BRMConnect Mutual Discovery Sessions Bring Deep Thinking to How the BRM Role Might Evolve in Multiple Future Scenarios

Posted | Category: BRM Community, Business Relationship Management Research | Contributed

by Sheila Smith

Note: While we recognize that the BRM capability includes those performing the BRM role in various aspects of business, such as HR, Finance, and IT, the BRMConnect Mutual Discovery session focused solely on scenarios related to the role of the BRM in IT organizations.

IMG_0265-56A buzz in the airā€¦ energized conversationsā€¦ multiple futures and how the BRM role and the IT organization might have arrived at those futures. Insight galore!

Imagine yourself and your organization in 2020. What is the state of the BRM role and the IT organization? What events, structures and experiences do you envision were necessary to arrive at a specific future?

Participants at BRMConnect had the chance to work in teams to explore one of four future scenarios, based on combinations of either value-driven or cost-driven culture and either strong or weak central oversight. The names of each scenario reflect the context of these four possible futures:

  • To The Cloud
  • Goodbye, Central IT
  • Back to the Future
  • Hello, Big Brother

BRMScenariosThe teams were each given a description of a future scenario, along with two key questions related to the following BRM challenges collected through a pre-conference BRM Institute member survey:

  1. Proving Value of the Role / Gaining Business Partner Buy-In
  2. BRM Role Clarity and Integration with Other Roles
  3. Lack of IT Capacity, Credibility, Trust
  4. Balance of Tactical/Operational versus Strategic Use of BRMs
  5. Demand Management and Supporting Processes (e.g. governance, priority setting, portfolio management)
  6. Transition Management of the BRM Implementation

In an open space environment, teams discussed what events, structures, and experiences would have had to happen to result in the specific future state described by their scenario. The work was challenging! It was tough enough to step back from todayā€™s worldā€”their world, their organization, and their current BRM roleā€”and plant themselves into a future scenario. Not to mention the difficulty of looking back and re-constructing what must have happened to lead to this future!-Letā€™s just say this work was not for the faint of heart.

However, the result was well worth the effort. The insights were thought provoking. Who would have thought that building trust with business partners would be important in the ā€˜Hello, Big Brotherā€™ scenario? In some scenarios, teams saw BRMs working themselves out of a job or being absorbed into the business as business and IT converged. A multitude of factors was examined, from the role the CIO played in moving to the scenario, to the tools used, the way shadow IT was embraced or stifled, how value was measured and highlighted (or not), where innovation fit in, and the technology landscape, to name a few. Each teamā€™s findings will soon be analyzed and posted for all to see, and will feed future BRM Institute research efforts.

Of greatest significance, though, was each participantā€™s increased awareness of the different factors that will impact the future of BRMs and the provider organization in which they sit. Looking at these factors and watching for them as leading indicators, determining how BRMs can influence the direction of the role and the positioning of the larger provider organizationā€¦ well, thatā€™s worth writing home about!

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