June 2018 IT BP Forum - From False Demand to Outcome Focus

Key Observations - Getting Started Track

Warburtons, Paul Kirkham

Getting Started Track

From False Demand To Outcome Focus

It was great to gather together with over 70 like-minded people at the excellent NFU Mutual facility in Stratford for the summer IT BP Forum. The sun shone on what turned out to be an enjoyable and productive day.  The ‘Getting Started’ track kicked off after lunch with a presentation from Luke Radford on how he’s put together a team that have built business partnerships within the Department for Transport. 

Luke Radford took us through his journey, beginning with pre-2017 and before his involvement at the Department for transport (DfT), through how he’s built credibility for business partnering. He shared how the move from being reactive, to being proactive, allowed the BRM function to talk about what is possible. The session offered real insight in to the creation of a BRM function from scratch, some of the challenges along the way and how to measure if we are winning with SMART goals. The inspiring quote of the session was on how to measure if you are getting it right; “see your fingerprints on the business plans and activities” 

The one point that really stood out for me, amongst many good take-aways, was moving away from being a point of contact (usually for issues) to being a point of focus looking at the future and influencing the way the department works. 

After a short break for refreshments, with a chance to enjoy the sunshine and chat with like-minded colleagues, the Getting Started track continued with the enigmatically titled “The Effective Business Partner: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly” presented by Thierry Ackermann.  In an enthusiastic, engaging and interactive session Thierry presented some thought provoking ideas about the definition of business partnering, the true value that a business partner can bring and how to leverage this value effectively. 

Building on the theme introduced by Luke of moving from reactive to proactive, Thierry led the group to explore their thoughts on what holds us back in this journey and how we can take actions to be more proactive. We discussed how fixing ‘stuff’ was false demand and how an outcome focussed conversation would allow us to align (one day shape) to strategy, focus on demand and enable change.

We even had time for a fun, but serious, game that helped us look at the characteristics of a business partner that we could then align to the ‘good, bad and ugly’ in the role. We spoke of Orchestrators, Challengers, Explorers, Critical Friends and Enablers. I’ll always be reminded of these observations and insights whenever I see a joker in a pack of playing cards!

It was an excellent day and based on the feedback we’ve received, the Getting Started track really hit the mark in delivering an engaging and informative afternoon for those of us focused on how we start the journey and shape the path to strategic business partnering. 

With contributions from Jackie Ross

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