What kind of BRM are you?

We’ve defined four different personality profiles: The Accountant, The Butler, The Nanny and the Agent. Each one varies based on how much focus they put on understanding the business and how important user satisfaction is to them.

The business relationship management (BRM) role is to act as a conduit between IT and the business. But of course, the specific of their role will depend on the type of IT department. A department focused on high-touch service will need more involvement from the BRM than one focused on cost control.

We’ve identified the impact of each different personality profiles on the role of the BRM.

The Accountant
The Accountant is focused on reducing and controlling costs. BRM in Accountant-type departments tend to try to reduce the number of projects. They do this using layers of paperwork to dissuade business stakeholders from submitting initiatives.

BRM are not involved in the clients operations.

The Butler
The Butler focuses on delivering high level of customer service. BRM in the Butler role will ensure that the stakeholders are satisfied with the basic services. They will tend focus on identifying the projects that the business wants to undertake.
BRM will meet the clients regularly to track satisfaction and identify potential issues.

The Nanny
The Nanny knows what’s best for the users. A BRM in a Nanny-type organization will spend most of its time telling the business units which projects are coming up. Although there might be some back and forth on business needs, most of the decisions are made by the department.
BRMs are not involved with the business in the rest of the year, except to emphasize the need for process compliance.

The Agent
The Agent focuses on empowering its users. The BRM will first focus on ensuring that stakeholders are making the most of existing services and assets. It will then begin a planning process to define the needs of the different stakeholders and of the organization. Finally, it will identify solutions that meet these needs through an organized strategic planning process.

The BRM plays a constant role in the business unit planning process. BRM are often involved on business committees. They have a trusted advisor relationship with decision makers.

Alignment is key
A business relationship manager need to reflect the type of organization to be effective. A Butler BRM working in an Accountant department will create dissatisfaction when it keeps saying no to new initiatives. 

Take aways

  • BRMs role vary significantly depending on the type of family
  • Alignment between the BRM style and IT family is critical