This Chapter examines the foundations of Business Relationship Management (BRM), one of the key IT management innovations since the first data processing departments surfaced in the 1960s. It reviews the context for BRM and how this innovation came about. It also examines how the BRM role is evolving and discusses some of the thornier issues such as reporting lines, accountabilities, and job titles.
BRM has been gaining popularity as a key position that sits between a provider (most frequently IT) and its business partners. Sometimes called Business Relationship Manager, this role represents IT to the business and the business to IT. This is an internal role that should not be confused with the similarly titled externally-facing role common in banks and financial services organizations.
The most common BRM model includes these functions:
Driving value realization might be the most important competency for a BRM. It includes knowing how to surface, clarify, and promote the best value-delivering opportunities for IT investments and assets, and how to ensure that these actually deliver on their promised value—delivered in ways that are felt and seen.
This requires skills in program, product and portfolio management, influence and persuasion, finance, and organizational change.