CBRM®; Are You Up For The Challenge?

January 31, 2019

The new, exclusive, eLearning version of CBRM® is here, so are you up for the challenge? Our course Author Kat Turner shares her inside knowledge to help you make an informed decision.

So, you’ve passed your Business Relationship Management Professional® (BRMP®) course and you’re progressing nicely up the Business Maturity Model with a wealth of experience under your belt.

You feel you are ready to take on the Certified Business Relationship Manager® (CBRM®) Intermediate course but you’d like to know more about it; you may be concerned that you won’t be able to fit it in to your already busy schedule, asking yourself question such as: ‘will it be interesting?’ ‘Can I rise to the challenge?’ If this sounds like you then read on to find out more…

How is CBRM® different to BRMP®?

The BRMP® course assesses you in terms of your understanding, for example, your ability to understand the characteristics of the role of Business Relationship Management in an organization and how to perform as a strategic partner, contribute to the formulation of business strategy, and shape demand for the provider’s services. It also focuses on how Portfolio Management disciplines and techniques are used to maximize realized business value.

The course is structured around the Business Relationship Management Institute competency model for the BRM role. This is referred to as the BRM DNA™, DNA standing for Develop, Nurture and Advance – a reminder that successful BRMs constantly develop and hone their skills, nurture their business and provider relationships, and seek to advance both the business and provider agendas, adding to their own value and career opportunities. This course addresses each of the six elements of strategic partnering; business IQ; portfolio management; provider domain; business transition management; and powerful communications.

The CBRM® course is quite different. It builds upon the skills and knowledge learnt on BRMP® and gained through practice and experience, but the emphasis is on applying that understanding and developing the practical skills to be a strategic partner and perform a strategic BRM role.  There is a change in focus, with the recognition that a BRM needs to be using and shaping the tools provided by BRM Institute to fit their context and organization and gain the best practice out of them. There is an appreciation that Business Relationship Management is applicable to every industry and business capability, for example, Finance, Marketing, HR, Merchandising, Supply Chain, Manufacturing etc, and is not a strategic role to only be utilized from an IT perspective. A CBRM’s primary focus is on strategic business relationship management leveraged to drive business value, build strategic partnerships and evolve enterprise culture. The course teaches you how to cultivate the competencies needed to evolve your organization’s culture from single accountability to shared ownership and encourage relationships that produce successful business value.

What are the key themes of CBRM?

The focus of CBRM is to enable you to be successful by demonstrating a deep understanding and ability to perform the Strategic BRM role. This is supported by 3 Major CBRM toolkits that the course is built around. These are:

  • Assessing BRM Context - Including Business Demand, Business Relationship and Provider Capability Maturity and Competency assessments
  • Developing Strategic Relationships – Including the planning and implementation of the strategic relationship management process
  • Optimizing Business Value – including tools for value management planning, stakeholder mapping, transition management and many more

Within these toolkits are processing, planning and organizational tools, approaches and resources to create standardisation for a BRM, and their team, and foster the confidence to go out and do the job professionally. Having this professionalism will help you to accelerate your maturity and be part of a professional team and community.  Don’t forget, you also have access to a list of General CBRM tools too, for example, RACI charting, portfolio balancing, performance measurement, etc, so there’s lots of support provided!

There are 6 modules within the CBRM course, and these are the broken down into individual lessons so that you can manage your learning at your own pace and to suit your lifestyle. Here is a quick overview:

  • Module 1: Introduction to CBRM – this is a short module to provide an overview of the course
  • Module 2: Understanding Business Relationship Maturity and Value – This includes the Strategic BRM role, BRM Impact on Business Value and how BRMs work with other Business Partner Providers
  • Module 3: Assessing BRM Context – including assessing business demand, relationships, capabilities and competencies
  • Module 4: Developing Strategic Relationships – focused on planning, persuasion, politics and performance management
  • Module 5: Optimising Business Value – including innovation, management, governance, planning and optimisation
  • Module 6: Revision and Exam Preparation

What are the key learning points?

By the end of the course and upon successful completion of the CBRM exam you should be able to:

  • Effectively communicate the purpose and objectives of the Strategic BRM role and how to optimally position that role for maximum effectiveness within the enterprise
  • Understand how to use your personal power and influence to build business relationships and foster a culture that excels at business value results
  • Apply the Strategic Relationship Management processes and techniques to build and sustain trust relationships spanning Business Partner and Provider networks
  • Be able to assess Business Demand Maturity and Business Relationship Maturity and how these might evolve over time
  • Be able to assess Provider Capability Maturity and BRM Competencies and identify key areas needing improvement
  • Be able to apply cross-organization communication techniques to clearly articulate real Provider/business value delivered to the organization
  • Be able to influence executive leaders in their use of Provider Capabilities and Assets based upon potential business value and convergence with business strategy
  • Promote and catalyze business innovation in the Provider’s sphere of influence
  • Be able to use the Business Value Management process, techniques and metrics to define, realize and optimize the value of Provider capabilities and assets
  • Apply Business Partner Experience Management to foster a
    positive Business Partner perception of Provider capabilities as an essential element of building and sustaining trust relationships
  • Shape strategic agendas for optimum business value, with due consideration of external compliance requirements and potential risks to the business
  • Understand the implications of Lean/Agile methods for the BRM role and capability
  • Influence the development and deployment of available Provider capabilities based upon business need and potential to enable or create business value
  • Apply Business Capability Management to determine and acquire enabling capabilities pursuant to strategic outcomes
  • Contribute to Business Transition Management in order to foster organizational understanding, support, adoption, and business value results of investments in new business capabilities

Using the right tools for the job

What will I find interesting?

There are lots of topics to mention in terms of what might grab your attention. It also depends on your personal interests, your organizational culture and the aspects of CBRM® that will be most relevant to the development of your role. You are likely to find how to position yourself as a strategic BRM interesting, along with using your personal power and influence to build strong relationships that ultimately lead to the creation of business value results. Capability management and an exploration of core and edge capabilities, linking to business innovation is a topic to look out for.  A focus on having the tools to communicate effectively from both the business and provider perspective and shape strategic agendas to optimize business value is illuminating too.  The Hazards, Hints and Tips sections are really helpful as extra pointers to support your learning, for example, in the Ideation or Business Demand Maturity lessons. There are lots of current relevant examples from BRMs working in industry who collaborated through BRM Institute, and I’m sure you will find these useful to contextualise the theory. I know I enjoyed engaging with them!

What might I find most challenging?

Being a BRMP® graduate you will already understand and have experience of the BRM role and capability. As this is an advanced course the emphasis is on drawing from your experience and context. You are expected to be ready to utilize the concepts, key ideas and toolkits and adapt them to suit your environment; a Customer Value Hierarchy or maturity curve sketched out in the moment can have more impact and drive more debate and discussion than a carefully designed PowerPoint or infographic. You must be able to present frameworks from your stakeholder’s perspective so that they can relate to them. The exam also differs from BRMP® in that it is scenario based and requires a deeper level of thinking than at foundation level. You can prepare well for this by reading around more difficult topics, using the scenario case study provided with the CBRM course, practicing scenarios and activities and taking the sample paper seriously.

What are the benefits of being certified as a CBRM?

BRMP® is all about the ‘what’ of Business Relationship Management’, CBRM® is the ‘how’; it is about getting stuck in to the work and also gaining a fast track to tools and techniques that strengthen BRM value. This is supported by BRM Institute who state:

‘If you attend CBRM® training and immediately begin to put the concepts to work…there are innumerable opportunities to not only save money, but to make money and create value…if the entire team attends, even better… you will lift the BRM capability in your organization and become a part of shifting the enterprise culture to one of value-focus.’

As an additional bonus, students of our BRM courses can take advantage of a special introductory offer on the cost of BRM Institute membership. All members have access to BRMP® and CBRM® content via the online campus, complete with regular updates, and access to other BRM Institute members and the BRM community.

What are the benefits of doing the eLearning version of CBRM with ITSM Zone?

ITSM Zone’s exclusive eLearning CBRM course means that you can study at your own pace and in an environment that suits you. As well as comprehensive video lessons, the course also contains study guides for every module and additional resources including detailed examples from high level BRMs to support your learning and progression. There are quizzes and sample exams for you to check your learning and you can repeat lessons as many times as you need.

You also have many other benefits, including a access to a free Virtual Mentor session where one of our industry experts will help you apply your new knowledge and fast-track results from your training. Of course, 24/7 support from our helpdesk and team of tutors is always available. Find out more here: https://itsm.zone/about-us/why-choose-itsm-zone/

So, now that you have all the information the next step is to take the plunge!

About the Author

Kat Turner is the Education Portfolio Manager at ITSM Zone. She has thirteen years’ experience in writing and validating courses.

You can get in touch with Kat for further information on the CBRM course -

Email: Kat@ITSM.Zone



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