TOP 5 things you need to know about doing BRM the right way

Article is based on Business Relationship Management Institute’s guidance.

At IT Chapter, we deliver customizable IT consulting services, which fit our clients’ needs, helping us achieve their business goals and enhance their workflow. For this, we work with different departments and stakeholders, which enable us to deliver on our promises and objectives. Of course, Business Relationship Management has become such an important part of our activity, that we have devoted a whole program to it. We now collaborate with Business Relationship Managers and IT Executives, train them and walk them through the operating and strategic processes, to ensure that, at the end of the day, both the IT structures and the Business Partners maximize their results.

So, if you are a Business Relationship Manager or IT Executive, read further, as we made a list of the top 5 things you need to know about doing BRM the right way:

1. BRM IS AN ORCHESTRATOR, CONNECTOR, AND NAVIGATOR

Business Relationship Management helps IT Departments and their Business Partners find common grounds, by analysing the bigger picture of a collaboration, monitoring how it impacts all stakeholders and improving the workflow in a way which enhances and perfects the relationships between all parties. Due to its important role in stimulating, surfacing and shaping business demand for a supplier’s products, the BRM is positioned as an orchestrator, a connector and an navigator, which often holds responsibility for the partnership’s outcome. BRM deals with everything from shaping actual products to satisfy a client’s need, to strategic planning, advocacy, consulting, enhancing work flows, managing stakeholder relations, coaching, mentoring, as well as dealing with psychological factors and mentalities. No wonder that…

2. BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT IS A COMPLEX AREA OF EXPERTISE, WHICH REQUIRES A HIGH ARRAY OF COMPETENCIES AND TRAITS, SUCH AS:

  • Mastering Strategic Partnering, earning a “seat at the table.”
  • Having a High Business IQ, developing knowledge of business functions and processes to help create and implement strategies. BRMs speak the language of business. They communicate and translate technical matters into business concepts and vice-versa.
  • Excelling in the Discipline of Portfolio Management, which allows BRMs to prioritize and align service and product investment portfolio with business strategy.
  • Having excellent knowledge of the provider domain and understanding how the provider’s services benefit each business. BRMs understand well the Service Management discipline, its processes and standards. They research and stay updated on trends, markets, clients’ needs and competition, to enhance performance and keep services and products competitive.
  • Being skilled in Business Transition Management and in managing the politics and complexity associated with large-scale change. They know when and how to engage Organizational Development professionals to assist with major change programs.
  • Being powerful Communicators, masters of listening, influencing and persuading. Since BRMs have a high capacity of being a team player and a leader, they collaborate with different individuals and professionals, and drive them towards a common goal.

3. THE BRM ROLE NEEDS CLARITY IN THE PROVIDER ORGANIZATION (IT DEPARTMENT)

As soon as the BRM role and organizational capability is introduced, there will be impacts on other Provider (IT Department) roles, responsibilities, processes, and practices. The roles of Provider’s stakeholders who are facing Business Partners need to be re-calibrated and the role of the BRM shall be clarified as well, otherwise Business Relationship Management will be confusing, both to members of the Provider organization and to its Business Partners.

4. DEPENDING ON THE MATURITY OF THE BUSINESS DEMAND IN ORGANIZATION, BRM CAN EITHER BE TACTICAL, OR STRATEGIC, NEVER BOTH.

As a general rule, at the lower maturity levels of the demand for Provider (IT Department) services, the BRM is more tactically focused. As Business demand maturity increases from requiring just efficient foundation systems to demanding systems supporting business processes and further, innovations and business integration, the BRM role can take on a more strategic and demand shaping role. It is always preferable to position the BRM role strategically, to target the greatest opportunities for value realization. However, you should always remember that…

5. THE FOUNDATION OF CREDIBILITY FOR THE PROVIDER (IT DEPARTMENT) IS PRIMARILY BASED ON IT’S ABILITY TO “KEEP THE LIGHTS ON”

If the Provider organization (IT Department) cannot reliably deliver basic services, if it does not succeed in project delivery, or if it has a huge requests backlog, then the BRM’s ability to position the role strategically will be impaired, and the BRM will be expected to help solve IT operational or tactical issues. Subsequently, it will be difficult for the BRMs to shift themselves from tactical to strategic partnership.

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