In recent months, we conducted one on one interviews with several IT executives that have responsibility for the Business Relationship Management process and function. During these conversations, we explored their top concerns relating to this process and role. In this week’s blog, we examine two BRM challenges that are pervasive.
Challenge #1 - Maintaining a Strategic View
One of the most significant challenges noted by IT executives related to the Business Relationship Manager maintaining their strategic view. It is very common for the Business Relationship Manager (BRM) to become an escalation point for high priority incidents, challenges with projects, and other ongoing issues. While several IT executives agreed that their organizational challenges are sometimes the root cause of this issue, often it is easier for a BRM or their leadership to believe they are demonstrating value by handling operational issues. If a customer comes to them with an operational issue, they handle it rather than ensuring the operational lead is handling the issue and effectively communicating with the customer.
Many senior IT leaders agree that the BRM is providing value while assisting with an operational issue but there is also a sense that they are masking a broader issue that the organization needs to resolve. By facilitating a resolution to an operational issue, the urgency to find a long term fix is diminished and the BRM now has created a new norm in terms of their job expectations. The value of the role would be heightened if the Business Relationship Manager sought to resolve the root cause of why they need to become involved in operational issues. While investigating the root cause may not appear to fall into the BRM’s responsibilities, managing operational issues will not provide the long term value that was sought when the BRM role was created.
Challenge #2 - Understanding Business Needs
As noted above, Business Relationship Management requires a strategic focus. When working with the customer, the Business Relationship Manager (BRM) needs to understand the business process and outcome enough to effectively represent the viewpoint when working with the IT team. It can be difficult for the BRM to gather the right level of information from their business partners.
At this stage, IT does not need detailed requirements. They need a high level view with key areas of concern noted. Process outcomes, regulatory constraints, risk areas, and existing ongoing issues are all areas that should be explored along with the impact of the work on business related strategies, goals, and objectives.
Senior IT leaders want to vest the Business Relationship Manager within the IT organization and with the business yet they struggle to do so when additional IT resources are often needed to fully understand high level requirements. IT resource consumption rates have increased with the introduction of the Business Relationship Management process as the Business Relationship Manager is often facilitating additional conversations between technical resources and key business staff.
Most IT leaders agree that Business Relationship Management is adding value and customer satisfaction is increasing however; they would like the BRM role be more self-sufficient in their investigation and understanding of the business needs.
Attend the Building Your Business Relationship Management Capabilities Workshop to grow in your role and strengthen your relationship with your business customers!
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IT governance is the process and oversight structure that is focused on ensuring IT’s direction and investments are aligned with the strategic direction and needs of the business. It helps to ensure that IT projects are on track and delivering the right level of value and that stakeholder and organizational needs are appropriately addressed.
IT governance is most effective when the IT organization understands the portfolio of services provided and how these services link to business value. Plans, policies, investments, resources, risk, and culture are all areas of concern for IT governance. All of the areas noted need to be directed and monitored to ensure maximum benefit to the business.
Why should you care about IT Governance?
Governance helps to
The effects of mature IT governance can be linked to employee satisfaction, employee engagement, attrition, customer satisfaction, etc. Without governance, IT is often functioning as a silo’d organization within the larger entity. With such a dependence on technology, the business needs a strong partner in order to be successful. Governance is a cornerstone of building this relationship.
At AdOPT, we are transformation consultants focused on strategy, process, and culture to increase effectiveness, improve efficiency, and optimize costs. We wrote the book on organizational change in IT. For more information about our Change Adoption workshop, vision and strategy development, or other services, contact us at email@example.com or by calling 520-591-2427.
In this blog posting, we've partnered with Wendy Kuhn to examine how health and wellness impact the organizational adoption of changes.
Are you ever bewildered by how challenging it can be to implement changes in your organization? Are you seeking to achieve buy in and support for your initiatives and day-to-day operational changes? Several methodologies exist providing guidance for obtaining employee buy in and support, but they overlook a crucial element – your employees need to feel supported. They need to feel that the company and their leadership care about them and their wellbeing. Consider how a health and wellness program can assist. A health and wellness component incorporated into an organizational adoption methodology can increase the pace and acceptance of change in the organization.
Consider the following questions:
If the answer to any of these question is no, then it is time to evaluate the effectiveness of how your organization manages changes and, in fact, embeds the change into the organizational DNA. Successful implementation of change affects customer satisfaction, employee engagement, organizational success, and ultimately, the bottom line.
Often, a lack of success in projects, plans, and health and wellness initiatives is caused by a failure to effectively plan for the change, a failure to effectively manage the team, and/or failure to manage the implementation. Effective organizational change management involves employees in the process; clearly defines expected outcomes and behaviors; and results in a motivated leadership team with a workforce moving purposefully towards common goals. Failed changes manifest in many different forms with the commonality that they negatively impact the bottom line.
An effective organizational adoption strategy that incorporates health and wellness as a keystone will demonstrate positive impetus towards successful implementation of changes regardless of whether you are implementing a small software upgrade or restructuring the entire organization.
We have found that when the organizational change includes direct benefits to employees, they are more likely to embrace it; when employees feel better, they are absent less, more productive, and more effective; and when employees are involved and they see their impact on an element of an organizational change, they feel empowered to positively impact the corporation’s bottom line. Organizational change and health and wellness can be linked to increase the likelihood of success
Are you in the midst of change? It is 2015, so it is unlikely that any viable company is not. Try the following to see the impact of incremental steps towards effective change adoption:
Learn More! Join my colleague Wendy Kuhn and I for an informative webinar “Embrace Organizational Adoption Techniques and Improve Your Bottom Line: How Health and Wellness Directly Link to Improved Results”.
This groundbreaking webinar was conducted on March 4, 2015 at 2:00 pm EST and March 5, 2015 at 1:00 pm EST. Contact us for access to the recording.
About the Authors
Pam Erskine has over 15 years of leadership experience with a focus on IT and service transformation through clear vision and strategy, process improvement, and purposeful steps to address cultural adoption. Pam is the author of “ITIL and Organizational Change” which covers best practice in gaining acceptance of changes in the workplace and gives practical advice on applying organizational change models to a Service Management initiative.
Wendy Kuhn is a strategic planning and implementation consultant with extensive experience helping government, business, and non-profit organizations achieve their vision. I have more than twenty years of experience in management and IT consulting, facilitation, program management, business relationship management, business process redesign and IT Service Management development. I am also a Certified Health Coach and HeartMath™ Mentor. Visit breakthroughconsultingllc.com for more information.
"Change Adoption: Building a Plan for Organizational Acceptance" - a 2 Day Workshop focused on enabling leaders to be successful with managing change in IT. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 520-591-2427.