ITSM Insights: The interesting Business Relationship Management Process in ITILv3

Out of the nearly 30 processes in the latest ITILv3 Best Practice Framework, BRM (Business Relationship Management Processes) can be considered the most interesting and illusive process! Quite a last minute addition to the Best Practices Framework.

Let’s take a deep dive into it’s definition now: The BRM focuses on understanding how services meet customer requirements – nothing said about IT (not much at least by it’s definition). But we do understand that “services” include “IT services” and Customers include “Customers” and “Users”. By this, we can appreciate the reason of adding BRM into the original ITILv3 framework after much deliberation among the ITSM communities – yes, all for IT-Business strategic alignment!

To achieve this, the process must focus on understanding and communicating a few things:
1. Business outcomes that the customer wants to achieve.
2. Services that are currently offered to the customer and the way in which they are used by the customer.
3. The way in which services are currently offered including who is responsible for the services, what levels of service have been agreed, the quality of services delivered and any changes that are anticipated.
4. Technology trends that could impact current services and the customer, and the nature of the potential impact.

How do we know then how successful is a company’s BRM after running it for some time?

1. Levels of customer satisfaction, and what action plans have been put in place to deal with the causes of dissatisfaction.
2. Ability to optimize services for the future.
3. How the service provider is represented to the customer. This at times means raising concerns around commitments that the business made to IT but is not meeting (yet).

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