I remember once attending a BRMI project meeting when Aleksandr Zhuk mentioned that “BRMs constantly meditate on value”. I liked that phrase a lot simply because it encapsulated very neatly in my mind what Business Relationship Management is all about.
We can only go so far in trying to standardise and document what a Business Relationship Manager does. I was recently comparing the differences between a BRM course oriented around ITIL and BRMP. The ITIL oriented course lent heavily on process descriptions and detail definitions according to ISO and COBIT well known standards. Although helpful and to some degree necessary It struck me that was missing the point.
I would suggest that the objective of a Business Relationship Manager is more about driving value, rather than to “manage the relationship” as I was once told by an IT colleague - meaning I should go over to the corner and fiddle around with that “people black box” whilst they fiddle around with their “technical black box”. So I bet you’re half expecting me to start codifying a method for driving value; I could but it will be worth far more than this short blog post and in fact I would point to the new CBRM course that has just been released….
So long as there is a clear objective for the role, the mechanics of how it is delivered will depend on the organisational context and the person’s competence. Wherever we are on this journey to achieve that objective, our mindset will be the key differentiator between driving successful outcome or not.
What do I mean by mindset? I mean: attitudes towards other people, beliefs about our organisation, an understanding of the organisation objectives, the values of our co-workers, ourselves and Business partners, and finally; the way we think about our challenges and opportunities facing us everyday in the workplace environment.
Obviously a positive attitude, positive beliefs and a thorough understanding of our environment would be a good mindset to have. Indeed, there are many books and courses that help achieve that. I’m not discounting meditation either!
My personal approach to gaining a positive mindset is one that focuses on value. This is by asking a simple series of questions:
- What’s valuable for the business?
- What’s valuable for the person I’m going to be speaking to?
- How can I add value?
- Do I get value out of what I’m doing?
Those questions and the resulting answers help me focus my activities on realising value.
How Baxter Thompson Associates can help
We help IT understand the opportunity with business partners through our Reconnaissance for IT framework and can help implement a business relationship management capability to ensure that the Value in IT is delivered. We also provide training - the BRMP(R) and soon the CBRM(R) courses in addition to coaching and Interim Management.