Why Business Relationship Management Will Make Your Customers Love You

February 12, 2018

Good relationships are the essential ingredient of business and in fact, life. Without successful affiliations and connections many of your strategic goals will amount to little.
Relationships that thrive do so because there is constant fair exchange of value between the parties involved.

This notion is one of the aspects that excites us as an organization about what role a Strategic Business Relationship Manager (BRM) has to play in the modern workplace.
Businesses that are truly connected with their purpose, with great communication, transparency, engagement and strong leadership are the ones that will not only survive, but prosper. Blending different departments together successfully with a common goal and focus is imperative. Working in harmonious alignment means your end user gets the very best experience from your company.

Hello Strategic Business Relationship Manager, we’ve been waiting for you!

The latest statistics from the BRM Institute show that there are certified BRM’s in 6 continents and over 60 countries currently with the USA leading, followed by Canada and the UK.

In the fast moving, disruptive modern workplace it is understandable that there has been a substantial increase in the BRM professional numbers. Organisations are now recognising the value of a business capability that is able to see the company’s bigger picture through the lens of true business value.

The role of the BRM has a strategic, cross-functional capability and is one which is bridging the gap between traditional service provider functions, such as IT, and the rest of the organisation in times of constant and disruptive change.That’s before aggressive competition and the need to be leaner and more agile in everything we do is mentioned!

So how could studying to become a Strategic BRM and getting certified, or training your people with new and improved skills, have an impact on your organisation?

We spoke to Simon Kent, a certified BRMP from Sollertis about his experiences of the BRMP training and certification and how he has been able to implement it into his day to day role to improve his business.

Professional Development

The Business Relationship Management Professional training and certification is one of the most valuable professional development experiences I have undertaken. I, like thousands of other IT/Business Professionals worldwide, have immersed myself in the understanding of what is strategic business relationship management, and looked to answer why is strategic BRM so important.
As an IT/Business professional myself, with the majority of my 30 year career in the IT Service Management and Business Process Management software industry, I have had an ever increasing level of frustration with the lack of conscious convergence between IT organisations and their business partners.

What is Conscious Convergence?

I say conscious convergence because I have witnessed some outstanding examples of business value from numerous enterprise service management initiatives, and from organisations using powerful service management software platforms “beyond IT” to solve many business problems. I fully acknowledge and applaud all those who have succeeded with those endeavours, but by and large, these have been by-products of successful ITSM initiatives or from opportunistic evangelists, pioneers and trailblazers who have the personality to push the boundaries. I have very rarely witnessed a deliberate, conscious convergence of business and IT through strategic business relationship management.
When you do see conscious IT/Business convergence, it’s a complete game-changer. But it’s still sad to report that for the vast majority, we still see tremendous divides within IT/Business relationships and worst still, within the IT organisation itself. If this situation is not remedied with some significant urgency then the IT organisation (and the business itself) will be missing business opportunities and worse still, could signal the end all together.
Given the strategic imperative of IT/Business convergence to seize the digitally transformed customer experience, Strategic Business Relationship Management and the associated BRMP training and certification now becomes a necessity, not a nice to have.

About BRMP Training and Certification

The BRMP certification and training is based upon the BRM Institute (business relationship management institute) Body of Knowledge (BRMIBOK for short). This body of knowledge is continuously being updated by key contributors of the 20000+ member BRM Institute community. The combined wealth of business and IT strategy and strategic relationship knowledge is incredible. Like many other bodies of knowledge and frameworks, it overlaps other frameworks and standards in places, and so it should because the very nature of BRM is to ‘orchestrate’ Business/IT relationships to harness and extract continuous value from business initiatives and services in support of, and to drive, business strategies.
Please don’t read this and assume that other certifications are no longer valid…that is simply not the case. ITIL, DevOps, COBIT, MoV, PPM and the other myriad frameworks and associated training and certification are all essential and relevant, but the singular focal point to converge IT and Business through the delivery of Value is via BRMP.
Various frameworks and standards make reference to BRM, but none of these fully describe and explain strategic BRM. For instance, when considering the BRM Institute IT/Business Partnering maturity model (i.e. 1 – Ad Hoc through to 5 – Strategic Partner), the ITIL defined BRM would be somewhere around level 3 – Service Provider. This is an essential step in that maturity, because you cannot achieve level 5 – strategic partner without achieving and excelling at the previous levels. But, my point is the BRMIBOK and the associated BRMP is the only reference material, training and certification that will provide the guidance to traverse all the levels of maturity.

Using BRM in Your Career

For me personally, and as an architect of software solutions, I have spent the last 18-36 months designing and leading a development team building software tooling to support the strategic BRM function. As we now bring this solution to market, I realise that it is an honour to serve such an exciting community of IT/Business professionals and to be able to see a bright future for all IT professionals. These professionals, who despite their valiant efforts have so often struggled to articulate their value in business terms, and even in some cases, have struggled to articulate their value from one team to another (e.g. Dev and Ops). They now have a function, role and set of competencies with the BRM in their group bridging those gaps and forging value based strategic relationships that deliver and demonstrate real value from IT in business terms.
With strategic BRM, supported by BRMP certification and the CBRM – Certified Business Relationship Manager training, both IT and Business colleagues working in complete convergence can achieve incredible things in the digital age.

To celebrate #BRMweek we are offering free membership to the BRM Institute (worth $195) when you purchase our Business Relationship Management Course before 29th February

About Simon Kent

Simon Kent has a 30+ year career spanning Customer Success Leader, IT Service Management, Enterprise Software, Manufacturing and Engineering. He currently holds roles and voluntary positions as Chief Innovation Officer at Sollertis, the UK Regional Leader for the BRM Institute, independent consultant and facilitator with ITSMF UK and mentor in the ITSM Zone mentoring programme.
Simon's focus is Strategic BRM and Partnering, Strategic Portfolio Management, Service Strategy and Organisational Governance. This is complemented by deep understanding of KCS, Knowledge Management, Customer Experience, ITSM, CSI, Process Automation and BizDevOps.
As a solution architect for Convergence, he won a 2016 BRM Institute Trailblazer award for the world’s first BRM and Strategic Planning platform centred on business value and built on Cherwell Service Management. He has also participated in SDI (Service Desk Institute) Global Best Practice Service Desk Certification Standards update (2016), and has been invited to participate in ITIL 2018 update with Axelos and the VeriSM Professional 2018 definition with IFDC.
As a regular speaker and presenter within the Service Management industry (SITS, ITSMF, IT in the Park), Simon's passionate and energetic style has resulted in outstanding speaker results and feedback in the measurement of delivery and content.

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