Could you be a Business Relationship Manager?

Could you be a Business Relationship Manager?

Do you have what it takes to be a Business Relationship Manager (BRM)?

Amrit Saroya

What does a BRM do?

The role is responsible for building relationships between the IT organization and the business units to ensure IT services meet the needs of business customers. BRMs collaborate with the business to shape and prioritize IT requirements and decide what services are needed to deliver them. Overall, it’s about getting the best return from IT.

Why is the role important?

Dr Aleksandr Zhuk, expert technologist, leader and university professor, says: “In an ideal world, maximum business partner satisfaction is always achieved when IT delivers maximum business value and every request the business makes always guarantees to produce the absolute best return on investment in IT.” Therefore, a “BRM sometimes must confront the business by questioning the value of a requested service and helping guide the business partner toward a better return on investment”. This makes the BRM a “trusted adviser or strategic partner”.

What skills do you need to succeed?

1 Relationship management

  • e.g. managing supply chain communications
  • Anticipating how actions and plans to develop IT services will affect customers
  • Ensuring their requirements are understood and addressed.

2 Understanding requirements

  • Carrying out investigations to document customer requirements
  • Advising the customer on solutions
  • Acting as a customer advocate during implementation.

3 Business case development

  • Presenting a cost-benefit analysis
  • Selling business plans to stakeholders
  • Addressing political, financial and organizational interests.

4 Communication

  • Conveying complex messages
  • Using persuasive logic to win support/change views
  • Delivering difficult messages diplomatically.

5 Negotiations

  • Understanding what is influencing all parties
  • Identifying what you can use to negotiate?
  • Engaging in collaborative problem solving

6 Sales Management

  • Creating a sales strategy and support procedure
  • Providing an efficient response to sales enquiries.

7 Environmental awareness

  • Researching industry trends relevant to the business
  • Minimizing risk in your area
  • Maximizing organization benefits.

Is BRM a role for you?

Phil Hearsum, AXELOS’ IT Service Management (ITSM) portfolio manager, says the BRM role, as suggested in the ITIL best practice framework, is about “dealing with the relationship between IT and the business and building rapport, understanding enterprise needs and satisfying them”.

If you want to know more about the BRM role and get more detail about the skills you need to develop for the role, visit and sign up to AXELOS' Career Paths resource.

More AXELOS Blogs on capabilities required for additional professional roles

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