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An Intro into the World of Business Relationship Management, Part 4: A Continued Review into BRM

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We are on the last leg of our four-part series. In our previous BRM blogs, we provided you with a summary overview of BRM, BRMP®, and BRM Institute®. We then followed with more detailed information about the BRM role and the BRMP®. This final blog provides additional information to round out what we provided you regarding the BRM role.


Where do BRMs Work?

You will find BRMs in every type of industry and size of organization. BRMs are often aligned with one or more lines of business or aligned by IT initiatives that focus on business interactions and communication. They are often integrated into the IT strategy and planning efforts.  Although today most of the BRMs work with IT as the service provider, the BRM role is equally effective for other provider services, such as HR, finance, marketing, human services, manufacturing, external service providers, etc.

BRMs by any Other Name

The BRM role may function under different titles in some organizations.  You may see the BRM role and responsibilities under the title of a Business Unit Manager, IT Partner, Account Manager, or Business Integration.  Further, BRMs can come from any organizational unit, such as IT, Business Management, Business Strategy, Business Operations, Sales, Marking/PR, HR, Legal, Finance, or Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

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With Whom do BRMs Interact?

BRMs work with any organizational role they need to establish key working relationships to maximize business value.  However, the more frequent interactions are with the business partners, application or enterprise architects, project/program/portfolio managers, finance managers, operations, and other service provider support roles.

Implementing BRM

The BRM may be a part-time role, a full-time role, or a BRM competency that can be leveraged by other organizational roles. In the past, CIOs often played the role of the BRM part time. Optimally, as the discipline grows, BRMs will become full-time roles. Further, a BRM role can be a sole practitioner role or be a small team of project/program managers, business analysts, architects, and/or developers.

The BRM may report directly to the CIO or a business leader with a dotted line relationship to the CIO. However, no matter the organizational structure, the common thread across all BRM implementations is an interface between business and the service provider with a focus on increasing the value realized from IT investments (typically, new initiatives), assets (usually current systems and infrastructure), and capabilities (the services and products offered by the IT organization).

Why do we need BRMs?

So why do we need BRMs anyway? As you have worked in your organization or past organizations, you may have seen a disconnect that often occurs between the service provider and the business they serve. Service providers sometimes struggle to show their value and relevance to the business. Alternatively, the business doesn’t always understand what technology can do for them. BRMs are a means to address these issues. Businesses rely on the BRM’s advice on how to use technology in an innovative way to enable business transformation, improve competitive positioning, and maximize business value. On the other hand, IT relies on BRMs to translate the business need into technical terms and to represent them to the business in business terms.

How do we Measure BRM Success?

Success will be measured differently depending on how the BRM is implemented in each organization. However, some success measures can include business satisfaction surveys on the state of the business/IT relationship, the quality and number of technology solutions that were proposed to add business value, the degree to which the business is up-to-date on key IT events and initiatives, and the reduction in the time it takes in developing proposals for technology initiatives.

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BRMP® is a registered trademark of Business Relationship Management Institute.

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PMI, PMBOK, PMP, CAPM, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP, PMI-SP, PMI-PBA, The PMI TALENT TRIANGLE and the PMI Talent Triangle logo, and the PMI Registered Education Provider logo are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. BRMP is a registered trademark of Business Relationship Management Institute.