Episode 9 Week 4 – Friday

Episode 9 Week 4 – Friday


The project is chugging along and everything is in good shape. It’s Friday and Alice is looking forward to the weekend but first, she has one more meeting to go to.



Alice wished she hadn’t stayed out so late last night. And all that Coca Cola she drank – she’d been the designated driver. By the time she got to bed she’d been as lively as a flea. She doubted if she’d slept at all. Anyway, it was Friday afternoon. Soon – if this interminable meeting would ever come to an end – she could go home and then, she’d sleep the weekend.

The conference room was warm and everybody was there – B-Bob, Harry, Sammy, Ted, Patricia, Magnus and Reg. Harry had a PowerPoint presentation going and he was explaining about who knew what.

Alice’s eyes were heavy. As the meeting wore on and discussion intensified, Alice tried closing her eyes while she counted to twenty, and then opening them again. This worked for a while but soon she realised, her eyes weren’t actually opening at the end of the count of twenty.

The voices became very distant. Alice knew that if this went much further, there was a grave risk that she would start snoring – and Alice, if what her friends had told her was correct – was quite a snorer.

‘What do you think, Alice?’ a voice said.

Alice’s eyes flipped open.

For a fraction of a second, as she looked round the room, Alice found it hard to remember who these people were or what she was doing here. Then it came to her.

By now, everybody was looking expectantly at her.

‘Er, I think we need to maximise the win-conditions of the stakeholders,’ said Alice.

‘B-Bob considered this.

‘Alice is right,’ he said.

‘Marketing don’t have a problem with that,’ said Magnus.

‘It shouldn’t affect the software,’ said Sammy.

‘So will I continue?’ asked Harry.

‘Sure,’ said Alice.

Harry clicked the slide clicker and the next slide popped up on the screen.

Harry picked up where he had left off.

The meeting moved on.

The danger had passed.


Eventually the meeting ended. Alice returned to her office and started packing up her stuff. Reg looked in.

‘What was that about?’ he asked, barely able to stop laughing.

Alice smiled.

‘What?’ she asked innocently.

‘You know what. What was it again? “I think we need to maximise the –” ‘

‘”Win-conditions of the stakeholders”’, said Alice, finishing the sentence for him.

‘Yeah, that. What does it mean? Does it mean anything?’

‘It actually does,’ said Alice.

‘Every project has stakeholders,’ she began. ‘They’re the people affected by the project. Every stakeholder has win-conditions. Win-conditions are what they would regard as the best outcome to the project. In general, different stakeholders have different win-conditions.

A successful project is happy stakeholders. In order to have happy stakeholders, you have to deliver their win-conditions. In the real world, delivering 100% of every win-condition isn’t necessarily possible. So then you try to – ‘

‘Maximise the win-conditions of the stakeholders,’ said Reg, finishing the sentence for her.

‘Exactly,’ said Alice.

‘But it’s also useful if you fall asleep at a meeting.’

‘I see that,’ said Reg.

‘There’s also the Japanese technique,’ said Alice.

‘The Japanese technique?’

‘Yeah. You say, ‘I was thinking with my eyes closed.’

‘Hmm,’ said Reg, thoughtfully, before adding, ‘Useful to know.’

‘Essential, I’d say,’ said Alice.

‘Enjoy the weekend, Alice.’

‘You too, Reg.’