Danger Bad Advice AheadAnother post inspired by a question from a BRMI member on our BRMI Online Campus – the wiki-based home of the BRM Interactive Body of Knowledge and the platform for BRMI member networking and collaboration.  Here’s what the member posted (with minor edits to protect the guilty!):

I attended a presentation regarding the evolution of a BRM role for IT Professionals.  The audience consisted of senior IT leaders from VPs up through CIOs.  The presenter was from a well known IT consulting firm.  I found it interesting that after his 45 minute presentation he never went above the level of BRMs being a Service Provider.  I had to offer my feedback that while I felt he did a fine job of presenting the role of a service provider, he did not have the entire picture of a true BRM.  I touched on the fact that BRMs need to do more, that they need to fill that role of an adviser, an expert and a strategic partner.  That resulted in some very good discussion for which he said he was appreciative, yet I wonder if others are experiencing other consulting firms portraying a very limited (and limiting!) perspective on the BRM Role?  Do you get the sense that our Business Partners are being told by outside firms that all they need are service providers?  I know I deal with that mind-set frequently in my organization and have to educate my clients on how we are engaging at a much higher level when we meet.”

Though not pertinent to the excellent question (and its implicit observation) I feel compelled to share what else the member said in his post:

I had several one-on-one discussions following the presentation and I told most all of them to become BRMI members.  I explained to them how helpful BRM Online Campus can be to them on their journey to building a better partnership model with their clients.”

I found the member’s post to be an interesting and telling story!  I have certainly witnessed this first hand. Some “authorities” really do understand the BRM role – perhaps not quite as much as we at BRMI aspire to – but they still get it.  For example, I generally find that Gartner gets it pretty much right, and has been ‘promoting’ the BRM story for a number of years.  Our valued BRMI sponsors Leading Edge Forum, very much get it, and have conducted extensive research into the role over the years. After that, the knowledge gets pretty thin and in some cases, completely wrong!

I’ve had to go in after other consulting firms have pointed clients in a very wrong BRM direction. The clients, sooner or later, figure out that what they’ve been told is either unworkable or at least is unsustainable (the BRM as a single point of contact is an example of consulting advice I had to help a client recover from a couple of years ago!)

This is a shame. We at BRMI are trying to spread the word – but we can only spread it so far, so fast!  It is practitioners such as the member that created the post above that know the reality and have the presence to interject a dose of reality!