Project managers benefit from having a Project Management Office, or PMO. Service Managers benefit from having a SMO. Why is it that Business Relationship Managers (BRMs) do not have the support of a Business Relationship Management Office, or BRMO?
This article explains the benefits for BRMs of having a BRMO and provides some tips for you to consider when choosing to implement a BRMO.
Why Do We Need BRMs?
The results are in! Research studies, as provided through the BRM Institute and several research firms, have proven that organizations which successfully practice business relationship management are performing significantly better. For example, because of BRMs orchestrating tighter alignment, or convergence of business strategies, a faster time to market was achieved. How about that?
Business relationship management has been practiced for centuries, whether knowingly, or unknowingly by any business professional seeking for ways to elevate business performance.
However, business relationship management as a (best) practice, was only given focused attention for several decades through frameworks such as ITIL and COBIT, and international standards such as ISO/IEC 20000 and ISO 44001.
It has only been since 2013 when the BRM Institute was launched to build out the BRM discipline, capabilities and profession. This globally growing community of BRMs, is experiencing a healthy dose of support of visionary business leaders in organizations of every size and in any industry.
Why Do BRMs Need a BRMO?
For BRMs to be able to contribute to the bottom line of any organization they work for, or to contribute to achieving the organization’s purpose, goals and objectives, BRMs could use a support system that ensures the consistency of the results of BRM’s efforts. That’s where the BRMO comes in.
Take a close look at the list below. It provides a few typical examples of what a BRMO does for the BRMs.
- Support the implementation, the consistent application and the continual improvement of business relationship management concepts, techniques, tools, methods, etc.
- Support the marketing and communication of the business relationship management value for the organization
- Provide BRM coaching and training programs to continuously increase the skills and the competencies of BRMs
- Provide job and role clarity and progression for example through job descriptions and career planning
- Ensure that, across the board, the BRMs continuously and consistently add value to achieving the organization’s purpose, priorities and requirements
- And much more…
In short, support standing up and growing the business relationship management discipline and capabilities for the organization.
Life Without a BRMO…
When considering the list above, BRMs are expected to do all this as part of their job. Not surprisingly, little or no time is set aside for this. Consequently, the results, the performance levels and the perception of BRMs differ per individual BRM.
Tribal knowledge, silo-ed initiatives, unrepeatable and unpredictable outcomes, reinventing the wheel and eventually a bad perception are all too often the results.
This leads to scenarios where BRMs who started as tactical BRMs are not setting themselves up to become a strategic BRM. BRM teams existing for 5+ years who have not been able to earn a seat at the table of the C-suite are increasing the risk of being dismantled.
Having a BRMO with a clear charter, a service portfolio and quality staff members that is in sync with the organization’s strategies can make all the difference.
How to Set Up a BRMO?
INTERPROM has developed an approach to successfully set up a BRMO. The approach is explained at a high level in our FREE white paper “Building a Successful BRMO”, that can be downloaded from our website after October 2019. Our 2-day workshop Implementing a BRMO helps any BRM team lead and team member with the successful adoption and operation of a BRMO.
INTERPROM’s approach is based on the “Plan – Build – Run” cycle that incorporates an Agile approach to the standing up a BRMO.
The Plan phase includes an assessment, an analysis and a plan to bridge gap from not having a BRMO, or BRMO-related practices, to standing up a BRMO that is fit for your organization.
The Build phase addresses the design, the development and the deployment of the services provided by the BRMO.
And the Run phase focuses on evaluating and continuously improving the value the BRMO is providing.
The diagram below provides additional details for each of the Plan – Build – Run phases.
BRMO Maturity Levels
The diagram below shows the five maturity levels of a BRMO.
Each maturity level has its own characteristics. Our free white paper explains the characteristics for each maturity level. And as part of our workshop we develop your tailored plan to progress to the next maturity level(s) of your BRMO.
- Familiarize yourself with the additional information provided in our FREE white paper “Building a Successful BRMO”, that can be downloaded from our website after October 2019.
- Schedule a 2-day workshop Implementing a BRMO for your organization and benefit from immediately applicable workshop deliverables. Or attend a Live Online Implementing a BRMO Workshop which are scheduled every quarter.
- Become a member of the BRM Institute and benefit from its ever-growing plethora of BRM concepts, techniques, methods, and tools in support of growing your BRM discipline.
And finally, I welcome hearing from you. Having coached, consulted and trained BRMs and BRM teams for many years, I would love to continue being at our service with this fresh new look at maturing the business relationship management profession. Your expert insights are valued and so is your feedback on this pitch to start building and running BRMOs!.