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Best Product Management Books to Read in 2023

Learning has no limitations. Technology, with its diverse changes, fluctuates now and then. The same goes for customer habits. Therefore, the need to constantly adapt and curate the needful change should be quick and strategic.

Reading is a habit that one must implant in their life. Tom Carley, the writer of “Change Your Habits”, spoke to millionaires in an interview, and the most common habit among them was reading. 88% of financially stable individuals commit to reading at least 30-minute in a day whereas 63% prefer audiobooks.

A product manager’s qualifications aren’t questionable. However, they can still always brush up on their product management skills by reading the right books. Some product managers majorly concentrate on building a product while others may incline towards technology. Keeping all such factors in mind, it is best to conclude that a product manager is the jack of all trades in a team. Their skills and understanding play a crucial role in organising strategies.

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Best Product Management Books to Read in 2022

Read these product management books to understand more about your profession as a product manager.

1. The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries

To create a radical business, continuous innovation is needed. Startups nowadays are not as successful as they used to be a couple of years ago. Most startups fail even before they begin to make money. However, the must-know fact is that these failures can be kept away. The Lean Startup is a book that walks you through the operational guidelines of a company and how they should introduce their product in the market.

This book explains how entrepreneurs shouldn’t waste their time creating extensive business plans and instead focus on adapting and continuously implying changes.

2. Sprint, by Jake Knapp

Building a business or product is time-consuming; it doesn’t happen overnight. Therefore, it is common to find yourself stuck in a cogwheel with no movement. Complexity can destroy a lot of things, including your patience.

Sprint is a book that guides you through using the productive and efficient way to take a step forward in your career. The five-day sprint process explained in the book helps you address the critical questions about customers.

3. Hooked, by Nir Eyal

This is by far one of the best product management books. Any product’s goal is easy integration and use in one’s day-to-day life. Hooked, as the name speaks, is a way to achieve that. The book explains the useful tricks that product managers can use with consumers to engage them with their products. 

The author uses the 4-step hook model to elaborate on the concepts that successful companies widely use to showcase their product. The four steps are: trigger, action, variable reward, and investment. Thus, these steps, also called the “hook cycles”, suggest techniques to make visitors become regular customers.

4. Crossing the Chasm, by Geoffrey Moore

Geoffrey Moore explains the principles of products that can break the target market. As per the author, a product’s success is determined by how able and quick they are to “cross the chasm”. Customers always look for products that offer the best tech. If the products fail to please them, they tend to step back.

This is one important reason why businesses fail. Their effort to appeal to mainstream customers never works out. The book is the best way to understand the recipe for selling the products to conventional customers.

5. The Design of Everything, by Don Norman

Consider a situation where you have bought a brand-new refrigerator with tons of cool features. However, things go haywire when you use the product, especially when you can’t figure out which button is supposed to turn on cooling. That’s some real struggle.

According to Don Norman, we are doing nothing wrong. The problem lies within the product that we are using. He says that instead of working on the product’s functionalities, factors like design must be prioritised. The Design of Everything is a wholesome book that assists readers in understanding what the customers want and need. 42% of product managers find adding new features to a product challenging.

6. Product Management’s Sacred Seven, by Neel Mehta, Parth Detroja, and Aditya Agathe

To become a top-performing product manager, necessary skills need to be asserted in the right place at the right time. This is one of the many good management books that will greatly benefit you as a new or an experienced PM.

Top Management Skills to Learn in 2022

The book contains interviews of 67 leading tech firms. Moreover, the structural analysis of the companies is grilled as well. These authors have made sure to magnify the ways companies differ from one another in PM processes. Consider taking a read if you plan to enhance your product management skills.

7. Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

Surviving the cut-throat competition is a challenge that every product company faces. Another common mistake that a company makes is concentrating on its rival. In order to please customers, companies create identical products that offer the same things as their competitors. 21% of products fail to align with customers’ needs, which is one of the primary reasons why product manager skills are critical. Adding a couple of features might be helpful, but this is not advisable since the overall value stays the same.

Blue Ocean Strategy is the authors’ take to inform product teams of their failure. It says that to escape market competition, one must know how to create, capture, and fulfil the latest demands.

Read our popular product management blogs

If you want to excel as a product manager by complying with the market demands, you can consider a product management certification program. As a product manager, a lot is expected out of you and therefore, without the key knowledge, everything can fall apart. The Product Management Certification Program in association with upGrad from Duke CE takes you on a journey to find the perfect product roadmap using product analysis, prototyping, and research. The 6-12 months program brings you close to job opportunities as a product manager, product owner, and product marketing manager.

Conclusion

The role of the product manager in any company is significant. Working with a team of fellow members could be hectic, and internal supervision is a constant requirement for the team to function at their best. The clearer the vision, the better the output is. These product management books are helpful resources for personal and professional growth. Such assistants can help you stand out from the crowd in today’s fast-paced, competition-centric world.

What is product management?

Product Management has two main pillars - product planning and product marketing. Product planning is about making the right products that align with the market needs. On the other hand, product marketing is about understanding the profitable opportunities in the market and making the most out of them. It also means identifying the business case around the opportunities and planning better of the products.

What are some of the other positions similar to a product manager?

Some of the similar positions to a project manager are designers, engineers, and strategic planners. In fully-functional companies, designers are responsible for working on ideas and managing overall development. Engineers are professionals who need to ensure that products are successfully coming out of ideas. They are free to develop their products and launch them on the market. As a strategic planner, a professional must have a far-fetched goal for the business company. To accomplish the long-term goals, they can guide employees from the get-go.

How can one create a product management strategy?

A product management strategy has three main stages. The first stage involves defining the perfect strategy that provides exposure to your product. The second is to create a full-fledged functional plan to acquire the strategy you are aiming for. Finally, the third stage is about planning your vision in such a way that the product management plan converts to a visual roadmap.

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