Not sure if you’re ready to fully embark on becoming a business analyst or project manager in a classroom setting?
Dip your toes into both of these worlds by reading a few select books. Some are textbooks that provide introductory explanations of critical concepts. Others focus on particular topics related to the profession, such as use cases.
The best books are available in this article. They’re top-rated and beneficial no matter what your interest level is.
1. Writing Effective Use Cases (Agile Software Development Series) by Alistair Cockburn
Use cases are beneficial to business analysts because they address how people use a system. This can help with project planning, and use cases are an essential aspect of software systems and business processes. The problem is, writing clear and concise use cases isn’t as simple as it looks.
In this book, author Alistair Cockburn uses modern techniques so you can write use cases. You’ll learn introductory to advanced concepts that are helpful whether you’re a beginner or experienced analyst.
Cockburn offers examples of good and poor use cases to help you understand the difference easily and quickly. Additionally, you’ll learn:
- The key aspects of use cases, such as:
- Time-saving tips for writing use cases
- Pre-built templates you can use
Read this book and all you need to know about use cases by the time you finish the last page.
2. Business Analysis Techniques: 72 Essential Tools for Success by James Cadle
The job includes problem-solving and investigating ideas. You’ll need to know how to solve several types of issues, including how to define project requirements or manage changes (inevitable in any project).
This book thoroughly explains these techniques to help the reader provide consistent results when working with businesses. Think of it as a cheat sheet you can refer to, whether you’re a business analyst, manager, or a student learning the craft.
3. Project Management Absolute Beginner’s Guide (3rd Edition) by Greg Horine
Are you just beginning to work as a project manager? In this book, critical project management tasks are broken down so you can understand key concepts quickly and easily.
You’ll learn how to manage and handle budgeting, scheduling, managing teams, and more. Each step in the process is outlined so you can get started immediately.
The instructions are simple and practical. You’ll learn everyday mistakes project managers make to avoid following down the same path. You’ll also learn what it means to lead projects rather than just managing them. This includes understanding:
When you’ve no idea how to start the job or whether this is the career for you, pick up this book to learn the essentials with ease.
4. Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling by Harold Kerzner
You’ll learn the tools and methods to use at every stage of a project. But this book is more than just tips. The text covers industry changes, failure, the growth of agile projects, emerging topics in the industry, and project metrics.
But we can’t forget about scope increases, managing projects across time zones, and language barriers. These are just a few of components of project management that can limit success.
This book isn’t a “quick and easy” guide to project management. There’s plenty of those out there. But when you want to know the nitty-gritty details about project management functions, quality assurance, and working with customers, this is the book to pick up.