54 Books For Product Managers To Have On Their Shelves

From data and OKRs, to discovery and delivery

Robert Drury
Apr 10 · 8 min read

There is so much information available for product managers these days, compared to when I started out twenty years ago when product management wasn’t even a thing.

The challenge is seeing through all the noise to find the ones that you need!

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

6 Books To Help Your Product Discovery

We all have ideas for ways to improve things.

They might come to us when we’re queueing at Starbucks for our coffee, or when we’re standing in the shower. We might hear some feedback from our customer and put this together with another customer’s feedback and get that spark of inspiration.

The difference between product people and non-product people is that product people do something about the idea. They want to take the idea and figure out whether it is viable and what it will take to get it off the ground.

6 Books To Help Your Product Delivery

There’s no point in having great user insight and amazing new product ideas if you can’t get these delivered out to customers.

Whether it’s agile, Kanban or waterfall, knowing how to get work delivered through a team is essential for product managers.

I’ve been through Waterfall deliveries that seemed to go on forever, Kanban boards for the new and quick deliveries, and agile for regular delivery of value.

Whichever approach you take though, its only as good as your execution.

6 Books For Product Managers About UX & Design

User experience design is a concept that has many elements, and it includes a whole host of disciplines; from interaction design and information architecture, to visual design and usability.

Yes, we have people who specialise in this kind of skill.

They’re the trendy folk, with the Macbooks, amusing t-shirts and great taste in music, but that doesn’t mean that product management professionals can’t understand the core principles in this world.

It makes it so much easier to brief a designer if you know what they’re going to have to consider.

6 Books on User Research for Product Managers

As Product Managers, one of our main goals is to ultimately give users what they want. How do we do that without actually knowing what they want?

The answer is of course, user research.

We use a variety of data collection methods to find out who our target users are, what they expect from the product, and what is going to deliver for them the most value.

Easy when you say it like that, but there’s an art to user research.

6 Books on Data for Product Managers

As product people, we’re always trying to determine what we need to build next in order to deliver the greatest bit of value to our organizations.

The BARC Research and Eckerson Group Study found that in the years to come, 69% of companies will increase their usage of analytics tools, so it’s probably worth us spending some time reading about what to actually do with the data once we’ve got it.

6 Books on Being a Product Leader

When writing this post I went back over my LinkedIn profile and I can go back well over twenty years to a time when I didn’t have the words “Manager”, “Head of” or “Director” in my job title.

My first managerial role was when running a cinema, thrown in, fresh faced from university to run a multi-screen cinema with a team of twenty-five. It wasn’t product management, but I needed to lead the team to deliver the experience that our customers wanted on their enjoyable evening out.

As time has progressed, the output has changed and I’m no longer providing popcorn and fun, and instead I’m making the lives easier for hundreds of people who operate one of the world’s largest luxury watch retailers.

It’s taken me many, many years to get here, and if I’d had some of these books twenty years ago, then maybe I’d have made less mistakes along the way.

6 Books on OKRs for Product Managers

The goal of OKRs is to define how to achieve the objectives through specific and measurable actions. You then measure your progress toward your key results on a 0–100% scale or any numerical unit (e.g. dollar amount, %, items, etc.).

Objectives should also be supported by initiatives, which are the plans and activities that help to achieve the objective and move forward the key results.

6 Books on Remote Working for Product Managers

We’ve had plenty of opportunities over the course of the pandemic to try out different ways of working, and as things begin to settle down into the ‘new normal’, where and how we approach work for many people will have changed.

However, instead of it being a “needs must” situation, where we’re forced to make do with whatever we can in trying circumstances, it will become the way we work, and as such, we should start looking at how we can do this better.

6 Books on Productivity for Product Managers

As I’ve got older, I’ve realized that just getting stuff done isn’t the goal. The goal is to get the right things done, at the right time, in order to meet your overall goals.

There’s no point ticking off twenty items on your to do list if you haven’t ticked off the one thing that will take you a step closer to your main goal.

You therefore need to be smart with your time and develop a way that works for you that allows you get done what you NEED to get done.

Our books

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Getting Started in Product operates its bookstore through Bookshop.org, and 10% of every sale is donated to independent bookstores within the country of operation.

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Getting Started in Product

All you need to know to get you started with a career in product

Robert Drury

Written by

Helping people kick start their product management career at gettingstartedinproduct.com * Product person at Watchfinder

Getting Started in Product

Product related roles have grown considerably over the past five years, which means an influx of people who are starting out in a new skills area. Getting Started in Product aims to support these people make the transition.

Robert Drury

Written by

Helping people kick start their product management career at gettingstartedinproduct.com * Product person at Watchfinder

Getting Started in Product

Product related roles have grown considerably over the past five years, which means an influx of people who are starting out in a new skills area. Getting Started in Product aims to support these people make the transition.

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