This list could comprise dozens of titles, all worthy of consideration (though many, unfortunately, out of print). The selected titles below are presented because they focus on how to help IT projects succeed and–more importantly–why they so often go wrong. Also, most are currently in print, are relatively thin, and can be understood by non-technical readers.
- The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering (20th Anniversary Ed.), Frederick P. Brooks, Jr. (Addison-Wesley, 1995). (RISE post here.)
- 201 Principles of Software Development, Alan M. Davis (IEEE Computer Society, 1995).
- Waltzing With Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects, Tom De Marco and Timothy Lister (Dorset House Publishing, 2003).
- Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (2nd ed.), Tom De Marco and Timothy Lister (Dorset House Publishing, 1999). (RISE post here.)
- Software Failure: Management Failure, Steven Flowers (John Wiley & Sons, 1996).
- Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering, Robert L. Glass (Addsion-Wesley, 2002).
- Software Runaways, Robert L. Glass (Prentice Hall, 1998).
- Assessment and Control of Software Risks, Capers Jones (Yourdon Press, 1994).
- Debugging the Development Process, Steve Maguire (Microsoft Press, 1994).
- Software Project Survival Guide, Steve McConnell (Microsoft Press, 1998).
- Why New Systems Fail, Phil Simon (AuthorHouse, 2009).
- Productivity Sand Traps and Tar Pits, Mike Walsh (Dorset House Publishing, 1991).
- Perfect Software and Other Illusions about Testing, Gerald M. Weinberg (Dorset House, 2008).
- The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition, Gerald M. Weinberg (Dorset House Publishing, 1998). (RISE post here.)
- Death March (2nd ed.), Edward Yourdon, (Prentice Hall, 2003).