Written By: Pamela Erskine
A Business Relationship Manager (BRM) can be an asset when IT organizations are seeking to strengthen their alignment and relationship with the business units. This role works closely with the business and the IT Service Provider to ensure existing IT services meet the needs of the business and to ensure that IT is prepared to support new or changing business requirements.
To understand the role of the BRM in the organization, consider their responsibilities during each phase of the service lifecycle.
Contributions of a Business Relationship Manager
Service Strategy – The BRM is working with the business to understand the required business outcomes. They may be attending their strategic planning meetings, project related meetings, and regulatory discussions. They are routinely involved in business related conversations. The BRM is providing input regarding IT trends, technology, operations, and other considerations during these discussions. They are gathering high level business plans to discuss with the IT organization. Within the IT organization, they are facilitating strategic discussions about how to meet the needs of the business.
Service Design – The BRM will participate in the design process however; it is important to keep their involvement at a high level. This role should be consulted and informed about the service design details. The BRM will review design details ensuring that the IT service will perform as the business expects. They will be helping to assess the utility and warranty aspects of the service. They can also assist IT in determining metrics that reflect the customer experience with the service.
Service Transition – During the transition phase, the BRM will assist the IT staff with any challenges around business involvement in testing, training, or scheduling. The BRM will work with the business to prepare for the change often providing input into organizational acceptance activities such as communications and training. If unexpected issues arise during testing, the BRM will facilitate conversations with the business to determine the appropriate course of action.
Service Operations – When IT services are in production, the BRM functions as a trusted partner for both IT and the business helping to navigate any issues that may exist. If a major incident arises, the BRM will seek to understand the impact on the business and they will assist IT in understanding the impact, urgency, and priority of the issue. The BRM will also assist the Service Level Manager in navigating service level issues.
Continual Service Improvement (CSI) – The BRM will routinely meet with the business to understand their experience with the IT organization and the services provided. They will seek to understand if existing services are producing the appropriate outcomes and they will provide the business with information about technology enhancements and trends which could improve performance or reduce costs. The BRM will routinely discuss potential improvement opportunities with the IT Service Provider and facilitate/champion actions and projects that support the objectives of the broader organization.
To be effective, a Business Relationship Manager must be involved in every phase of the service lifecycle. Their understanding of the business objectives and required outcomes along with their relationship with the business units will assist the IT Service Provider in aligning IT investments with business needs and priorities.
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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