Business Relationship Management (BRM)

What is Business Relationship Management (BRM)?

Business Relationship Management (BRM) is a strategic approach focused on improving the communication, collaboration, and interaction between a business and its partners, customers, suppliers, and internal departments. BRM aims to align business objectives with IT, human resources, finance, or other functional services to ensure that the entire organization operates cohesively and effectively meets its goals. It involves understanding the needs of various stakeholders and managing expectations to foster positive relationships that drive value and mutual benefit.

Key Objectives of Business Relationship Management

  • Alignment of Business and IT: Ensuring that IT strategies and operations support and enhance business objectives, leading to improved efficiency and productivity.
  • Value Realization: Facilitating the identification, planning, and realization of value from services and investments, ensuring that resources are used effectively to generate maximum benefit.
  • Risk Management: Proactively identifying and addressing risks associated with business relationships and strategic decisions.
  • Communication and Collaboration Enhancement: Improving communication channels and collaboration efforts between departments and with external partners to ensure seamless operations and project success.
  • Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty: Strengthening relationships with customers by consistently meeting or exceeding their expectations, leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty.

Roles and Responsibilities in Business Relationship Management

  • BRM Professionals: Individuals or teams dedicated to bridging the gap between IT and other business units, understanding stakeholder needs, and ensuring strategic alignment.
  • Strategic Partnerships Manager: Focuses on managing and optimizing relationships with external partners and suppliers.
  • Customer Success Managers: Concentrate on ensuring customers achieve their desired outcomes while using the organization’s products or services, thereby increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Internal Consultants: Work within the organization to advise and support different departments in achieving their objectives through effective use of technology and resources.

Implementing Business Relationship Management

Here are the steps to implement BRM:

  1. Define BRM Strategy: Outline how the organization plans to manage and develop relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
  2. Develop Relationship Management Plans: Create specific plans for managing key relationships, including objectives, roles, responsibilities, and performance metrics.
  3. Train and Empower BRM Professionals: Ensure that those responsible for BRM have the necessary skills, resources, and authority to build and maintain strong relationships.
  4. Monitor and Measure Performance: Regularly assess the effectiveness of BRM efforts through performance metrics and stakeholder feedback, making adjustments as necessary.

3Foster a Relationship-Centric Culture: Encourage a culture within the organization that values and prioritizes strong, collaborative relationships.

Challenges in Business Relationship Management

  • Aligning Diverse Objectives: Balancing and aligning the sometimes divergent objectives of different business units and external partners.
  • Change Management: Managing resistance to change from stakeholders when new strategies or technologies are introduced.
  • Communication Barriers: Overcoming communication challenges between departments, especially in large or geographically dispersed organizations.
  • Maintaining Long-term Relationships: Keeping relationships strong over time, especially when immediate business needs or environments change.


Business Relationship Management is critical in aligning business and IT strategies, optimizing internal and external relationships, and ensuring that the organization works cohesively towards its goals. By focusing on communication, collaboration, and strategic alignment, BRM helps organizations navigate the complexities of modern business environments, drive value, and achieve sustainable success. Effective BRM requires a dedicated effort, skilled professionals, and a supportive organizational culture that values and prioritizes strong relationships.

See Also

Business Relationship Management (BRM) is a formal approach to understanding, defining, and supporting inter-business activities related to business networking. BRM aims to improve the relationship between IT and the business at strategic and tactical levels, ensuring that the collaboration between IT service provision and business needs is as efficient and productive as possible. It involves acting as a liaison, advocate, and communicator between the business units and IT, facilitating the alignment of projects, services, and business objectives. BRM plays a crucial role in bridging gaps between business processes, technology solutions, and achieving business outcomes, focusing on strategic business value rather than traditional IT service management metrics.

  • IT Service Management (ITSM): Discussing the entire lifecycle of designing, delivering, managing, and improving the IT services an organization provides to its end users. BRM ensures that ITSM aligns with business objectives and maximizes value.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Covering strategies and technologies companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle. BRM complements CRM by ensuring internal business units are aligned to serve external customers effectively.
  • Change Management: Explaining the methods and manners in which a company describes and implements change within both its internal and external processes. BRM is critical in managing the impact of change on business and IT relationships.
  • Project Management: Discussing the practice of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria. BRM professionals often facilitate communication between business and IT projects.
  • Enterprise Architecture (EA): Covering the conceptual blueprint that defines the structure and operation of an organization. BRM helps align EA with business goals and ensures technology investments deliver strategic value.
  • Strategic Planning: Explaining the organizational management activity used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, and ensure employees and other stakeholders work toward common goals. BRM aligns IT strategies with broader business strategies.
  • Value Realization: Discussing the process of ensuring that the potential benefits of IT initiatives are fully realized. BRM plays a key role in defining, measuring, and achieving value from technology investments.
  • Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC): Covering the integrated collection of capabilities that enable an organization to reliably achieve objectives, address uncertainty, and act with integrity. BRM ensures IT and business practices adhere to GRC standards.
  • Digital Transformation (DX): Discussing the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how businesses operate and deliver value to customers. BRM is pivotal in guiding and supporting digital transformation initiatives.
  • Agile Methodology: Explaining a set of principles for software development under which requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing cross-functional teams. BRM supports agile practices by fostering collaboration and alignment between IT and the business.
  • Stakeholder Management: Discussing the systematic identification, analysis, planning, and implementation of actions designed to engage with stakeholders. BRM professionals are key in managing stakeholder expectations and communications.
  • Knowledge Management (KM): Covering the process of creating, sharing, using, and managing the knowledge and information of an organization. BRM facilitates the flow of knowledge between IT and business units to support decision-making and innovation.