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Business Relationship Management Tips: Boring Ridiculous Measures

Written by Peter Lijnse on . Posted in Blog BRM Tips

Business Relationship Management (BRM) Tips:

Boring Ridiculous Measures

 Measure Business Value

Learn more about Business Relationship Management and how to repair broken relationships: Attend a BRM professional course.


Hi. My name is Peter Lijnse from Service Management Art with BRM Tips. BRM also means:

iStock_000008895544SmallAs Business Relationship Manager you represent your department to the other business departments. Suddenly the IT Operations director comes to you with a Service Level Agreement full of Boring, Ridiculous Measures. The measurements are extremely internal IT focused. For example target resolution times for issues, with no real business perspective.

The expectation is that you will present this to the business. You know what that will lead to…

You do not want to bring these service levels to the business, it shows how you still are in an order taker role.
.. NOT a strategic partner. So how the become UNBORING and less ridiculous?

You need to show that you want to measure what is really important: 

Value to the organization and its customers. 

We need to talk about business technology (in other words IT) and how it will add value to the enterprise. To be able to measure value you need to create a value chain that can help you clearly define how IT is adding value.

Measures should be based on what the business is trying to accomplish. How does technology gets the organization to be more efficient in transactional processing, managers have better access to information, etc. with the result: more revenue, satisfied customers, etc.

Get away from the inside out measures that we come up with within IT, start looking at measures from an outside in perspective, meaning make sure it is linked to business strategy, goals and shows the value chain.

It is time to get a value chain reaction going 

Have fun.

Business Relationship Management Tips: Bitterness, Roadblocks and Malicious Demand

Written by Peter Lijnse on . Posted in Blog BRM Tips

Business Relationship Management (BRM) Tips:

Bitterness, Roadblocks and Malicious Demand

 Repairing a Broken Relationship

Learn more about Business Relationship Management and how to repair broken relationships: Attend a BRM professional course.


Hi. My name is Peter Lijnse from Service Management Art with BRM Tips.

Frayed rope about to break isolated on white background

BRM in rare occasions stands for: Bitterness
Roadblocks and
Malicious Demands

If as a BRM you are encountering this, you have to ask yourself the question: Why are you even working at this organization?

Now maybe you were brought in to change this situation. So what can you do to repair this broken relationship?

Step 1 will be to assess if the effort to improve the relationship is worthwhile. Is this relationship important for achieving strategy? Will you be able to deliver value to this team? 

Step 2 will be to diagnose the current situation. You have to diagnose what the problem is. Remember: treatment without diagnosis is malpractice.
So what are your own departments issues? Where do you see problems? Can you solve any of these?

Step 3 is shared accountability for the improvements: both groups (IT and the Business) need to be willing to change the relationship. So explain to the business partner the current relationship and get commitment to change that relationship together.

Step 4 change your behaviour. It is easy to fall into the old behaviour again. When you say you are going to improve you better make sure you keep working on this new behaviour… and make sure that everyone who is involved is changing their behaviour.

You can repair a broken relationship, it requires effort and most important changes in behaviour.

Behaviour Really Matters.

Frequently Asked Questions BRM Professional Course

Written by Peter Lijnse on . Posted in Uncategorized

Frequently Asked Questions

for the Business Relationship Management Professional Course® (BRMP®CKmb89kWIAAS2EF

On a regular basis we receive questions about the Business Relationship Management courses. Below are some of the frequently asked questions and their answers. If you have a question that is not in this list or you want to know more about a specific answer, feel free to contact us.

To register for a course click on the images below.

ICON_Online_v3   ICON_Classroom_v3

What is the content of the course?

The course discusses the BRM role and the BRM organizational capability. The following topics are part of the course:

  • Business Relationship Management as an organizational capability.
  • The role of the Business Relationship Manager
  • What is Strategic Partnering
  • How does Portfolio Management support BRM
  • BRM and Governance
  • Value Management
  • Relationship Improvement techniques
  • Business Transition Management
  • Powerful Communication

For more information on the topics click here

What material is used in the course?

Every student will receive:

  • Student guide. This guide has all the slides, sample exam questions, official sample exam and syllabus. The student guide also has references to relevant paragraphs of the BRMP Guide to the Body of Knowledge.
  • BRM Professional Overview 

Each student is required to purchase the BRMP Body of Knowledge. Members of the BRM Institute can download the PDF for free.

Does the course include the exam?

Yes, the course includes the exam.

What is the structure of the exam?

The exam consists of 50 multiple choice exam questions. The duration of the exam is 40 min. The pass rate is 50%, which means you need to have 25 questions or more correct to pass.

The exam is paper-based and is written on the afternoon of the last day of a class. For online courses students will receive an exam voucher for an online exam. This exam must be written within 30 days of completing the course. 

Is it possible to rewrite the exam?

Our current pass rate is above 95% for all BRM courses we deliver. Our trainers will make sure you are prepared for the exam. During the course we will provide you with sample exam questions and the official sample exam from APMG – these questions will be reviewed during the course. In the unlikely circumstance you do not pass the exam, rewrites are available for purchase. 

English is not my first language; can I get additional time for the exam?

All students that have english as a second language can request additional time to complete the exam. Please let us know if you qualify for “English as a second language status” when you register for the course, so we can take the appropriate action.

Who will be the trainer?

We have multiple trainers that teach Business Relationship Management course. Each of our trainers have many years of experience as consultants and will provide real life examples during the course. We cannot guarantee a specific trainer for open enrolment course; for dedicated courses it is possible to request certain trainers if they are available.

What are your pass rates for the exam?

Our current pass rate for BRM courses is above 95%. We have trained hundreds of students in Business Relationship Management.

Do you offer other courses for Business Relationship Management?

Yes. In addition to the BRM Professional accredited course we offer the following courses / workshops:

  • BRM Introduction (half day or full day)
  • BRM Executive Overview
  • BRM simulations

We can work with you to build a workshop that meets your organization’s specific requirements.

Do you offer BRM coaching?

Yes. All our trainers / consultants are available for coaching BRM teams. We can discuss with your team which improvements provide value for your team. We will support your team with advice and by facilitating workshops. The coaching is focused on making sure you will receive the value you are looking for.

Can I get a discount?

Discounts are available for group registrations in our open enrolment courses, and for dedicated courses at your location. Call us for details.

All students that register and attend a BRM Professional course will receive a 50% discount on their new or renewed Business Relationship Management Institute Membership.

What are your class times?

Our open enrolment class room session run from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm for all 3 days. Online (instructor-led) courses are 5 consecutive sessions that are each 3 hours in duration (with exam prep session on request). Online classes will be scheduled based on specific time zones.

Dedicated classes (classroom or online) can start at different times if that is a requirement.

Is it possible to get an exam voucher instead of writing the exam on the last afternoon of the course?

Yes, we can provide you with a voucher to write the exam online after the course. The exam must be written within 30 days of completing the course. 

Is there a formal designation?

Yes, when you pass the BRMP exam you can add the letters BRMP behind your name.

Do you offer courses world-wide?

Yes. We offer courses and workshops in different cities across North-America and Europe. Online courses can be delivered world-wide. 

Business Relationship Management Professional®, BRMP® and the BRMP® logo are registered trade marks of Business Relationship Management Institute.

Business Relationship Management is NOT about services or customers

Written by Peter Lijnse on . Posted in Blog BRM Tips

Business Relationship Management is NOT about services or customers

By John Krogh

The industry is waking up to Business Relationship Management as a formal capability.

partnershipThe Business Relationship Management Institute (BRMI®) is the de-facto go-to source for developing BRM organizational capabilities and Business Relationship Managers. Membership to BRMI is growing by leaps and bounds and there are now well over fifteen hundred individuals certified with the Business Relationship Management Professional® (BRMP®) designation worldwide.

The market is clear.  Organizations are trying to figure out how to make technology an enabler of overall strategic intent. They are looking at technology to enable them to create differentiation between themselves and their competitors, or to give them access to markets they wouldn’t normally have access to. Organizations have leveraged the innovative application of technology to disrupt the market and to gain huge amounts of market share, or even to create new market demand. Even when there is no competitive advantage of the use of technology, the technology needs to be secure, reliable and available based on organizational requirements.

This comes back to creating value from technology while reducing value leakage. This is where Business Relationship Management becomes very important.

Organizations that succeed gaining a competitive advantage, through the innovative use of technology and people, all have one common trait. They have a profound and strong relationship between the IT department and the business departments. Organizations that still foster an us-versus-them relationship, or a service provider / customer relationship, are struggling to keep up.  It is no surprise that organizations all over the world are assigning accountability to individuals to improve the relationship between the business partner and its “service providers”.

But what is wrong with the traditional “Provider / Customer” model so long sought after by ITIL® pundits?

ITIL is used by many organizations to get the supply-side of the house in order. By isolating themselves as distinct business units (operating IT like a Business), these “Service Units” have gained control over their services. Through strict discipline they build and govern over their services with rigorous (but restrictive) standards. They Define Services, define Service Levels and Manage to those Service Levels and then Target Improvements. They build a rigorous and dependable service infrastructure that is notoriously difficult to make innovative change happen in. At this level of maturity, the provider begins to gain the trust and the respect of the business. The provider operates reliable services. But the challenge here is in evolving to a provider that can also be a strategic partner.

The ITIL competencies and capabilities that the Service Providers success is built on, becomes an obstacle to improving the relationship. The Service Provider relies on a set of IT Goals that they attempt to align with business goals. These goals take a long time to propagate out in terms of processes, skills and metrics. While this makes for good, dependable services, it stifles innovation and more important it impedes the successful path to become a strategic partner.

The path towards strategic partner

Lets look at this problem by taking a brief look at the relationship maturity model of the BRM institute. This model describes five levels of maturity. If the ultimate goal is to become a strategic partner for the business, the organization must evolve through these levels.

  1. Ad-Hoc – (Loudest in – First out)
  2. Order Taker – (Misperceived, distrust, reactive)
  3. Service Provider – (Routine, challenge of innovation)
  4. Trusted Adviser – (Cooperation, respect and understanding)
  5. Strategic Partner – (Shared goals, maximizing value, innovator)

This evolution has two paths:iStock_000009233121Medium

The first path is to initially focus on becoming a competent service provider, this path has a supply-side focus. Centred on building internal processes, gaining control and predictability. ITIL is the de-facto framework leveraged by organizations to achieve this. The focus is on a culture of structure and compliance. Organizations have a tendency to see the service provider maturity level as the objective. They climb a peak, only to realize that the real summit of strategic engagement is still ahead of them.

To embark on the second part of this journey, these organization need to change their culture dramatically. Evolving from an internal focus of rigorous standards, stability and predictability to an external focus of business enablement, agility and responsiveness. This kind of organizational change often fails and organizations find themselves unable to evolve further. The ITIL focused Service Management leaders in the organization may view it as a systematic deconstruction of all their hard work.

The second path is to focus immediately on becoming a Strategic Partner. At this moment the IT department can no longer operate and think as a distinct business unit. The value of IT investment and the associated risk must all be managed in business terms. IT begins to contribute to the business strategy at all levels, while maintaining organizational requirements. It will need to become more agile and responsive and able to take justified risk. The summit of Business/IT convergence is the target.

For organizations taking this second path, ITIL is still useful but it must be applied in the context of the goals of strategic partnering and business enablement. This means ITIL practices need to be vetted by asking if the behaviours being introduced are the behaviours of a strategic partner. Certain processes from ITIL will be useful in becoming a strategic partner, others might have to be abandoned or adjusted to get to the right results.

Take Service Level Management as an example. Many organizations look at Service Level Agreements as a way for the service provider to defines what they “will not” do for the business. It becomes a document that stands between the business and the provider. IT Change Management is another process that is notorious for adding unnecessary bureaucracy and is often viewed by the business as an inhibitor to innovation and value.

Focus on value

As a service management discipline, ITIL focuses on the “Services” and then defines the “Value” of the service as an attribute. When you are a Strategic Partner, the focus needs to be on the targeted “Value” and the “Enabling Assets” become an attribute of the value. 

If you want to be a strategic partner, your BRM capability must be able to stay focused on value. You need to be looking from the outside-in. The natural tendency for Service Providers is to be looking from the inside-out.

In our consulting practice we help organizations to leverage the Business Relationship Management Body of Knowledge with just enough ITIL to make sure you can become a strategic partner with other business groups. We create this value chain reaction for you, so you can reach the strategic partner summit.

Do you want to “feel” what it is like to be a strategic partner? Ask us about our business simulation (Grab@Pizza).

Contact us for more details.

BRMI®, BRMP® and Business Relationship Management Professional® are registered trademarks of Business Relationship Management Institute.
ITIL® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

Business Relationship Management Tips: Bountiful Respectful Meetings

Written by Peter Lijnse on . Posted in Blog BRM Tips

Business Relationship Management (BRM) Tips:

Bountiful Respectful Meetings

 Be prepared for your meetings


Learn more about Business Relationship Management: Attend a BRM professional course.


Hi. I am Peter Lijnse from Service Management Art and I am giving you some BRM Tips. Everyone will already know what BRM stands for:


You are new to the role as BRM. Where to start? You cannot just go out and have coffee with everyone – although some people might say that is what you do. You need meetings that give you bountiful information… and are respecting the time from the people you meet.

it is all about preparation.

First, you need an understanding of who is who in the organization. Do you know who has influence, who has power? Build a stakeholder map for both the business and the organization you are representing. Think about what you are going to ask them.

Build for yourself an relationship value map that gets clear for you who has influence and is important for what you are trying to accomplish. Who are approvers? Who are decision makers? Who do you need to meet for information. What is the current quality of the relationship.

How are you going to meet them? In person? Online? What is the best option to get a great meeting.

Prepare what you want to discuss with them. You might only have 5 min to make a great impression.

Respect the time of your contacts. Book short meetings – if it only requires 5 min… book a 5 min meeting, don’t waste time, but make sure you make it personal. Tell them what you want to talk about.

It is a careful balance between personal interest and getting right to business.

Oh… and your first meetings…. all about listening… Be present during the meeting and show you are listening.

Have fun out there!