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PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP MANAGER AT USDA SHARES IMPLEMENTATION HIGHLIGHTS

Updated: Dec 18, 2019

Whether you are new to the Business Relationship Management (BRM) world or not, you can never stop being curious about how other fellow practitioners make BRM implementation a success. Since it’s all about people, every experience is different. There are just so many elements that can turn into challenges. So, what’s the secret ingredient? This is what Edwin Rodriguez Pazo, from USDA, shared with IT Chapter at the BRM Connect Conference in New Orleans, October 2019.



For Edwin, there are two key elements that helped his organization in the implementation of the strategic partnership. First, the executive support makes an absolute difference. It takes real BRM Philosophy believers at the executive level to understand and drive the change towards a culture of shared ownership. This is something very clear at USDA and one of the reasons why they are at a higher level of maturity in their strategic partnership. The second element is knowledge. The BRM Institute provides plenty of resources for organizations to use. The BRM team at USDA follow the BRM Institute Playbook and the Book of Knowledge. They use the guidelines and the tools to the point of holding their BRMs accountable for following this mandatory guidance.


Looking back at where it all began, Edwin recalls that the critical success factor was education. Educating USDA teams and Leaders by having a tailored workshop or simply having discussions around value and how they would implement BRM. This brought clarity around everyone’s role and it facilitated the advancement of the BRM capability. In other words, knowledge helped bring USDA on the same page.


What about the BRM team composition in such a big organization? Edwin explained to us, they actually have three levels of BRMs: The Apprentice, the Journey Man and a Chief BRM. Each of the levels has specific roles and correspond to a discipline: Business Relationship Managers, Business Relationship Architects and Business Analysts. This structure gives the USDA a full spectrum, from a Strategic Plan converged with the Technology Map, all the way down to the Business Process Model for the organization.


However, as Edwin says, dealing with people is complex. Having the tools, the knowledge and the structure doesn’t guaranty your success. The goal is to develop strategic alliances where all the planning on investments and technology benefits both. Tools provided by BRM Institute, such as the Strategic Relationship Improvement Plans, help USDA in targeting improvement areas to eliminate value-depleting silos and converge business functions.


Overall, you might be thinking that it’s easier said than done, and we’re not going to argue that! Still, let’s recall that BRM tools and techniques have proven to be successful. USDA is a great example out there. From our perspective, we can see how organizations can leverage all the resources and certifications offered by the BRM Institute. Are YOU willing to know how it could help your organization?

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