Business Relationship Management: Aligning IT with the Business
Course 902 | 3 Days
Evaluations in the Last 12 Months
You Will Learn How To
- Build a strong alignment between IT and the business
- Plan a strategy that positions you as a trusted IT advisor to key stakeholders
- Choose IT projects that build trust and alignment
- Articulate IT solutions that meet business needs
- Differentiate your internal IT services to ensure competitive solutions
- Experiencing trust firsthand through a dynamic simulation
- Evaluating stakeholders to determine their level of influence and power
- Documenting an IT organization's catalog of services
- Negotiating business agreements
- Assessing performance with a relationship scorecard
Course 902 Content
Overview of Relationship Management
- Why organizations need successful relationships between IT and the business
- Balancing the needs of IT and the business
- Effectively aligning IT investments and business goals
Principles for Aligning IT and the Business
The trusted IT advisor
- Recognizing how trust feels
- Defining trust in an IT organization
- Building a trusted relationship
IT Relationship Management (ITRM) roles
- IT relationship management vs. IT project management
- Discovering your strengths and weaknesses
- Required technical and social competencies
Determining It's Current State
Defining a catalog of services
- Identifying IT products and services
- The components of an ideal catalog
- Creating an initial catalog from scratch
- Ranking services with metrics
Developing awareness of the organizational culture
- The IntCRM Model
- Overcoming common IT relationship barriers
- Exploring how things get done in the organization
- Applying tools for culture analysis
Building the Trusted Relationship
Knowing your stakeholders
- The stakeholder relationship life cycle
- Classifying the roles stakeholders play
- The importance of stakeholder power and influence
Optimizing the first meeting
- Planning the meeting
- Models for understanding people
- Explaining the role of the ITRM
- Confirming relationships and roles
- Leaving with actions
Planning the relationship strategy
- Analyzing the relationship
- Recruiting trusted teams
- Forming the plan
- Executing the strategy
Facilitating Actionable IT Solutions
Performing competitive analysis
- Evaluating IT outsourcing and consulting solutions
- Establishing your competitive advantage
Identifying opportunities for improvement
- Capturing, prioritizing and documenting business needs
- Applying a framework for prioritizing and selecting projects
- Picking quick-win projects
Designing a strategy to meet customer needs
- Conducting a modified SWOT analysis
- Questions you should ask
- Making a go or no-go decision
Winning Competitive IT Projects
Responding to requests
- Differentiating your services from your competitors'
- Communicating your internal IT capabilities to the business
- Validating business needs in business terms
Selling your solutions to the business
- Translating IT speak to business speak
- Linking IT solutions to pains
- Articulating IT solutions in terms of business value
- Writing clear, tailored service level agreements (SLAs)
Managing project handoffs
- Ensuring a seamless transition
- Creating and maintaining communication channels
- Building the relationship
The IT relationship scorecard
- Establishing performance metrics
- Assessing ITRM success
- Analyzing results
Who Should AttendIT department managers, IT executives, business/IT liaisons, project managers or anyone who establishes, manages and maintains the relationship between IT and the business.
First Day Orientation:
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Standard Class Hours:
9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Last Day Class Hours:
9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Free Optional Course Exam Last Day:
3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Each Class Day:
Upon Request: Informal discussion with instructor about your work-specific projects or areas of special interest:
4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
More Course Info
What is this course about?
In this course, you learn how to build stronger alignment between IT and your business partners through the practice of Business Relationship Management (BRM). Using practice sessions, self-assessments and role-playing activities, you practice the specific skills and behaviors of a Business Relationship Manager to achieve desired results.
Who will benefit from this course?
Anyone who represents IT to the business will find this course useful. Whether one is new to this role or has years of experience working with stakeholders to craft IT solutions for business processes, this course offers an innovative set of best practices to enhance your performance.
IT managers and professionals who have experience as business analysts, project managers or IT liaisons will strengthen their reputation as trusted IT advisors to the business. You learn to speak the language of the business and develop effective working relationships with executives, managers and individual contributors.
What background do I need?
You should have at least two years of work experience in IT or business. People from all types of organizations-technical and non-technical, private and public, military and civilian, small and large-benefit from this course.
How is this course structured?
This course is structured around a dynamic style of learning created by Learning Tree called RealityPlus-an immersive experience that engages you in authentic tasks within a simulated real-world context. Through rich case studies, role-playing and performance-based activities, you participate in an evolving scenario where the decisions you make affect the outcome of the simulation. The RealityPlus learning method is presented in a safe environment where you gain new skills and practice the most effective techniques to bring back to the office. At the end of this course, you are prepared to immediately and successfully apply these new skills within your organization.
Why is Business Relationship Management important?
Organizations face increasing competitive pressures and the need to continually reduce costs. In both of these scenarios, IT can play a significant role in enabling an organization to become more efficient and effective in whatever drives its existence. Yet there is often a communication barrier between the business and IT. The business doesn't necessarily speak IT, and IT doesn't necessarily speak business.
Without business relationship management, this divide between IT and the business can grow even deeper, to the point where the business bypasses the internal IT department completely in favor of external consultants and IT service providers. Like any business, if an IT department finds itself without customers, then the worst-case scenario is that the IT department goes out of business.
Can you really learn how to build a relationship?
Yes. The methods and techniques of establishing trust, the cornerstone of a relationship between two people, are well known. What's unique about this course is its focus on the IT-business relationship. Part of your ability to build trust will come from the technical expertise you already possess. The other part involves listening, analyzing, prioritizing, communicating in business language, selecting the right opportunities and delivering results. These techniques creatively blend a variety of best practices that are unique to the role of a Business Relationship Manager.
Does this course discuss the differences between the roles of an IT project manager and a Business Relationship Manager?
Yes. Relationship management is very different from project management, and there is often confusion among stakeholders about the difference. This course clearly delineates the critical differences between the two roles and advocates that these roles should become more separate as an organization matures its business relationship management efforts.
How much time is spent on each topic?
Content Hours Overview of relationship management 1.0 Principles for aligning IT and the business 2.0 Determining IT's current state 5.0 Building the trusted relationship 5.0 Facilitating actionable IT solutions 3.0 Maturing and measuring the relationship 1.0
Times, including the workshops, are estimates; exact times may vary according to the needs of each class.
How much time is devoted to activities?
Throughout approximately 60 percent of the course, you are immersed in an ongoing simulation, including rich experiential activities that allow you to practice a variety of relationship-building skills, tools and strategies. Activities include the following:
- Discovering the true meaning of trust
- Assessing your BRM competencies
- Exploring case studies of successful BRM programs
- Determining the level of alignment between the business and IT in an organization
- Analyzing stakeholders
- Conducting an initial meeting with a business stakeholder
- Creating an initial catalog of services
- Writing business needs
- Selling IT solutions to stakeholders
- Analyzing a balanced scorecard to measure IT success
Is this course applicable toward a Project Management Institute (PMI) certification?
Yes. Though this course is not designed as preparation for an exam, it is beneficial to anyone working toward, or maintaining, a PMI certification. Most PMI certifications require a specific number of PDUs in order to obtain and maintain the credential. Completion of this course provides 17 professional development units (PDUs).
Learning Tree offers several courses that help you prepare for PMI certifications, including Course 276, Preparing for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam, which prepares you for PMI's most popular certification. For more details on these courses and PMI certifications, please see the Learning Tree PMI Registered Education Provider Q&A.
How does this course relate to other Learning Tree courses?
Learning Tree offers other courses in communication, management and planning, including the following:
- Course 292, Communication Skills: Results through Collaboration, offers the best practices of a Business Relationship Manager (BRM) for facilitating actionable IT solutions that provide value to the business and satisfy the needs of business stakeholders.
- Course 294, Influence Skills: Getting Results without Direct Authority, provides the specific skills, behaviors and attitudes necessary to achieve desired results without relying on the use of authority.
- Course 211, Introduction to Business Analysis: Defining Successful Projects, provides the foundational knowledge of the role and function of the business analyst.
Many Learning Tree courses provide college credit and industry continuing education credits. You can also earn a Learning Tree Professional Certification in your area of expertise and prepare for popular industry certifications. See below for continuing professional development credits associated with this course.
This course qualifies for 1 semester hour of college credit as certified by the American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT). Read More... This course qualifies for 17 CPE credits from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy CPE program. Read More... This course is approved by PMI® for 17 professional development units (PDUs). For more on the Project Management Institute and a full list of courses approved for PDUs. Read More...
3-Day Tuition New Attendee Returning Attendee Notes Commercial $2,490 $2,240
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Government $2,213 $1,992
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