I was leading a Business Relationship Manager (BRM) class last week and we got into a great discussion about how many BRMs you need. This is always a difficult question because the answer begins with, “It depends!”

A Thought Experiment

I suggested a thought experiment to the class:

Imagine this scenario. Your BRM team is doing amazing things! Business Value Realization has increased 20 fold since you established the team, and business managers and executives recognize this achievement and attribute the stunning results to Business Relationship Management, and the tools, techniques and skills the BRMs have brought to bear. The question is:

Should you increase the size of the BRM Team, because they are so effective? Or should you decrease the team size, because you no longer need as many?


One of the class participants thought for a moment and responded with, “I think you should work to broaden your influence and reach rather than broaden the BRM team.”

Perfect! In some respects, I believe that successful BRMs work hard to eliminate the need for their role, for example, by helping their Business Partners and Provider Stakeholders develop and strengthen their own capability. From my experience, people who work themselves out of a job, always have full employment. They grow in their own capabilities and rise up through the ranks.

What do you think? What’s been your experience in broadening your influence versus broadening your team?