The BRM role is evolving; we don\u2019t know the end state. The need to stimulate, surface, and shape demand has never been stronger. Blockchain is starting to walk. AI is getting smarter. And consumer tech is almost friendly. The transformational nature of change is the realization of strategies, plans, and budgets. How we define the role of the change agent directly correlates to the pace of adoption. In this case, the change agent is the business relationship manager.\nFootprints of tomorrow\u2019s future\nThe Business Relationship Management Professional (BRMP), offered by the Business Relationship Management Institute (BRM Institute), is the foundational certification for business relationship managers. The Business Relationship Management Institute was founded in 2013 and, in 2014, published the first edition of the BRMP Guide to the BRM Body of Knowledge, aka the BRMBOK. The first BRMP training for certification was also held in 2014.\nFor many of us, we recall a similar journey of the Project Management Professional (PMP), offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), as the gold standard for project managers. PMI published the first edition of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide in 1996. (Yes, we know the first PMP was awarded in 1984.) If your organization was an innovative leader and had PMPs minted just five years after the first formal PMBOK was published, they\u2019d have earned their certification in 2001. In parallel, if the BRMs in your organization were equally innovative, they\u2019ll be BRMP-certified by 2019. Consider your past hiring experience. How many PMPs you have met that were certified in 2001 or earlier? It\u2019s a rare find. Likewise, BRMP is following a similar trajectory. Change agents see the correlation and are educating themselves and their teams.\nDefining the role\nEveryone wants to be \u2018that\u2019 change agent. The BRM leading discussions is closely aligned with providers and business partners and drives these strategic discussions. To achieve success, the BRM must have accountability. Success originates in the organization\u2019s formal BRM roles and responsibilities.\nThe BRM Institutes defines the BRM role as one that \u201cstimulates, surfaces and shapes business demand for a provider's products and services and ensures that the potential business value from those products and services is captured, optimized and communicated.\u201d The role is further elaborated into three types of BRMs: connectors (influencing), orchestrators (coordinating), and navigators (facilitating).\nYou\u2019re likely thinking, \u201cIsn\u2019t this akin to an IT liaison?\u201d Not exactly. This role is much more strategic, and BRMs are empowered by leadership to provide recommendations.\nTwo areas broadly shape BRM roles: the \u201cHouse of the BRM\u201d and BRM Competencies.\nThe house of the BRM has four pillars to support the execution of the role:\n\nDemand shaping: stimulates, surfaces, and shapes business demand\nExploring: identifies and rationalizes demand\nServicing: proactively identifies services and service levels to manage business-partner expectations\nValue harvesting: influencing for full value realization\n\nBRM competencies define the skills, traits, and behavior of successful individuals in the role:\n\nStrategic partnering: building credibility and partnerships\nBusiness IQ: growing knowledge and understanding of the business partner\nPortfolio management: value realization from products, services, interactions, assets, and capabilities\nProvider domain: optimization of service management\nPowerful communications: conveying intention for mutual understanding of risk and reward\nBusiness transition management: managing process improvements and enabling new business capabilities\n\n20 responsibilities for BRMs\nWhether we\u2019re talking about project management, architecture, or human resources, how a role is defined varies widely by organization. The following are twenty responsibilities we\u2019ve found to be critical to BRM success:\n\nEnsure that solutions and services deliver expected business value.\nPartner in provider leadership.\nIdentify and translate business partner needs into strategic roadmaps and executable portfolios of activities.\nDefine business needs and priorities to inform the strategy for delivering systems capabilities within the business-partner organization.\nTranslate business needs into effective and improved processes and\/or technical solutions or services by coordinating resources from the associated IT Department.\nStimulate, surface, and shape IT demand from business-partner stakeholders, and identify, prioritize, and rationalize demand for business-partner alignment.\nUnderstand the processes, plans, objectives, drivers, and issues related to the business area together with appropriate external policies and regulations.\nContribute the systems aspects of business strategy development, bringing business opportunities through technology and business knowledge.\nKeep abreast of technology trends and applicability to business partners.\nParticipate in industry peer groups to understand industry trends.\nDevelop strategic roadmaps for information technology systems that align to business-capability enablement or improvement.\nExpand adoption of existing technology, where appropriate, to leverage enterprise solutions that meet or exceed business-partner demands.\nDevelop and socialize realistic IT roadmaps for business partners.\nElaborate business cases and define the realization of business-partner value.\nCo-own the business processes in collaboration with business partners, and mature the business process models using industry standards to identify changes: political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental.\nPlay the role of the business-area function representative and subject-matter advisor when required.\nLead and secure adoption of continuous improvement efforts, e.g., Six Sigma, Lean, Kaizen) to transform business partners\u2019 capabilities for fitness-for-purpose and fitness-for-use.\nConfirm Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with the business function and ensure that agreed services are being delivered to requirements; analyze and monitor the SLA impact of service changes.\nManage business-partner compliments and complaints to enable continuous improvement.\nProactively advise on technology options and innovation for the business area function.\n\nWhy accountability matters\nAchieving business transformation depends on culture. BRMs shift organizational mindsets from \u201cdoing the job\u201d to \u201cachieving the results.\u201d The team dynamics and interactions are the same\u2014the results aren\u2019t. Doing the job means achieving the result.\nOrganizational alignment demands job clarity, which requires accountability to execute effectively. BRM success is linked to organizational BRM role definition. Remove the guesswork for your employees and properly define the BRM role to integrate seamlessly into your company\u2019s culture.\nMake change easy to understand. BRMs are the primary business-partner change agent. And the change beings with you.