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Why ITIL® Can Be Dangerous to Business Relationship Management Health

While establishing robust Service Management discipline is essential 'table stakes' for an IT organization with low supply maturity (i.e., one that is not good at keeping the proverbial 'lights on and trains running on time') it does not address the most important and powerful capabilities for driving business value realization from information and IT. And while ITIL® can be an effective framework for establishing good Service Management discipline, the ITIL framework describes BRM from a mostly tactical and operational perspective—a woefully restricted flavor of BRM compared to that described by Business Relationship Management Institute (BRMI) and embodied in the APMG-International accredited Business Relationship Management Professional® and Certificate of Business Relationship Management® training and certification. BRMI's Business Relationship Maturity Model defines five levels of relationship maturity. ITIL focuses on reaching Level 3—Service Provider. This is certainly significantly better than an Ad Hoc or Order Taker relationship, but should not be the ultimate relationship ambition, and should not be the primary focus for the BRM.

Business Relationship Management is a Contact Sport!

I sometimes find my Business Relationship Management (BRM) trainees, coaching and consulting clients assume that BRM is a somewhat passive role, lacking in accountability and without ‘sharp teeth’. This perception is badly mistaken and can be harmful to the successful deployment of the BRM role. Putting on the Boxing Gloves Among my most popular posts [...]

Are Business Relationship Managers Accountable for Anything?

Once again, this post was inspired by a question that recently appeared on the BRMI member’s Online Campus. The member asked the following question (paraphrased): Our IT Operations group does not see the value of the BRM role. They believe that the BRM role has no real accountability, while being viewed as holding others accountable [...]

Shadow IT: Friend or Foe?

Every now and again, I see articles, posts and comments about "Shadow IT", nearly always cast as a negative phenomenon--something to be avoided, challenged, even eliminated. As an example, Information Week recently published an article entitled "Shadow IT: 8 Ways to Cope." While all the suggested 'coping mechanisms' make sense, I'm always concerned that Shadow [...]

Business Relationship Management with Boxing Gloves!

I love teaching the Business Relationship Management Professional® (BRMP®) course! They say that the best way to learn is to teach, and I always learn from my course participants. I was teaching a course last week and went through my usual routine of asking the participants what metaphors they thought come to mind when they [...]

The BRM and Shared Services

Some years ago it seemed that much of my management consulting work was helping large, complex corporations implement some form of global shared business services.  This was always challenging, disruptive, but ultimately fascinating work.  There were always significant benefits to be had (cost savings, service improvements, increased leverage and collaboration) and in some cases, figuring [...]