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


Transferring to the recipient the urgency or priority to act from what you understand and believe  by resonating with what she needs and/or believes.  This includes articulating a vision of a better place to journey to.  It also requires inspiring action by defining the action, working either independently or with the participant, and moving the recipient to the point of desire for action. (If you want a team of people to build a ship, don’t teach them to build a ship, teach them to love sailing.)


  • One or more people who are willing to contribute resources, political capital, time to effort

  • Work is now progressing in the effort

Even though there are many selling components in this topic, they differ from the “Selling an Idea” in that the goal is not to get a yes/no question, but to motivate participants to act, typically through belief and investment in the goals.

Use of lenses to motivate multiple personas:

  • Strategic

  • Cultural

  • Political

Somewhat unordered notes:

Shepherd the “audience” to deeper understanding, provide context and meaning of complex technological and political environments.  Making the implicit explicit.  There is a strong component of mentoring or coaching. Passion for change is simple survival.


  • The idea(s) have been architecturally represented, consensus or decision reached, and a decision to proceed has been made at the sponsor level.

  • There is not yet motivation or commitment on the part of stakeholders to “make it so”.

  • There may be a sponsor, but not yet a champion or funding for the idea(s).

  • There may not yet be much needed enterprise-wide support for the idea(s).

  • This may make use of existing artifacts

  • This is often coupled with relationship-building.


  • Move to a cloud-based ERP

  • Get decision-makers and implementers to fund and build a new integration platform

  • Convince registrar to expose enterprise data

  • Initiate a Data Governance program

Stories to tell might include:

  • It is the easiest path

  • It has the most value

  • It will be easiest to maintain over the long term

  • It will build the best foundation

  • It will bring fame

  • It will reduce risk

  • Here is how it will impact ____ as a person

  • ROI is high

  • An emotional story - an anecdotal story

  • Stories of where others have done the same thing

You might need to use different stories with different people.  You might need to have others tell the story for you.  Often a peer is more influential.  You might need to tell the person how they fit in the new world, how this will impact them personally.

Source Material

  • Communications groups can help with developing the message including graphics

  • User Experience teams are good at developing personas and key words and motivators for those personas

  • Outside trusted sources are places to find supporting tools and arguments


  • Continue to tell the stories, metaphors, and vision that you used in selling the idea.  It isn’t done yet.

    • Artifact: Case For Action, Business Process Maps

  • Get commitment to fund and support from decision makers

  • Define first steps

  • Build implementation team (see the Generate Ideas topic for how to build a team)

    • Make sure the context and value is well understood

    • Make sure people understand that they have a role in the new world

    • Build relationships (link)

    • Pizza/beer, other team activities

  • Use Higher Ed trend analysis: e.g., Educause ELI horizon report

  • Use industry trend analysis: e.g., CEB Emerging Technology Survey, Gartner Reports

  • Use synthetic analysis to draw independent initiatives into a single picture  (e.g. cloud-security-ERP, distance learning-competency basis-analytics)

  • Identify do-nothing costs

  • Empathize and make relevant to capture attention

    • Understand what leaders are held accountable for achieving

  • Make good use of the attention by telling a compelling story

    • Artifact: Dot Diagrams can show how this is linked to other higher-level goals/initiatives

  • Provide a view of the path forward in consumable chunks

    • Artifacts:  Roadmaps, Brick Diagrams

  • Describe the support available for those who act

    • Artifact: RACI Diagram can identify resources

  • Follow through and follow up

  • Dive more deeply into the details with the implementers

    • Working meetings

How can I tell when I’m done with this topic? (i.e. success measure)

  • The roles of sponsors and champion has been accepted by someone(s)

  • A project charter with a defined owner (not EA) has been created

  • The project has been entered into the project queue (e.g. the Portfolio Management system) with a non-EA owner

  • The project has been prioritized, funded, and resourced

Two really great books on this topic:

Switch, by the Heath Brothers

Leading Change, by John Kotter.

Related Skills

(to be completed)

Possible Next Steps

(to be completed)

Architecture Leadership > Inspiring Action, Mobilizing, and Acting

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