Business Relationship Management (BRM)


Business Relationship Management (BRM) is the process and role that allows us, as a service provider, to establish a strategic and tactical relationship with our customers. This will be based on ensuring we understand the customer and the business outcomes they are trying to create and how and what services are engaged by the business to meet those defined goals and objectives.

A key activity of the BRM process is to ensure that as business needs change over time, we as a service provider, are able to translate these needs into requirements through the use of a Service Level Requirements document (SLR) which then manifests itself into the portfolio in the form of defined services.  The BRM will assist the business in articulating these requirements and the value of these services that the business places on them. In this way the BRM process is executing one of its critical success factors, which is to safeguard that the customer’s expectations do not exceed what they are willing to pay for and that the service provider has the resources and capabilities to deliver these defined services on time and within budget guaranteeing customer satisfaction.

The BRM process is not just concerned with delivery and support of services but also with the design and building which means that it will engage with other ITSM processes across the entire ITIL lifecycle.  As an example, the mapping of business outcomes and services is done in portfolio management.  Service Level Management (SLM) provides information about the levels of service agreed to and achieved.  Service asset and configuration delivers a clear and concise picture of infrastructure, applications, services, service owners and customers. Capacity management supplies information about utilization levels and the potential impacts of new technologies.

Strategic and tactical changes can be initiated by the BRM and raised to improve the existing services, or to introduce new services that will improve the way that IT supports the business, therefore continuing to ensure customer satisfaction. The BRM will often initiate RFC’s in the name of the customer, and represent the customer in the Change Advisory Board (CAB) meetings. In the instances where acceptance testing is needed, the BRM may be engaged by the Service Validation and Testing  process to provide the appropriate individuals for this form of testing to be completed. Much of this activity may be initiated under the banner of Continual Service Improvement CSI.

The BRM should not only monitor incidents after large changes or implemented projects (early life support), but can perform a significant role in keeping the customer informed about the resolution progress during major incidents.  The BRM process should also engage with the SLM process to review service levels along with historical incident and problem records to determine any impacting trends on the level of customer satisfaction. 

To learn more, check out ITSM Academy's BRM elearning course, which leads to BRM Practitioner certificate.

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