Software Process Improvement projects face a double challenge: On the one hand are these projects often major organizational change projects requiring considerable investments in terms of time and money. The group charged with conducting an SPI project has, on the other hand, little formal authority to influence or force software professionals to engage in SPI work and define and implement changes. In this research in progress paper, we present first results from our analysis of how an SPI group can use alliances to obtain influence and induce change. Our analysis shows that the concept of alliances is useful both to understand organizational influence and to provide practical advice for practitioners involved in organizational processes such as SPI.