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BLOG: Celanese CIO discusses how to develop 'business relationship managers'

Martha Heller | June 14, 2013
Celanese CIO Mike Jackson discusses his strategy for building a business relationship manager organization and establishing a simple process for post-implementation project review.

How do you know your BRM organization is successful?
I get some of that information through informal conversations with our business executives, but we also have a post implementation review process to learn whether our projects delivered on the value that we thought they would. But maybe more than anything else is the fact that in three years we've had several BRMs move from IT into roles in the businesses.

The majority of companies do not do post-implementation audits because of the complexity and time constraints of the process. How do you get around those obstacles?
When I came on board, we did not have a formal post-project audit process, and I knew we needed one, so I said to my IT finance manager, "Let's not overthink this; just create a quick process with a few basic numbers to measure.  We'll bring in the business sponsor and have a straight-forward dialogue about the benefits achieved versus what was in the original business case." So far, this quick, simple process has been effective.

Do you have any advice to CIOs who would like to establish a post implementation audit process?
Start small.  Engage the business executives who are interested enough to be a part of the process. In our case, we went to the finance leaders of each business area and set the expectation that when we start the next project, a post-project review will be a part of the process.  Let them know that after the project is complete, you'll be back, but that the process won't be an onerous accounting exercise -- just a few people talking and coming back with a credible story that is simple and direct: did we get the returns - both qualitative and quantitative - we intended? And what did we learn?

 

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