Engage the coalition of the willing


The stakeholders that were identified during Prepare now need to:

  • support the project
  • participate in governance of the project
  • provide supporting staff within their agency
  • align their plans.

Project success is strongly linked to the attention provided by senior leadership. Therefore this stage is about creating a coalition of willing people to lead the project and keep it on track. This coalition is usually built by the product owner, project manager and sponsor.

This applies well within a single agency where authority can be formally applied. When this concept is applied to independent agencies the coalition is less delegated and more voluntary – hence the phrase 'coalition of the willing'.

The coalition needs to include the product owner and the sponsor, and have the following considered:

  • representatives of the customers, the involved staff, participating agencies
  • the owners of the key business and of the technical systems involved, including the benefits owner.

The coalition of the willing is set up by a team that includes the sponsor, project manager, change manager, architecture owner, product owner, and members of the lead agency’s communications team. Either the sponsor or project manager is responsible for engaging the coalition of the willing.


The aim of this stage is to:

  • enrol active support from the participating agencies by creating a coalition of willing people to lead the project and keep it on track.


 Actions which may be carried out during this stage include:

  1. Create a RASCI matrix for the project team to clarify roles and responsibilities.
  2. Considering the problem trajectory, the benefits, and the business context diagram from the Prepare phase, create a WIIFM (see tools and templates section) for each agency to justify the value of their participation during Discovery.
  3. Use stakeholder analysis and the strategic value map to consider the strategic objectives and goals for the participating agencies so you can present the tailored value proposition.
  4. Work with participating organisations on the organisation impact assessment to identify the opportunities and points of contention and to understand their constraints, plans and schedules.
  5. Present a tailored concept brief (from Prepare) to each of the stakeholders to enrol them.
  6. Establish a governance board and document terms of reference for the board.


The outputs from this stage include:

  • fully engaged stakeholders
  • available and engaged representatives.

Tools and templates

Tools that may be helpful during this stage include:

  • RASCI matrix
  • WIIFM tool
  • stakeholder analysis
  • communications plan
  • organisation impact assessment.

These tools and related templates are available on the Accelerate downloads page.


Page last updated: 13/04/2016