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Top 7 Books Every Product Owner Should Read

Product owner

The product owner is an integral member and plays a prominent role in the product development cycle.

The roles and responsibilities of product owners may slightly differ among different organizations.

However, in general, every product owner should possess this fundamental trait: being open to learning.

As long as product owners continue to evolve, it helps them stay updated and effectively deal with any situation.

The best way to achieve this is through reading books.

In this blog, we will explore how books can enhance product ownership skills and introduce the seven best books that every product owner should read!

How books help to improve product owner skills

As we discussed, the Product Owner is a role full of responsibility and needs to wear multiple hats with time. An ideal product owner should be able to bind their team together and ensure they are all headed in the same direction. They need to simultaneously look for possible ways to enhance the quality of the product and maximize their business value. 

For product owners to become recognized in their fields, they should constantly update themselves.

But why a book?

Reading is a very necessary habit for every successful businessperson

– Ellen Parry Lewis

Books are not the only paper of printed letters. Reading books add enormous benefits for making a better career. A book is a warehouse of practical knowledge and guidance. Apart from gaining knowledge, books help to improve vocabulary, enhance analytical skills and improve concentration.

The University of Sussex found that reading books can reduce stress by up to 68%. It works better and faster than any other relaxation method.

Reading a book, makes you think from the author’s point of view. This practice makes you more empathetic. And it leads to a better understanding of team member perspective, and emotions and helps to maintain overall coordination. 

Top 7 Product Ownership Books

Are you confused about what to read?

Here are handpicked lists written by professional leaders in SaaS. These books are suitable for all levels of product owners.

You can start with any of these,

1. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries – How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses 

Books for product owner

The author of this book Eric Ries is an American entrepreneur, speaker, and co-founder of IMVU, the avatar-based social networking company. The Lean Startup has been translated into more than thirty languages and is a New York Times bestseller. The methodology in the book is used by business people around the world.

This book contains methods to develop and manage a startup. The book is ideal for everyone curious about products and their development. The author describes a framework for startups to learn, build and measure their strategy through a cycle of continuous improvement.

One thing interesting about the book is, the author Eric Ries used real case studies from a wide array of different businesses to illustrate the principles he discusses. He draws most of his material from his own background as an entrepreneur, extensively detailing his experience at his company IMVU. 

2. User Story Mapping – Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product.

The author of this book Jeff Patton is an independent consultant specializing in user-centered design processes, a corporate trainer and coach, and a public speaker about the software industry.

In general, User Story Mapping is a technique that helps the product team gain valuable insights about products and their features from a customer point of view. It helps to understand the customer and user journey to create or improve a better user experience.

In this book, the author uses simple language to explain the user’s journey, story-mapping technique, and the common pitfalls in user story mapping.

3. Impact Mapping – Making a big impact with software products and projects

The author of this book Gojko Adzic is a speaker and a software delivery consultant. Being Specialized in impact mapping, the author helps to improve the software delivery of large financial institutions as well as small innovative startups. 

Impact mapping is a product development technique for deciding which features to build into a SaaS product. This book contains a simple yet effective practical guide for making an impactful product with minimal effort. Using impact mapping, you can devise better plans and roadmaps that align business and delivery and are easily adaptable.

4. Strategize – Product Strategy and Product Roadmap Practices for the Digital Age

The author of this book Roman Pichler is an internationally recognized product management expert and specialist in product strategy with a record of advising and teaching product leaders, product managers, and product owners.

In this book, the author explains effective product strategies, product vision, how to set KPIs, and how to make actionable product roadmaps. This book helps to maximize the chances of creating successful and inspiring products. Understanding the countless benefits of product strategy, the author used real-world examples and simple language, making it easier to apply these principles to the products.  

5. Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love

The author of this book Roman Pichler is an internationally recognized product management expert and specialist in product strategy with a record of advising and teaching product leaders and product owners.

This book contains real-world examples to demonstrate how product owners can create successful products with Scrum. The author explains the roles, characteristics, and common mistakes of product owners to drive a better product team and build a great product.

The author describes a broad range of agile product management practices. Also covers some aspects like what product owners do, how they do it, how to create a compelling product vision, how to manage the product backlog effectively, how to plan the release, budgeting, and functionality decisions, etc.

6. Value Proposition Design: How to create products and services customers want

This book holds four authors, the first and lead author Alexandre Osterwalder is a passionate entrepreneur, speaker, and co-founded Strategyzer. The second co-author Yves Pigneur is a speaker and professor of management and information systems at the University of Lausanne.

The third co-author Greg Bernarda is a thinker, creator, and advisor who supports individuals, teams, and organizations with strategy and innovation. The fourth co-author Alan Smith is a designer, a business thinker and co-founded the company Strategyzer.

This book is an international bestseller for business model generation. In this book, the author illustrates what is a value proposition, what makes a great value proposition, and how to analyze what the customer wants. 

The book focuses on creating value for the customer by eliminating unnecessary features or technologies that will not appeal to them. Also, help to test the product ideas instead of watching them fail at launch time. This book also helps to combat the everyday challenges of business and creates compelling products for customers.

7. INSPIRED – How to create tech products customers love

Product owner

The author of this book Marty Cagan is a Silicon Valley-based product executive with more than 20 years of experience with industry leaders, including eBay, AOL, and Netscape Communications, and is considered the most influential person in the product space.

In this book, the author illustrates the techniques for creating winning products and explains all possible practical tips to create a product that customers love. 

INSPIRED will take the product to a new level and help achieve customer engagement, consistent innovation, and business success. The author clearly states the difference between building the right product and building the product right. And how to develop a better product in three effective steps. 

He also addressed that great products will never happen by accident but by design and points to the design of such products. Guide to building a product team and their mindset based on some real-life stories which makes the innovative culture of shipping great products. 

End Note

Reading books by industry leaders is a great way for product owners to evolve their skills. A combination of these 7 books enhances the thinking skills of product owners and helps them make precise decisions during challenging times for their products.

The techniques discussed in all these books also help product owners to identify the pitfalls in their products in advance and guide them to take the correct measures.

We hope you find this list of Product Ownership books helpful!

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