THREE KEY TRAITS OF THE BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP MANAGER ROLE:
The Business Relationship Manager Role
Embodies a set of competencies (knowledge, skills, and behaviours) that foster a productive, value-producing relationship between a Provider organisation and their Business Partners. These competencies can be leveraged through organisational roles (for example, in an IT Provider, the CIO typically has a role of BRM for the enterprise), a discipline (for example, all Business Partner-facing Provider roles should be skilled in Business Relationship Management), and an organisational capability (for example, a Provider organisation should be effective in shaping and channelling demand to the highest value opportunities).
In order to understand the Business Relationship Manager Role better, it is useful to think about the roles in terms of three metaphors (Connector, Orchestrator and Navigator). Metaphors can be a helpful way of describing a concept. We use three metaphors to describe the BRM role, discipline, and organisational capability.
The Business Relationship Manager as a Connector
The Business Relationship Manager acts as a connector between the Provider organisation and its Business Partners — forging productive connections between Provider resources and the Business Partner, and among Business Partners. There are three primary aspects to the Business Relationship Management role as a connector:
- Facilitate productive connections and mobilise projects and programs.
- Stimulate, surface, and shape business demand for the Business Partner while increasing the savviness within the Business Partner regarding the Provider’s services and products.
- Influence the Provider to ensure appropriate supply of services and products, both in terms of quality and capacity.
The Business Relationship Manager as an Orchestrator
The Business Relationship Manager also acts as an orchestrator between the Provider organisation and its Business Partners – orchestrating key roles, resources, and capabilities to help stimulate, surface, shape, and harvest business value. There are three primary aspects to the Business Relationship Management role as an orchestrator:
- Orchestrate capabilities to drive value from Provider services.
- Coordinate and aggregate business demand for the Business Partner.
- Orchestrate key Provider roles on behalf of the Business Partner (e.g. Enterprise Architecture, Subject Matter Experts, Project Managers, and Program Managers.)
The Business Relationship Manager as a Navigator
The Business Relationship Manager also acts as a navigator between the Provider organisation and its Business Partners — navigating both the Business Partner and the Provider along a path to realised business value. There are three primary aspects to the Business Relationship Manager role as a navigator:
- Facilitate convergence between Provider and Business Partners. Convergence breaks down walls and embeds Provider capabilities within the Business Partners so as to increase agility and business value.
- Facilitate business strategic planning and road-mapping for the Business Partner.
- Guide key Provider roles on behalf of the Business Partner such as Enterprise Architecture, Portfolio, and Program Management.
Although there are many more characteristics to the Business Relationship Manager Role, these three metaphors are very useful to characterise the role and are recommended by the Business Relationship Management Institute.
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