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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