About Business Relationship Management
Business relationship management stimulates, surfaces, and shapes business demand across business functions like IT, human resources, finance, legal, etc. and ensures that the potential business value from meeting business demand is captured, optimized, and recognized.
BRM AS A DISCIPLINE
The business relationship management discipline comprises a set of skills and methods that can be learned and adopted by people, whether or not they fill a BRM role. For example, while certain people may be certified to drive public transport vehicles (bus drivers, licensed taxi drivers, etc.), anyone can learn to drive and follow the rules of the road.
Similarly, those without the formal BRM role can be schooled in one or more of the underlying disciplines with a BRMP and CBRM certification, such as value management and powerful communications.
BRM Institute states that BRM disciplines rest on solid, research-based foundations that have been verified and enhanced over a decade of successful implementations in leading organizations across the world. BRM disciplines have proven to be equally effective for a wide range of business functions (business partners) including IT, human resources, finance, legal, facilities, external service providers, and others.
All business partner-facing roles should be skilled in the disciplines of business relationship management.
BRM AS A CAPABILITY
Beyond being a role or discipline, business relationship management is deployed as a capability in its most impactful state. A BRM capability is comprised of everything it takes—both visible and behind the scenes—that brings business relationship management to life.
This includes having people with the right BRM competencies play the roles required by defined BRM processes, armed with useful techniques and tools that are all backed by management systems that create incentives for performance and improvement. A BRM capability is a capability designed to stimulate, surface, and shape business demand across all functions (business units, sales, marketing, technology, HR, finance, etc.) and ensure that the potential business value from that demand is captured, optimized, and recognized.
A strong BRM capability converges cross-functional teams and eliminates value-depleting organizational silos. It strengthens collaboration and drives a culture of creativity, innovation, and shared ownership across the enterprise, so that holistic, innovative, and value-driven strategies are created and deliver their intended business value results.
BRM AS A ROLE
Business relationship manager is a role is performed by an individual, either as an explicit or implicit part of their job. It serves as the strategic interface between a business function and one or more business partners to stimulate, surface, and shape business demand for the function’s business assets and capabilities. It also ensures that the potential business value from those assets and capabilities is captured, realized, optimized, and recognized.
As an organizational role, the business relationship manager is a connector, orchestrator, and navigator between their function and one or more business units and external customers.
The role of most BRMs is a full-time position, whereas CxOs and heads of functions fill the BRM role for the enterprise.
BRM AS A PHILOSOPHY
BRM as a Philosophy highlights the components of the BRM discipline, capability, and role that are already answering this shift in business culture. The series widens the lens on BRM and demonstrates that the strategic and tactical skills of BRMs have a broader use in the world at large.
Notably, everything from breaking down silos to convergence of ideas can be applied in a bigger, philosophical sense. Ultimately, BRM focuses on the building and fostering of relationships to satisfy personal and organizational purpose.
The Practice of Business Relationship Management
Business relationship management embodies a set of competencies (e.g. knowledge, skills, and behaviors) to foster an effective, business value-producing relationship between business functions and their business partners.
These competencies can be leveraged through an organizational role, a discipline (i.e. all business partner-facing roles should be skilled in business relationship management), and an organizational capability (i.e. a business partner organization should be effective in shaping and channeling demand to the highest business value opportunities).
The House of BRM illustrates three key aspects of business relationship management:
- The foundation supports the BRM role and ensures it has the competencies to effectively deliver value to both the business and its business partners.
- The pillars define the BRM space in terms of core BRM disciplines: demand shaping, exploring, servicing, and value realization. More can be found on these disciplines below.
- The roof protects business relationship management as a key aspect of business partner capability by ensuring clarity around the role, discipline, and organizational capability of BRM in the context of business strategy and business value results.
4 Core BRM Disciplines
The key benefit of this discipline is the identification of business value initiatives that will become part of business partners’ portfolio of services, capabilities, and products.
Our target audience is any business professional or organization wishing to transform business functions like IT, human resources, finance, legal, etc. into strategic partners that lead with business as peers by playing a proactive role in shaping business strategy and sharing ownership for business results.
With its focus on improving relationships among business partners and maximizing business value, the principles of business relationship management apply to everyone engaged in business, regardless of whether you are a BRM or a C-level executive.