Top 9 Product Ownership books

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Here are some of the Product Ownership books we read and find very useful. These books capture fundamental theory as well as best practices. This list is relevant for people who start their career as a Product Owner as well as for experienced ones, who would like to understand agile Product Ownership better, polish the delivery process and make the process of product development more efficient and smooth.


Top 9 Product Ownership books


1. User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product by Jeff Patton, Peter Economy

How do you build a product that delights users? You must first know who your users are and how they plan to use what you’re building. With this practical book, you’ll explore the practice of user story mapping, and learn how it can help keep your team stay focused on users and their experience throughout the development process.
This book will help you learn key concepts to create a great story map, understand how user stories really work, and how to make good use of them in agile projects.


2. Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn

Agile Estimating and Planning is the definitive, practical guide to estimating and planning agile projects. In the book Mike Cohn discusses the philosophy of the agile estimate and planning, and shows you exactly how to get the job done with real-world examples and case studies.
Using the techniques in Agile Estimating and Planning, you’ll have agile estimation tools that help you stay agile from start to finish, saving time, conserving resources and accomplishing more. Concepts are clearly illustrated and readers are guided, step by step, toward how to answer the following questions: What will be build? How big will it be? When must it be done? How much can I really complete by then? How to estimate feature size? How to prioritize features using both financial and nonfinancial approaches? How and when to re-prioritize ?
How to split large features into smaller, more manageable ones ? How to plan iterations and predict your team’s initial rate of progress ? How to schedule projects that have unusually high uncertainty or schedule-related risk ? How to estimate projects that will be worked on by multiple teams ? etc. We should say, this is definitely a must read book for any product owner.

  Product Roadmap importance in Agile Project Management


3. Strategize: Product Strategy and Product Roadmap Practices for the Digital Age by Roman Pichler

Using a wide range of proven techniques and tools, Roman Pichler explains how to create effective strategies and actionable roadmaps to help you maximise your chances of creating successful products. Written in an engaging style, this book offers practical advice and valuable examples so that you can apply the practices directly to your products.


4. Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love (Addison-Wesley Signature Series by Roman Pichler

Roman Pichler uses real-world examples to demonstrate how product owners can create successful products with Scrum. He describes a broad range of agile product management practices, including making agile product discovery work, taking advantage of emergent requirements, creating the MVP, leveraging early customer feedback, and working closely with the development team. The author covers the following aspects: what product owners do, how they do it, and the implications, how to create a compelling product vision, how to manage the product backlog effectively, how to planning the release bringing clarity to scheduling, budgeting, and functionality decisions, etc.


5. The Agile Samurai: How Agile Masters Deliver Great Software (Pragmatic Programmers) by Jonathan Rasmusson

Jonathan Rasmusson shows you how to kick-start, execute, and deliver your agile projects. Combining tools, core principles, and plenty of humor, The Agile Samurai gives you the tools and the attitude to deliver something of value every sprint.


6. The Product Manager’s Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Succeed as a Product Manager by Steven Haines

The Survival Guide is great for anyone who’s just starting out as a Product Owner. Steven Haines, one of today’s leading Product Management thought-leaders, gives a detailed high-level overview of what product ownership is, the critical elements of the role, and why they’re so important to shipping successful products. The Product Manager’s Survival Guide provides best practices, practical on-the-job advice, and a step-by-step blueprint for succeeding in Product Ownership. After reading this book you will definitely find everything you need to make consistent positive impacts on your business. With this practical guide, you have the most powerful tool available for increasing your productivity quickly in a way that is noticeable and measurable.

  Product Leader - Not (only) agile


7. The Product Manager’s Desk Reference 2E by Steven Haines

This book is a comprehensive reference guide that covers the product ownership process and the essential skills and responsibilities of the Product Owner, including market analysis, understanding customer needs, segmentation, owning the product roadmap, and more.
It is a progression of the practitioner across the career cycle as well as the progression of the product across its life cycle to establish clear guidelines as to what must be done, when, by whom, and with what level of expertise.


8. Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan

Here is another product ownership book, written by one of the most successful product owner in modern times. Marty Cagan, a longtime product executive for companies like eBay and HP, walks the reader through his hard-won insights about how to identify when you’ve got the right product and when you don’t, how to work with technical teams to get your products built the right way, and the basics of how to be a great product owner.
Why do some products make the leap to greatness while others do not? Creating inspiring products begins with discovering a product that is valuable, usable, and feasible. This book covers very important topics like: how do you decide which product opportunities to pursue?
How do you identify the MVP that will be successful? How do you manage the often conflicting demands of company execs, customers, sales, marketing, engineering, design, and more?
How can you adapt Agile methods for commercial product environments? Product ownership expert Marty Cagan answers these questions and hundreds more as he shares lessons learned, techniques, and best practices from working for and with some of the most successful companies in the high-tech industry.

  On story points, estimations and user story splitting (Part I)


9. User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development by Mike Cohn, Kent Beck

User Stories Applied offers a requirements process that saves time, eliminates rework, and leads directly to better software. The best way to build software that meets users’ needs is to begin with “user stories”: simple, clear, brief descriptions of functionality that will be valuable to real users. In User Stories Applied, Mike Cohn provides you with a front-to-back blueprint for writing these user stories and weaving them into your development lifecycle. You’ll learn what makes a great user story, and what makes a bad one. You’ll discover practical ways to gather user stories, even when you can’t speak with your users. Then, once you’ve compiled your user stories, Cohn shows how to organize them, prioritize them, and use them for planning, management, and testing.


We hope you find this list of Product Ownership books useful! Enjoy the reading. 

And if you believe that there are some other product ownership books that deserve to be on this list, name them in the comments section below.
Thank you!


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  • Ekaterina Novoseltseva

    Ekaterina Novoseltseva is an experienced CMO and Board Director. Professor in prestigious Business Schools in Barcelona. Teaching about digital business design. Right now Ekaterina is a CMO at Apiumhub - software development hub based in Barcelona and organiser of Global Software Architecture Summit. Ekaterina is proud of having done software projects for companies like Tous, Inditex, Mango, Etnia, Adidas and many others. Ekaterina was taking active part in the Apiumhub office opening in Paseo de Gracia and in helping companies like Bitpanda open their tech hubs in Barcelona.

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