This page is an output of the Itana Spring Face2Face 2016 meeting, contributed to the Itana wiki by the meeting attendees.


Building Relationships is a soft skill used to establish rapport, trust, credibility, and regular contact with stakeholders.   The  purpose is to understand and achieve common goals and facilitate the brokering of information across silos.

  • Determine what stakeholders to develop relationships with to create a common understanding. Perform your own stakeholder analysis.

  • Establish rapport and regular contact with stakeholders to understand common goals and determine steps and actions to achieve goals

  • Differentiate between tactical vs strategic relationships (perhaps move this to technique)

  • Define purpose and desired outcome of each relationship

  • Relationships in higher ed  tend to be less towards goals rather than in the private sector

  • Relationships further goals

  • Due to time constraints some self awareness is needed to understand the reason for developing the relationship.

  • Relationship building can tend to break down silos within higher education that have developed

  • Build diversity of points of view (age, gender, ethnicity, background, responsibility, etc.), expands views beyond those that match your own.

  • Insight into other areas of expertise

  • Building relationships to have influence


  • Come to an agreed upon view of the direction of the organization in relation to strategy.

  • Demonstrate the value that EA can bring to the table for them

  • Create mutually beneficial relationships

  • Obtain awareness, buy-in and support for EA

  • Create a stronger organizational culture that is fun to work in rather than being adversarial

  • Understand diverse points of view of stakeholder network

  • Gain understanding of different areas (breakdown silos)

  • Gain better insight into functional areas where knowledge was thin

  • Increase EA influence over strategic decisions with an IT component

  • Develop a shared language, understanding and meaning of the enterprise aim (strategy, goals, objectives, capabilities, services and products)

  • Establish trust Trying to build a trusting relationship. See Living the Trust Equation.


A client engagement setting where IT Staff meet with campus stakeholders regularly to understand how IT projects are meeting/not meeting their goals.

    • Use of empathy to understand stakeholder point of view

    • Use of sociogram to understand stakeholder influence

    • Use of CRM material to understand persona

    • Use of Strategy-on-a-page

  • Valuable Wisdom or Knowledge Resource - You’ve identified someone who likely has valuable information or perhaps influence that would be useful for you to know (and possibly vice versa).

  • IT Investment decision making - a stakeholder is in the process of making an important IT investment decision and could use assistance from EA in identifying and evaluating alternatives as well as building the business case for the option chosen

  • New stakeholder - getting to know a newly identified stakeholder better and establishing rapport

  • The Big Picture Persuasion - persuading a myopic stakeholder to appreciate and buy into the bigger enterprise Subject .  

  • Using established relationships to perform organizational matchmaking to ensure that the right conversations are happening between the right (often other) people.f


(to be completed)


  • Employ CRM tools if helpful in tracking and managing contact-Jibber Jobber/

  • [Active] Listening and empathy is a great technique.  Empathy requires personal investment in the relationship a

  • Stakeholder analysis, Influence/Interest graph. Match personas with relationship building tactics. Classify relationships and plan actions accordingly.

  • Define an actionable step

  • 4Is.  introduce, inquire, invest, influence

  • Sociograms

  • Take responsibility even if on behalf of your unit and leadership

  • Think of personas and how to influence them (numbers driven, emotional, etc)(early adopters, social influence)

    • Crossing the Chasm

  • Demonstrate respect and gratitude for stakeholder consideration

  • Use RACIs (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed)

  • Use of Capability Mapping and Strategy-on-a Page

  • Making an effort to engage with the concerns and activities of disciplines (lightweight embedding)

Examples of things not to do:

  • There is an anti-pattern of being selfish or exploitive.Trying to change the behavior of a person through trying to influence their manager

  • Not having the answers to everything but rather eliciting the best solutions from stakeholders.  Helping them making an informed decision

  • Obviously building a relationship just for short-term gain.  (Not understanding the collegiality of academia.)

Example framework (citation needed):

Related Skills

Active listening

The 4 I’s - Initiate, inquire, invest, influence

Possible Next Steps

(to be completed)

Architecture Leadership > Building Relationships

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