Product Development

  • The PDMA Handbook of New Product Development (Kenneth B. Kahn) Link
    • This was one of the first product management books I read. I still think its one of the best. It was this book that I first heard about Minimal Viable Product and it changed my thinking.
  • Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products That Customers Love (Roman Pichler) Link
    • Implementing a  new methodology with product development isn’t obvious and understanding how to put a methodology  to practical use is even harder. This book really helped me in that respect.

Project Methodology

  • Agile Project Management with Scrum (Ken Schwaber) Link
    • A simple and straightforward book about project management, the title says it all really.
  • Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum  (Mike Cohn)  Link
    • As above but with some great real world examples.
  • The Enterprise and Scrum (Ken Schwaber) Link
    • This book is about more about adopting the process within the context of an organisation, once you understand and believe in the process this book should help getting it adopted. 
  • The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering (Frederick P. Brooks Jr) Once of the classic books in software development.  Link
    • I think it is as useful today as it was when it was written, a must read.


  • Requirements by Collaboration: Workshops for Defining Needs (Ellen Gottesdiener) Link
    • A  fantastic book about how to run good workshops and get people engaged to ensure you get the requirements.
  • User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development (Mike Cohn) Link
    • I’m still surprised how few people know how to write good user stories, it’s quite simple, but it needs practise and this books is a great guide.
  • Writing Effective Use Cases  (Alistair Cockburn) Link
    • As above. Some people advocate to only use user stories or use cases, actually I like using both, depending on the requirement they each have their merits.
  • Managing Software Requirements: A Use Case Approach (Dean Leffingwell, Don Widrig) Link
    • This was the first book I read in detail about gathering software requirements. It was only after reading this book that I was truly able to comprehend the importance of proper requirements gathering and using the correct artefacts and techniques. I still use the fishbone analogy (the problem behind the problem) today. Apart from understanding the different techniques of requirements capture the most important thing that this book taught me was that customers often describe their solution to the problem and not the problem itself.


  • Managing Customers for Profit: Strategies to Increase Profits and Build Loyalty (V. Kumar) Link
    • CRM is often implemented as little more than an expensive rolodex; this book taught me about Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and has some great real word examples on the importance of understanding the value and potential value of your customers.
  • How To Read The Financial Pages (Michael Brett) Link
    • When I first started working in financial services a client gave me this book and it really gave me the foundation and the confidence I needed to get into an industry I thought was too complicated but really just had a lot of overly complex words to describe things I already knew.
  • Economix: How and Why Our Economy Works (and Doesn’t Work), in Words and Pictures (Michael Goodwin) Link
    • This was a Christmas gift from my wife, it takes the form of a graphic novel. I didn’t study economics at school or university and so this book was a nice and funny way to learn the basics of economic history and different economic models.
  • The Design of Everyday Things  (Donald Norman) Link
    • Nothing and everything to do with software development. Instead of the customer is always right this book talks about how if your user uses your product wrong it’s not their fault but bad design. How often in this industry do we blame users? A good friend of mine jokes about “error between user and chair”….. The reality is as software, applications and devices become more complex we have to make them more intuitive.
  • A Practical Guide to Designing with Data (Brian Suda) Link
    • It is not the most exciting of book titles but not only did I found it very insightful it was actually very interesting. The history of charts and data and how people consume visualisations is very revealing. I particularly liked how by plotting the deaths of the population of London (and its proximity to water sources) on a map helped identify the how the plague was spreading.
  • Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world (Prof Mark Williams) Link  
    • So with all this reading we need a way to relax and switch off from work. This is a book about meditation technique.

Some of these books were written a long time ago and are probably showing my age! That said almost all of them have been updated and are still relevant today. Have any books you would like to recommend? I really like to know.

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