Managing an internal function – IT, HR, Finance or any other – now more than ever demands getting closer to your internal clientele with a mutual, complicit understanding of business realities. You need that if you want to be able to plan, guide, coach and advise rather than simply deliver requested services and tools to your clients. Managers today have access to many sources of top quality suitable information they can use to launch more and more initiatives and make more decisions related to managing their human, financial or technological resources. The quality of the relationships and the communications between an IT, HR or Finance manager and his internal partners thus becomes a deciding factor in their joint success, hence the importance of effectively managing their business relationships.

 

Business Relationship Management

 
Business Relationship Management (BRM) is a framework that defines a group of skills required to sustain an effective partnership between a service organization in a company and its internal partners.

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This practice was formalized in 2013 by the Business Relationship Management Institute (brminstitute.org) and traditionally implemented at the initiative of IT services. It sets out especially the role of business relationship manager, disciplines and a model of the service organization’s business capacities. This practice has now extended to internal services other than IT.

 

Improving internal business relationships

 
The BRM model is a rigorous framework for any manager seeking to get his service to play a strategic role in his organization. Obviously, implementing it requires an approach that takes into account the company’s business realities: its culture, its strategic goals, its organization and its capacity to evolve.

With that in mind, emphasis would be placed on a consultative, but methodical, process leading to the preparation of a pragmatic plan, including the following:

  • Diagnostic of the existing situation and assessment of the maturity of the relationships between the business lines and internal service, working with the personnel in the services involved and with the help of measuring tools;
  • Consensual establishment of a maturity target and relational objectives;
  • Definition of the organizational means required to reach that target:
    • Role of business relationship manager,
    • Business relationship management disciplines,
    • Business capacities related to business relationship management;
  • Production of a roadmap for implementing those means;
  • Planning of implementation project;
  • Implementation and project management.

 
The more the approach allows the internal service to rethink each of its constituent facets – processes, knowledge, organization, individuals and technologies – the better its services will fit with those of its clients. This convergence of actions around the company’s strategy will make internal clients more satisfied and position the function more strategically within the company.

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