When an organization adopts new technology or processes, there is a change to how people work. They need to modify their attitudes and behaviors to adopt the changes and this usually results in new procedures, updates to tools, and changing relationships between coworkers or departments.
Business Relationship Managers (BRM) understand the needs of the business and they understand how the IT organization works. BRM’s work directly with business partners to ascertain their current and future needs and they help the IT team navigate meeting these needs. They have intimate knowledge of both organizations and they are pivotal to keeping these organizations in sync.
While some would argue that the BRM should not be spending their time on organizational change management, it is actually a critical part of their role. IT staff often wonder about the value of the work they perform. They are asked to do tasks or take on projects but they aren’t provided with a lot of information. They may be given a copy of a business case but the overall handoff to the IT staff generally does not include the context relating to the true impact of the work they are doing. The BRM’s are in a perfect position to provide this context. They understand both the tangible and intangible benefits. Every communication to the IT staff should talk about the value of IT’s work to the business and relate this information at a level an IT staff member can understand and connect with at an emotional level.
For example, the business case for completing an application upgrade at a bank may indicate that the branches will save millions of dollars and that customer satisfaction will be increased. Generally, this is what IT staff know about the work as it is in the business case. Why should they care? The upgrade could result in lots of additional hours of overtime. In this scenario, the programmer or engineer only sees the negative impact. They don’t connect to the meaning of the work and therefore, they aren’t incredibly motivated to do the work.
The BRM has the opportunity to translate this upgrade into something meaningful for the IT staff. They know the impacts to the organization’s strategic plan as well as the individual employee at the branch. They can relate the impacts to a customer experience. If the programmer or engineer understands that a branch employee will no longer have to contact support about the application when a customer is sitting in front of them or that the upgrade will provide the ability for self service through an ATM rather than requiring a customer to visit a branch, it would make a difference. It would motivate the IT staff member to improve the experience for both their internal and external customers. The BRM is in a perfect position to help IT staff understand why the work is occurring and the true impact of their work. The BRM can tell the story.
On the business side, the BRM understands the various departments, organizational structure, and politics of their assigned area. They are instrumental in setting and managing expectations. The BRM understands enough about the IT organization and workload that they can effectively translate something technical into something meaningful for their business partner.
The BRM also knows their business partners well enough to understand their pain points and what motivates them. They can influence buy in for upgrades, downtime, process changes, IT restructures, and other changes by applying this information in a useful, meaningful way. For example, the server upgrade that will restrict application access for a half a day is required if you want the self-service functionality on the ATM. The ATM downtime this week will allow us to ensure the customer’s information is safe and secure.
The BRM can tell the story to both IT and the business about how their work creates something meaningful for the staff and for the customer. They can link the impact of the work to tangible and intangible benefits that will appeal to leadership as well as the frontlines. They can have a huge impact on the success and adoption of change.
Don’t miss part two of this blog where we’ll talk about how Business Relationship Managers can use metrics to influence change! Join our mailing list to ensure you don’t miss the next blog!
At AdOPT, we are transformation consultants focused on strategy, innovation, process, and culture to increase effectiveness, improve efficiency, and optimize costs. Discover how an cultural assessment can help you identify key steps to influence change adoption. Ask us to complete an assessment today and discover how to improve the return on your initiatives. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 520-591-2427.