Lisa Sieverts

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7 business books that have influenced me


  • The Epic Guide to Agile by Dave Todaro

Unlike most books about Agile and Scrum, this one gets into the technical details of how great Agile software development teams get their work done.

  • eXtreme Project Management by Doug DeCarlo

Written in 2004, this book blew my mind when I read it as a young PMP struggling with Gantt charts and project management paperwork. It put me on the path to understanding the ways in which high-uncertainty projects are different and therefore need something other than strict Waterfall methods.

  • Agile Retrospectives by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen

This book was so useful as I embarked on my Agile journey 15 years ago. Their hands-on, practical advice about specific retrospective activities and when to use them was a game changer for me.

  • Manage Your Project Portfolio by Johanna Rothman

It was hard for me to limit Johanna Rothman to only one book on this list, I so value all of her writing. I have used this book in my teaching of Agile for the past 8 years because I find that most students do not understand the importance of limiting the organization’s project portfolio to the few, most important projects. Do less to do more.

  • Thiagi’s 100 Favorite Games by Dr. Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan

I was lucky enough to meet Thiagi about twenty years ago as I began teaching project management at the graduate level. His concepts about games that enhance learning are so powerful. If you do any type of teaching or training, you need this book.

  • Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making by Sam Kaner

Back when I worked at Hewlett-Packard, I took a Meeting Facilitation class from Sam Kaner. From him, I learned that meetings can be a good use of time! But that only happens when the facilitator puts effort into structuring a great meeting. This book has so much practical advice about how to help teams actually make decisions, instead of just talking around the decision endlessly.

Remember, knowledge is power, and the wisdom found within these pages can be the catalyst for your future success. Happy reading!