What is Business Relationship Management?
Business Relationship Management (BRM) is a strategic and tactical process that helps organizations optimize their investment in and delivery of Information Technology (IT) services. BRM is responsible for managing the relationships between an organization and its customers, suppliers, partners, and other stakeholders to ensure that its goals align with its needs and expectations.
BRM is typically carried out by a team of BRM specialists responsible for creating and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders. In addition, this team works closely with other departments, such as IT Service Delivery, to ensure that the organization’s goals are met.
BRM aims to ensure that the relationships between an organization and its stakeholders are fully optimized. This includes understanding the needs and expectations of stakeholders, as well as developing and maintaining effective communication channels. BRM is a continuous process that should be revisited regularly to ensure that the relationships are still aligned with the organization's goals.
The process of BRM includes four main activities:
- Customer engagement: This activity involves understanding customers’ needs and requirements.
- Service level management: This activity involves setting and managing expectations for the level of service that the organization will provide.
- Demand Management: This activity involves understanding, prioritizing, and managing customer demands.
- Service portfolio management: This activity involves maintaining an up-to-date view of the organization's services and ensuring that these services align with customer needs.
The Purpose of Business Relationship Management :
The Business Relationship Management (BRM) standard ISO/IEC 20000 ensures that the relationships between an organization and its customers are structured and consistent. In addition, the standard establishes, maintains, and improves customer relationships and identifies and manages customer expectations.
One of the key benefits of implementing the BRM standard is that it can help organizations improve customer satisfaction by ensuring that customer needs are understood, and expectations are managed effectively. Additionally, the standard can help improve communication between an organization and its customers and reduce the risk of misunderstandings or miscommunication.
Overall, implementing the BRM standard can help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of an organisation's customer relationships.
The Objectives of Business Relationship Management
- To ensure that the organisation's business objectives are managed and achieved through optimised use of resources
- To establish and maintain communication and relationships with key stakeholders, customers, and suppliers
- To understand, manage, and satisfy customer requirements
- To ensure that customer expectations are managed effectively
- To ensure that supplier performance meets the organization’s requirements
- To establish and maintain service level agreements (SLAs) with customers
- To manage change within the organization in a controlled and effective manner
- To continually review and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization’s business processes.
Scope of Business Relationship Management :
The Business Relationship Management process manages the ongoing relationships between the service provider and its customers and communicates with other interested parties.
The scope of this process includes the following:
- Maintaining an up-to-date view of the customer's requirements,
- Assessing the customer's satisfaction with the services provided,
- Managing expectations of the customer, other interested parties, and the service provider, Planning and maintaining the improvements to the service that the customer requires,
- Negotiating the terms of the service agreement with the customer, and
- Monitoring changes in the customer's business requirements.
Value of Business Relationship Management
The Business Relationship Management (BRM) best practice ~ ISO/IEC 20000 provides globally recognized requirements and guidance for a practical BRM function within any organization that delivers IT services.
A practical BRM function is critical to the success of any organization that delivers IT services, as it is responsible for ensuring that the organization's IT services align with the business goals and objectives.
The BRM best practice ~ ISO/IEC 20000 provides a framework for a practical BRM function and can be used by organizations of all sizes and sectors.
The BRM best practice ~ ISO/IEC 20000 can help organizations to:
- Understand the business needs and requirements of their customers
- Align the organization's IT services with the business goals and objectives
- Ensure that the organization's IT services are delivered in a consistent and quality manner
- Continuously improve the organization's IT services.
Basic Concepts of ITIL Business Relationship Management :
Business Relationship Manager (BRM) :
The Business Relationship Manager (BRM) is responsible for maintaining and developing relationships with the organization’s key customers. The BRM is the single point of contact for communication between the customer and the organisation.
The BRM is responsible for ensuring that the customer's needs are understood and that the organization can meet those needs. The BRM is also responsible for ensuring that the customer is kept up to date on the progress of the organization's services. In addition, the BRM is responsible for maintaining the customer's satisfaction with the organization's services. Finally, the BRM is also responsible for identifying new opportunities for the organization to provide value to the customer.
1.Customer Portfolio :
An organization's customer portfolio is the collection of all the external customers that the organization has. The customer portfolio can be used to segment the customers and understand which customers are the most important to the organization.
The customer portfolio can also be used to understand the organization's customer relationships. For example, the customer portfolio can help the organization understand which customers are the most satisfied and which are the most demanding.
2.Customer Agreement Portfolio (CAP) :
The Customer Agreement Portfolio is a critical component of Business Relationship Management in ISO 20000. It provides a framework for managing customer agreements and associated service levels, risks, and dependencies.
The Customer Agreement Portfolio ensures that all customer agreements are captured and recorded in a central location. In addition, it provides a clear overview of the agreement landscape and enables organizations to identify and quantify risks and dependencies.
3.Customer Satisfaction :
Customer satisfaction is central to any business relationship and is often seen as the key indicator of whether that relationship is flourishing. To ensure customer satisfaction, businesses need to understand what their customers expect clearly and need from the relationship. They also need to have systems and processes in place to track and measure customer satisfaction levels.
4.Service Requirements :
Service requirements are the expectations and needs of customers that a service provider must understand and fulfill. Service requirements can be explicit (e.g., stated in a contract or Service Level Agreement (SLA)) or implicit (e.g., expectations that the customer has but has not communicated to the service provider).
Service requirements must be gathered, documented, and approved before work can commence on designing and delivering a service. The process of gathering, writing, and supporting service requirements is known as Service Level Management (SLM).
The Challenges of Business Relationship Management :
Business relationship management (BRM) is a strategic process involving interactions between an organization and its customers, suppliers, and other key stakeholders. The goal of BRM is to optimize relationships to achieve organizational goals.
BRM can be a challenge for organizations because it requires them to manage multiple relationships with stakeholders, each of which may have different goals. In addition, BRM involves coordination between various departments within an organization.
However, implementing the standard can be challenging, requiring significant organizational culture and process changes.
Some of the challenges of implementing ISO 20000 include the following:
- Senior management commitment: BRM requires the commitment of senior management to be successful. With this commitment, it is easier to implement the necessary changes to organizational culture and processes.
- Change management: Implementing ISO 20000 requires changes to organizational culture and processes. These changes can be challenging to implement and require careful planning and execution.
- Coordination: BRM requires coordination between different departments within an organization. This coordination can be challenging, as other departments may have different goals.
- Communication: BRM requires effective communication between different stakeholders. This communication can be challenging, as other stakeholders may have different objectives.
- Training: Implementing ISO 20000 requires the training of employees. This training can be costly and time-consuming.
Risks of ITIL Business Relationship Management :
1. Lack of governance framework for BRM roles and responsibilities:
ITIL Business Relationship Management (BRM) is a critical function within any organization as it manages the relationships between the business and IT. However, many organizations need a formal governance framework for managing BRM roles and responsibilities, which can lead to confusion and conflict between the two parties.
2.Lack of clear objectives and goals:
Another common risk associated with BRM is the need for clear objectives and goals. With a clear understanding of what the BRM function is trying to achieve, it can be easier to prioritize and manage the relationships effectively.
3.Over-reliance on external service providers:
Many organizations rely heavily on external service providers to manage their ITIL processes and functions. This can create risks if the service providers have a different level of understanding of the organization's business objectives and goals.
4.Lack of communication and consultation:
One of the critical risks associated with BRM is the need for more communication and consultation between the business and IT. This can lead to a lack of understanding of each other's needs and requirements and ultimately break the relationship.
5.Lack of training and development:
Another risk associated with BRM is the need for more employee training and development. Without a proper understanding of the BRM process.