Terry Schmidt, a consultant and certified PMP who also briefly worked for NASA, walks through a flexible, strategic approach to designing projects that can be replicated again and again. His system is based on four questions, from which point a complete strategy can be developed:
- What are we trying to accomplish and why?
- How will we measure success?
- What other conditions must exist?
- How do we get there?
5 Practical Project Management Guides and eBooks
Looking for some specific guides to getting started with project management, or an ebook that will point you in the right direction when you’re dealing with a difficult roadblock? These guides will help, making them a powerful addition to our roundup of top project management resources.
Brad Egeland wrote this eBook for Project Smart covering common mistakes that can derail projects with advice on how to see them coming and how to avoid them.
Here’s a free guide to planning and instituting digital projects, collaborating with team members and working with clients.
Published by the Project Management Institute, this journal includes detailed information covering the broad spectrum of the project management profession and features “state of the art research, techniques, theories and applications.”
Juana Clark Craig builds on 25 years of experience at fortune 500 corporations to help beginners started with this step by step guide to the basics of project management. Her bare-bones approach doesn’t require an advanced degree to understand.
The Zapier team has put together a free introduction to product management with a guide to the basics and expert advice.
8 Educational Project Management Online Courses
When you’re ready to expand your skill set, grow as a project manager, and want to do it all from your desk (or kitchen table. Or maybe even from bed), these courses are informative, entertaining, and a great place to start.
1. Brain Sensei
Watch a series of animated videos that tell the story of a samurai overcoming adversity in feudal Japan and watch illustrated key project management concepts along the way. Follow them up with quizzes and practice questions, and rest assured that the entertaining story format will help the answer stick.
Over the course of six months, you will prepare for the Project Management Professional exam with a series of instructor-led virtual sessions. Intended for students with 3-5 years of work experience who are interested in a career in project management.
Lynda.com offers foundational coursework in the fundamentals of project management, strung together in an easy-to-follow path. And the best part is that it may be free to sign up with your local library card.
Master of Project Academy offers a variety of certification training courses that can be taken à la carte or bundled together in a monthly package. It is easy to tailor the various options to your needs, whether you are only looking for PMP or Agile Scrum certification on their own, or want to complete them all over the course of a year.
Penn State World Campus offers a strong foundation in project management theory and practice. After an introductory course in project management, you are offered a variety of customized study paths to suit your career goals.
This online, instructor-led training offers a variety of exam prep courses and exam study guides focusing strictly on project management and IT certifications. They might look super corporate, but they are actually really helpful.
Prodevia’s course catalog is geared towards more experienced project management professionals looking for further career development. With personal access to the course instructor, complete course guides to keep as reference and course material available online, Prodevia does it’s best to help you learn on a flexible schedule.
PMI offers a variety of courses, from introductions to Agile and project management to in-depth bundles and exam prep.
4 Cool Online Project Management Communities
Here you can connect with other product managers to share ideas, stories, and jobs, using a profile that you almost certainly already have. This product management community curates to make sure the most thoughtful content is being shared and discussed.
With over one hundred thousand members, this is one of the biggest product management groups on Linkedin. If you’re looking for a place to network and identify opportunities with a group of like-minded product management professionals, it is a good starting point.
There are specialized groups as well, check out Mobile Product Management if your career emphasizes mobile apps or games, or this group if you’re a fan of the book “The Project Manager’s Desk Reference.”
Use the #PMchat to get involved in this weekly conversation held on Twitter every Friday from 12-1pm ET. Check out and interact with your fellow project managers.
You don’t have to apply to this subreddit which offers a space to ask questions, discover new tools and keep an eye on developing trends. Check out /r/agile for more a closer look at Agile management specifically.
9 Enjoyable Project Management Podcasts
Check in with one or two of these on your commute and you’ll be bursting with inspiration by the time you’re at your desk. These podcasts all offer smart, witty voices looking at your world through the lens of project management.
Elise Stevens works with women in project management roles to provide a channel for their voices and reinforce their value in the industry. For the podcast, she interviews industry leaders on subjects ranging from developing your confidence to successfully leading project teams.
2. HBR Ideacast
Not always directly related to project management, but these short 10- to 15-minute podcasts from the Harvard Business Review offer a unique look at questions of leadership and other management philosophies.
Though new episodes are posted infrequently these days, there is a deep archive of podcasts from Peter Taylor who focuses on “working smarter not harder” and be productive while achieving a solid work/life balance.
4. Manage This
Andy Crowe, founder of Velociteach, and Bill Yates are both respected thought leaders in the project management industry. Every first and third Tuesday they discuss project management philosophy and advice, bring in other industry experts and offer advice on team management, leadership tips and more.
5. PM Podcasts
For project management beginners and veterans alike, The PM Podcast focuses on interviews with successful project managers that delves into the lessons they’ve learned and how you can apply them in your own work.
In each episode, the hosts explore solutions to a specific project management problem, like building trust or questions to ask when beginning a new project, and offer practical advice. The download is free, but it’s BYOB.
Chad McAllister, a product management educator, hosts a wide-ranging conversation covering all aspects of the art and craft of product management for businesses of all sizes.
Cesar Abeid, author of “Project Management For You” in the books section above, brings his personal experience as a PM to life alongside interviews with others in the field and tips on how to improve yourself and become more productive.
9. Sensible PM
Mark Phillipy talks through the guiding principles of project management while applying life lessons that make his stories relatable. For example, in this episode, Phillipy helps an aspiring product manager set personal goals to work towards achieving that role.
The Last, Best Source of Project Management Resources? You.
Above, I’ve rounded up 44 great ways to start thinking about your project management career in a new light. Pour yourself a coffee, grab a lollipop from the desk drawer of that one coworker that you know always has a candy stash, and dive in.
I’m sure that all these resources aren’t comprehensive, so let me offer a final resource: this comments section. You know lots of project management resources that should be shared between each other. Please let us know your favorites in the comments below, and we’ll consider them for when we update this article!