Essential and Insightful Books

Essential Books

This is a list of books that every consultant and coach should read. We try to keep the list short.

Insightful Books

These are more focused on particular topics. They are also fairly essential.

Essential Books

The Timeless Way of Building, Christopher Alexander. This is the best book on overall design of complex systems. Here’s a pdf. The way to read this is to read the italicized parts first (about 20%) then go through the book at a leisurely pace taking time to digest it.

The Choice, Dr. Eli Goldratt. Dr. Goldratt discusses critical thinking and how to work in complex systems without becoming overwhelmed or sidetracked by complexity. 

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph, Ryan Holiday. This is a book on stoicism. Don’t avoid obstacles, use them to see what you need to do. 

Principles of Product Development Flow: 2nd Generation Lean Product Development, Don Reinertsen. This iconic book describes what is going on from a principles point of view and what you can do about it. HOW TO READ THIS BOOK. Read the Principles of Flow, then read the introduction to each of the other sections up to the first principle. #core


Insightful Books – The Tom Gilb Library

Tom Gilb has been called “the grandfather of Agile” because of the influence his work had on the signatories of the Agile Manifesto. His Competitive Engineering: A Handbook For Systems Engineering, Requirements Engineering, and Software Engineering Using Planguage is a masterpiece and still well ahead of our time.See a copy online and download if desired (permission of author given) here.

He has written several short books that are very useful – I’ve listed a few of them here. These books are downloadable and distributable with no fee. Thanks Tom.

These are just a few of his books. More coming.

Links are either digital downloads or online copies that can be downloaded.

Super Secrets & Strategies for Efficient Value Delivery In Projects and Programs, and Plans. The title pretty much says it all.

A Broader Theory of Constraints: ‘Guides’ Managing your work-traffic efficiently, ‘in spite of’ a rich set of ‘well-intended’ guidelines. Constraints can be good or bad. Better to call them guides.

The ‘Penta’ Model. The ‘iron triangle’ is a bad model. Inverting it doesn’t make it any better. it’s constraining and limits what can be done. While the idea of the Pentagon model was co-created by Tom Gilb and Al Shalloway, most of this book is Tom’s.  

Competitive Engineering:  Handbook for Systems Engineering, Requirements Engineering, and Software Engineering Using Language.  This book is a deep dive into how to be effective from the team to the organization.

Amplio Learning Journeys

A learning journey is an ongoing process of skill development, unlike one-time workshops where retention is low. Learning journeys introduce information gradually for practical application in the workplace, emphasizing continuous learning.

Success Engineering promotes lifelong learning by offering ongoing access to learning materials. Private training can be arranged for accelerated curriculum transition.

Amplio Bootcamps

A bootcamp is a concise 3.5-hour workshop dedicated to a specific topic. Bootcamps are categorized into different levels, each with specific prerequisites outlined in their descriptions.

Integrated Q&A sessions and exercises are incorporated into all boot camps, with the final 30 minutes dedicated to interactive engagement. Every bootcamp includes a comprehensive workbook and a copy of the presentation slides.