Written By: Pamela Erskine
Business Relationship Management (BRM) is a process focused on ensuring IT is supporting the business in meeting their objectives. The role of the Business Relationship Manager is primarily concerned with customer satisfaction. In theory, the BRM role is working closely with the business to understand their strategies, goals, and objectives. They are capturing high level business requirements and deadlines for the IT organization. They are serving as a consultant to the business offering advice on existing and new technology and/or coordinating conversations with subject matter experts in the IT organization.
To ensure success with the BRM process and role, it is important to set goals and objectives for success ensuring that progress can be tracked and measured.
What are key metrics for business relationship management?
· Customer satisfaction levels are the primary metric. When referring to customer satisfaction, both end user and customer views are important. The customer is responsible for the business outcome and they may be paying for the services provided but the end user view is also relevant. Satisfaction with IT supporting outcomes through services should be considered. While transactional satisfaction with incident management or request fulfillment is important, it is a small subset of the customer’s overall view of the IT organization.
· The number of escalations and complaints from the business should be trended. As the BRM process and role mature, the services offered and supported by the IT organization will meet the needs and expectations of the business. Complaints and escalations about service should diminish.
· Requirements to support every new service are known and agreed to by the business and the IT organization. Signoffs by the business and IT occur in each lifecycle phase. The number of new services with documented requirements and signoff metrics should be tracked against new services without the appropriate documentation.
· Changes to the customer environment are evaluated and result in changes to the IT services or strategy. Customer satisfaction levels will reflect this metric however; evaluating the number of changes brought forth and implemented due to the BRM role will assist IT with understanding the value and performance of the Business Relationship Manager.
· The business consults with IT to understand how technology can enable more efficient and effective business process. When solving business problems, does IT have a role? If the customer is asking the Business Relationship Manager to sit in on business strategy or process improvement discussions, the BRM role is having an impact. Ultimately, customer satisfaction levels will reflect success in this area however; tracking the level of BRM involvement and recommended actions or solutions implemented will provide IT with additional value and performance data.
· Metrics to reflect IT’s performance in relationship to business objectives. While operational metrics in the IT organization are important, when working with the Customer, the Business Relationship Manager can translate how IT is supporting business outcomes into meaningful business based metrics for the IT organization. Rather than merely tracking availability, mean time to resolve, or some other operational metric, business relationship management should help the IT organization develop business based metrics such as new sales supported, claims processed on time, diagnostic tests performed, patients scheduled, etc. The BRM process owner and BRM role should ensure IT is focusing on both operational and business based metrics.
Business relationship management can be a pivotal process for strengthening the relationship between IT and the business. Measuring success of the BRM process and role is crucial to maturing this aspect of IT service management (ITSM).
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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The article below relates to the consumerization of IT. It provides some initial thoughts and statistics on consumerization but it then focuses on being proactive rather than reactive in the new paradigm.
When working on IT vision and strategy, it provides some food for thought. Enjoy!
"Four Ways to Transform the Consumerization of IT into a Competitive Advantage" By: Daniel Burrus
Written By: Pamela Erskine
How does culture impact strategy? - Your mission, vision, and values, help to define the strategy. The goals and objectives that are defined for individual strategies help to guide your staff to achieve the required outcomes and the culture is driving action toward achieving the strategies. The culture of the organization is formed by individual and group values, practices, and behaviors.
Annual planning involves defining the vision and strategies required to support the overall mission of the organization yet culture, which drives achievement of the vision and strategies, is often neglected. If culture is driving action, why is it often omitted from the strategic planning
When we neglect culture, time, money, and opportunity are negatively affected. Project execution takes longer. Ideas to improve products or services are lost. Conflict between coworkers and departments becomes normal. Turnover increases. All of the goals and objectives of the strategic plan may be accomplished but at what price?
Malcolm X once said “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” The culture of your IT organization sends a message about what it stands for - what the organization thinks is important.
Fostering a healthy culture requires nurturing. What does your IT culture say about the organization? Do your leaders know how to nurture the existing culture?
At AdOPT, we are transformation consultants focused on strategy, process, and culture change to improve IT efficiency, increase effectiveness, and optimize costs. For more information, phone 520-591-2427 or contact us at email@example.com.
Is the organization struggling with incident management? Is service level compliance dismal? Do changes to the IT environment often cause outages? I could go on… Many organizations experience problems with service delivery. When looking for an answer, they jump head first into an IT service management (ITSM) tool initiative as their existing tool appears to be contributing to the issues and technology is familiar.
Replacing the tool won’t solve the problem. Most likely, the cause of the service issues is rooted in one of two areas.
1.) Processes are not well defined or understood. If the process isn’t clear, it will not be repeatable and therefore, service delivery will be inconsistent and sometimes, downright painful.
2.) There is a lack of buy in regarding how service is delivered. If the people in the organization disagree with key aspects of the service delivery processes or agreements; if they are struggling to understand why some agreements exist or processes were designed a certain way; or if they do not feel as though they can succeed, service delivery will never meet the expectations of IT leadership or the business.
Unfortunately, replacing the tool won’t solve these problems. It will only make it worse. Without clear, defined processes, how will you develop requirements to complete tool selection? If the team didn’t feel successful before, a new tool will only increase their confusion.
Rather than starting a new tool initiative, consider a process improvement initiative which includes a defined plan to address organizational change. Start with the processes that relate to the business’s key pain points when dealing with IT. Redefine the processes including process objectives, policies, process integration, roles and responsibilities, critical success factors and key performance indicators, operational metrics, and other details.
Plan for the desired outcome by defining a vision for success and then developing strategies and tasks to accomplish the vision. Examples of strategies and tasks which facilitate change include: engaging staff in the process improvement initiative; routinely distributing transparent communications about the project and potential changes; developing clear, concise performance objectives for staff members that relate to the success of the process; providing training and documentation; tracking and publicizing compliance metrics; establishing a process for continual service improvement which includes feedback from those engaged in process execution; and fostering a sense of ownership and accountability by setting expectations and quickly addressing issues.
Once the process improvement project gains momentum, it may be time to reevaluate the ITSM tools but before investing in a new tool, ensure the processes and the organization are strong enough to support success.