CBRM – Will it solve the ABC Issues

Published on Wednesday 16 March 2022 by in News with no comments

The CBRM® Practitioner qualification for the intermediate-to-advanced Business Relationship Manager has now been launched. It is an addition to the BRMP certification that focuses on the ‘What’, The CBRM focuses on the ‘How’. It will be a scenario, case based 4 day course. I am excited about the potential of this new qualification. Why?

Recently I presented at the BRMI Connect event in Charlotte some of the global ABC (Attitude, Behavior, Culture) worst practices that are symptomatic of the fact that ‘Business & IT Alignment’ has for more than 10 years been a top concern for organizations. I genuinely believe that BRM is strategic capability that can help us finally address this long standing ‘Business & IT alignment (or convergence)’ challenge.

I am hoping that the CBRM will address these long standing ABC worst practices. This article explores what CBRM covers, how it addresses some of the ABC issues and some open questions and concerns I would like to see answered.

Vaughan Merlyn, in his webinar introducing the course explained that there are 3 main threads in the course. This first of 3 blogs looks at the first thread:

The first thread is ‘Assessing the BRM context’

This thread deals with assessing four key areas. These being, the ‘business demand maturity’, ‘the business relationship maturity’, ‘the provider capability maturity’ and the ‘BRM competence’

‘the business demand maturity’ – Which looks at the business ‘appetite for provider assets and capabilities’ and ’how effective is the business in realizing value from the provider capabilities’. 

Related Global ABC Worst practices:

  • Demand & Give. I demand (business) and you give in (IT).
  • Too little business involvement in requirements specification and testing.
  • Everything has the highest priority according to the business.

I am hoping CBRM helps demonstrate the need for IT Governance within the business. Such as the impact of shadow IT? Cyber security? Boardroom governance of IT investments, and Value Leakage caused by the poor deployment of IT.

70% of IT investments do not deliver the required business functionality.

‘the business relationship maturity’ – Which explores how the business perceives ‘the provider assets and capabilities’, ‘provider effectiveness in partnering with the business’ and ‘how the provider perceives the effectiveness of the business in partnering with them’.

Here are some top scoring ABC worst practice card chosen in global workshops:

  • Neither partner makes an effort to understand the other.
  • The ‘them and us’ culture, competing and opposing forces.
  • IT is not seen as an added value partner to the business.

I am hoping CBRM also helps focus on Tasks, roles, responsibilities, accountability for the business at strategic, tactical AND operational levels.

‘the provider capability maturity’ – Which explores ‘how effective are providers assets and capabilities in anticipating and meeting business needs’.

Here are some top scoring ABC worst practice card chosen in global workshops:

  • It has too little understanding of business impact & priority.
  • No respect for, or understanding of users
  • Too internally focused.
  • ITIL is the objective, not what it should achieve.
  • IT thinks it doesn’t need to understand the business to make a business case.
  • We don’t measure our value contribution to strategy.
  • Throwing solutions over the wall and HOPING that people will follow them.


Business Relationship Management Stimulates, 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 Recognized.

I am hoping CBRM demonstrates the Role and responsibilities of the BRM for:

ü   ‘ensuring’ value is realized.

ü  … establishing a sense of TRUST, team involvement and ownership with Provider personnel, communicate urgency when needed to their Provider partners.

ü  ..initiating efforts to drive  continuous improvement…..

‘the BRM competency’ – which explores ‘how effective are the BRM’s knowledge, skills and behaviors, and ‘what competence gaps does the BRM have and how will these gaps be closed’.

The common ‘Resistance’ related ABC worst practices that the BRM will be confronted with and will need to be able to address as part of ‘Business Transition management’ skills:

  • Never mind about following procedures lets juts do what we normally do
  • Saying ‘Yes’ , doing ‘No’
  • Process managers (BRM) without authority
  • Hierarchic culture: the boss is always right, even when the boss is wrong
  • Blame culture, Avoidance culture
  • Plan, do, stop….no real continual improvement culture
  • Not my responsibility


I am hoping CBRM will recognize these ‘Attitude, Behavior and Culture’ worst practices from both business & IT and provide guidance on managing these. 

I am hoping CBRM will also give some guidance on how to ‘surface’ these types of resistance and how to deal with them as part of Business Transition Management skills.

As I said I am excited about the potential of CBRM and am looking forward to reading the blogs and case studies demonstrate how people have applied their CBRM skills to solve these ABC issues which are chosen year-in, year-out by hundreds of IT organizations World-wide.


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