Somewhat later in my managerial career, I was introduced to ‘Prince 2′. This was in some ways at the opposite end of a spectrum to Peters’ evangelistic fervour. There were however a good few evangelistic enthusiasts for Prince 2 as well – interestingly in my organisation it was the computer manager who was especially excited by Prince 2, almost as though it validated his rational and structured role amongst a whole range of emotionally driven social work / probation managers. Prince 2 was highly focussed on bureaucratic systems, structures and processes – forms, meeting structures, timetables, evaluations.
What captured me however were the opportunities that Prince 2 seemed to offer:
- to ‘democratise’ management activity in the sense that staff could be drawn into participation with work that I wanted to advance and get recognition for the roles they played.
- to increase the transparency of my activity as a manager; staff drawn into the management structure of a project would be receiving reports and commenting on the progress of management activity.
- to involve people in a focus on outcomes, including intermediate process milestones.
- to increase the ‘political’ impact of my work. This was both because Prince 2 projects by their nature had a more explicit profile in organisational life, and because the adoption of such a fashionable project management approach had a sort of kudos in internal organisational politics.