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Wow what a week! Last week comprised of working through the first ever UK Strategic Partnering Approach Workshop, followed by hosting the first annual UK BRM Community Event. Both of which were hugely beneficial! Let’s start with the Community Event;

UK BRM Community Event

Firstly, I have a new found respect for Marleen Lundy who organises the global BRM events. It is hard work and stressful! We had fluctuating numbers in the run up to the event, but it was looking like we had around 50 – 60 people. Then at the last minute we had a few drop out and a few add-ons. In the end we had a really nice sized group, with a good mix of people. As always we had a mix of job titles from Business Partners to Business Relationship Managers from a variety of industries but we all had similar stories.

We started the day with a few presentations, setting the scene of why we were all there and who the professional bodies were in attendance. Gary Hardy from ITWinners, who helped pull it all together, told everyone who ITWinners were and what they do, as well as making it clear that they wanted to set this up but it isn’t their event but a BRM event, run by BRMs for BRMs. More on that later. He also told his story of ‘finding’ BRM and why he thinks it’s the most powerful needed shift in mindset in current times.

Marleen Lundy then presented about BRM institute, the delegates in attendance were a mix of active members, members but not that active to not knowing about the Institute at all. The importance of the Institute, the best practices, guidance it provides and the accredited training were key points for the delegates especially the Knowledge Pathway, created by Marleen to help guide personal and BRM function development.

APMG were also in attendance, supporting the event and informing the BRMs of how social sharing of accreditation can help promote both BRM as a whole as well as your own personal brand.

The last session of the morning was presented by Mariana Carroll, who spoke about BRM and emerging technologies. Mariana has a wealth of experience in this area and was truly inspiring.

In the afternoon we opened the floor for our BRM guests to share their stories. I had my story ready to tell if we needed, but my main role was to facilitate others telling theirs. The great thing about working with a room full of BRMs is they all want to communicate and share; my story wasn’t needed as we had plenty of others. They ranged from theories on early BRM from the introduction of electricity to Leicester University and the creation of a strategic role over 100 years ago to manage this emerging technology disruption, linking back nicely to Mariana’s earlier presentation. To stories of becoming strategic and staying strategic through successful positioning of the role in both hierarchy and boundaries of responsibilities. These story telling sessions really got the room buzzing with ideas and excitement as well as shared pain points. I think next time we meet we will have to facilitate some more of these earlier on and then capture and discuss the points in more detail, because we were getting so many golden nuggets of information.

As we approached the end of the day, we asked if anyone was able to stay a bit later and discuss ways to help progress this event in the future. We had a good number stay behind and others running off but stating they still want to help out further. Now we are going to need to pull these people together and start to develop next year’s meet up, let it expand and grow and hopefully become even better each year. We are planning on starting this off via the Community Of Interest for the UK on the BRM Institute Online Campus. If you want to join in pop over and say hello, if you need help getting on just send me a message.

This was my first time trying to organise and pull together an event such as this and I was overjoyed with the outcome and feedback. I can’t wait to help out on the next one! Though thankfully with so many enthused BRMs to help, the second annual BRM community event should be much easier.

Strategic Partnering Approach Workshop

This is a new workshop and part of the BRM Institute knowledge pathway as outlined here. It’s a practical application of the theory which results in a strategic plan for your BRM function. As we had already completed the BRMP training, we were familiar with the theory so managed to skip over some of the content and get stuck into the meat of the workshop.

We ran through various maturity assessment pieces which highlighted some areas for improvement, some of which were well within our control others were outside it at an organisational level. The ones outside of our immediate control were considered and some of which we are going to put forward as institutional change requests, but the politics and governance to implement them will be much harder than the changes closer to home.

We then prioritised our potential improvements and started work on a plan to progress our BRM function. Using a combination of these techniques and the excellent knowledge of Gary Hardy from ITWinners, we were able to create a great strategic action plan. This is going to form the basis of a BRM re-launch for our function as we re-position, re-focus and clarify our value offering both now and for the future. It’s bringing a new energy to the team and we can’t wait to get started on the next leg of our BRM journey!

About the author;

Jeremy is a full time BRM at Loughborough University for IT Services. He is also a qualified BRM trainer, currently offering the Business Relationship Management Professional training and other consultancy. If you are based in the UK and would like to go through the BRMP training with a practising BRM, drop him an email! Jeremy is able to use his knowledge and experience to liven up the theory with lots of real life examples!

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