Empowering The Strengths of Everyone

Service Delivery Management - Account Managers do what exactly?

Microsoft TAM: Responsibilities


Microsoft  Enterprise Services help customers realize their full potential through  accelerated adoption and productive use of Microsoft technologies and  solutions to meet their individual and unique business needs. We are a  team of exceptional people who deliver world class services with  partners, earning customer confidence, trust, and loyalty by Improving  the overall Customer and Partner Experience, serving as the customer  advocates within Microsoft and driving customer-centric product improvement


The  Premier Technical Account Manager (TAM) acts as a trusted business  advisor to Microsoft’s Premier Support customers, providing Premier  Support Services aligned to the customer’s priorities in order to  maximize the business value of their Microsoft investment. The TAM is  the only front-line customer facing support role within the Services  organization. The TAM is responsible for the overall growth, quality and satisfaction of the customer’s support services relationship. A successful TAM consistently exhibits the following attributes:  

CUSTOMER – Creates a trusted advisor relationship  with key stakeholders within the customer organization, including the  IT Directors, CTO, CIO and LOB leaders as well as technology  professionals
The  TAM demonstrates a deep understanding of the market forces affecting  our customers and offers insight into new ways Microsoft can provide  greater value. The TAM must be a change agent by articulating the case  for change and helping the customer realize the improved business impact of appropriate use of Microsoft Support services.  

BUSINESS  –The TAM is responsible for sustainable growth through routinely  partnering with Services Sales and other Services personnel to  strategize on ways to create new opportunities within the accounts they  service. The TAM is responsible for the profitability of our services  through portfolio management including contract consumption, contribution margin, operational expense management, and revenue growth, all in a manner consistent with Microsoft’s legal, fiscal and personnel policies.  

DELIVERY  – The TAM must be proficient in understanding the entire support  services portfolio and can articulate the value of these services to our  customers. The TAM will partner with our customers to ascertain their  IT priorities in order to set a long-term strategy for service delivery  that aligns to their business objectives. The TAM must be literate and  conversant on the Microsoft technology, method and procedures for its  application. The TAM is responsible for excellent delivery of services  across entire support lifecycle, including Service Delivery Planning, Service Delivery Management, Incident Management / Escalations and Proactive Remediation Services.  

LEADERSHIP  – This role requires strong communications skills and imaginative, bold  thinking in all situations. The TAM must be able to lead teams  comprised of Microsoft, Partner and customer resources engaged in the  delivery of complex solutions that result in a One Microsoft approach. The TAM must display Executive presence and confidence to manage executive relationships internally and with the customer to create business transformation.

It all starts with knowing your product, then understanding how your solutions can be "embedded."
It all starts with knowing your product, then understanding how your solutions can be "embedded."

TAM Review

 A prospective Technical Account Manager at Microsoft should have a good understanding of the company and position. 

 This list includes: Basic reviews of the position, company, and an overview of the Microsoft Premier Support deck.

TAM Research Docs

An Aspiring TAM must demonstrate deep understanding of market forces affecting customers and be able to offer insight into new ways Microsoft can provide greater value. The below list represents a snapshot of the resources I am analyzing to prepare for this role.

Portfolio - Live Build - TAMLIFE V.1.5

Releasing the following documents September-November, '19

  30-60-90 Plan (Released August 2)

  100-180 Extended Plan  


Personal Learning and Development Plan  

Continuous Improvement Plan  

  Service Delivery Goals  

 • Service Delivery Design/Outline  

  Account Management Best Practices

  Customer Relationship and Account Management Engagement Schedule    

During an interview, we'll review my All-in-One TAM Resume Portfolio & Playbook + SDLC docs.
During an interview, we'll review my All-in-One TAM Resume Portfolio & Playbook + SDLC docs.

TAMLife V.1.5 (More coming July-Sept 2019)

Understanding the TAM


Link to repository of public-facing documents about the TAM's SDLC and my vision of success.

From Microsoft:

We've noticed that successful candidates don't stop at understanding the position they're interviewing for. They  gain a thorough, high-level understanding of Microsoft as a business  and learn how their desired position contributes to working as one to  empower billions. 

Career Path


In connection to my PDP, this will link to a long-term career path, laying out how I plan to use my education to empower others to change the world. 

 From Microsoft: 

The  most valuable candidate will think outside the box and have a vision  beyond the role they’re applying for. This vision extends to where they  want to grow within Microsoft. Read about different career paths by  visiting Microsoft Life.

Testimonials and References


This will link to a collection of references, recommendation letters (see image above!) and LinkedIn referrals.

 From Microsoft: 

 Be prepared to answer questions related to professional relationships you maintained with former supervisors and colleagues. 

Creating Desire


This will link to a doc explaining where my internal motivation comes from and how my growth mindset helps others increase their potential by working through or with me.

  From Microsoft: 

We  look for a strong desire to learn, intelligence, a passion for  technology, a willingness to work hard, rock-solid skills, an  entrepreneurial spirit, and a desire to be the best. 

My Solutions


This will link to a page on best practices - part of the document created above named "Account Management Best Practices"

 From Microsoft:  

 Be  prepared to speak about how you solved a job-specific issue, design  question, or problem-solving puzzle. We're interested in how your mind  works, how you find solutions, and how you articulate your thought  process. 

The Industry Today


This will link to Microsoft pages on where they are in the industry for reference and review purposes. (see industry research)

 From Microsoft:  

 Great  candidates have an idea of what's happening in the tech industry. It's  good to know what Microsoft is doing well, and how we can make ourselves stand out from the competition. 

Analysis (More coming July - Sept '19)

Geoffrey Owen_Resume_MS TAM_07.31.2019 (docx)


Geoffrey Owen_References_MS TAM_Job 668258 (pdf)


Geoffrey Owen Writing Sample 1 - MS TAM_Job 668258 (pdf)


Geoffrey Owen Writing Sample 2 - MS TAM_Job 668258 (pdf)


Geoffrey Owen Writing Sample 3 - MS TAM_Job 668258 (pdf)


Geoffrey Owen Writing Sample 4 - MS TAM_Job 668258 (pdf)


30-60-90-Day_Action_Plan (pdf)


Books: Reading for Life (List updated Monthly)


     The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change - Covey, Stephen R.  (x10 read)

    Conversations that Get Results and Inspire Collaboration: Engage Your Team, Your Peers, and Your Manager to Take Action - Shawn Kent Hayashi

      Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life - Tony Dungy and Nathan Whitaker

      Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future - Ashlee Vance

     AUDIBLE -  Imagine It Forward  - Beth Comstock, Tahl Raz 

     AUDIBLE -  The Power of Now  - Eckhart Tolle 

    AUDIBLE -  A New Earth  - Eckhart Tolle 

    AUDIBLE -  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People & The 8th Habit (Special 3-Hour Abridgement)  - Stephen R. Covey 

    AUDIBLE -  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People  - Stephen R. Covey 

    AUDIBLE -  Power Moves  - Adam Grant 

    AUDIBLE -  Rich Dad Poor Dad  - Robert T. Kiyosaki 

    AUDIBLE -  The Plant Paradox  - Steven R. Gundry MD 

  AUDIBLE -  Hi Bob!  - Bob Newhart 

  AUDIBLE -  Agile - Jason Bennett, Jennifer Bowen 

  AUDIBLE -  Speaking As a Leader  - Judith Humphrey 


    A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)–Sixth Edition - Project Management Institute  

     Crossing the Chasm  - Geoffrey A. Moore 

   The Motley Fool Investment Guide: Third Edition: How the Fools Beat Wall Street's Wise Men and How You Can Too - by Tom Gardner and David Gardner

    AUDBILE -  Woo, Wow, and Win  - Thomas A. Stewart, Patricia O'Connell 

    AUDIBLE -  Imagine It Forward  - Beth Comstock, Tahl Raz 


     The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management (4th Edition)– by Eric Verzuh 

     The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right , Gawande, Atul

    The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels - Michael Watkins

    Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High - Kerry Patterson , Joseph Grenny

    301 Best Questions to Ask on Your Interview, Second Edition - by John Kador 

    AUDIBLE -  The Laws of Human Nature  - Robert Greene 

Books: Agile Reading LisT

    The Scrum Guide, November 2017 update: http://scrumguides.org/docs/scrumguide/v2017/2017-Scrum-Guide-US.pdf#zoom=100

    Scrum origins: The Harvard Business Review paper that originally used “Scrum" as an analogy for self-organizing team ingenuity:


    Agile Forecasting and Agile Contracts

Macro Measurements (forecasting for agile development):  http://scrumreferencecard.com/MacroMeasurementWhitepaper.pdf

    Agile Contracts: The Evolutionary Contract Model (Scrum Gathering London 2011 presentation by Susan Atkinson): https://www.agileconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/The-Evolutionary-Contract-Model.pdf

Making Scrum Stick in Regulated Industries (Agile Agile 2013 presentation by Laszlo Szalvay and Pat Reed.) Pat Reed is working to promote updates to Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP) to recognize & accommodate agile development approaches.


    Continuous Design/Integration/Emergent Architecture & Design

A short continuous design/emergent design/emergent architecture paper is here: http://www.martinfowler.com/ieeeSoftware/continuousDesign.pdf

Continuous Integration is discussed here:  http://martinfowler.com/articles/continuousIntegration.html

    Refactoring: Improving The Design of Existing Code, Martin Fowler, 1999

    Craig Larman (of Scaling Lean & Agile Development fame) on Emergent Architecture & Design: http://www.less.works/less/technical-excellence/architecture-design.html

    UX Design and Scrum - Where does UX Design fit with Scrum? http://blogs.collab.net/agile/is-ui-work-or-requirements#.Vg6E5Ka4AZg

    Large-Scale Scrum - www.less.works


Organizational Transformation

    Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, 1990

    Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency, Tom DeMarco, 2001

    Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration, Keith Sawyer, 2007

    Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great, Derby/Larsen, 2006

    Dan Pink's TED Talk in 2009 summarizing his arguments he later published in his 2011 book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrkrvAUbU9Y

Agile Product Development

    Scaling Lean & Agile Development, Craig Larman and Bas Vodde, 2008

    Extreme Programming Explained, Kent Beck, 2000

    Test Driven Development: By Example, Kent Beck, 2003

    Working Effectively with Legacy Code, Michael Feathers, 2004

Evidence that Performance Reviews, Incentive Pay, and other typical HR practices  may harm your business

    What HR Doesn’t Know About Scrum: http://scrumreferencecard.com/WhatHRDoesntKnowAboutScrum_BetterSoftwareMagazine.pdf

    Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes, Kohn, 1993

    Abolishing Performance Appraisals: Why They Backfire and What To Do Instead, Coens/Jenkins, 2000

    Popular Personality Test MTBI may not yet be able to support the claims its promoters make:


Antipatterns: Behaviors to Avoid! 

    Mini-waterfalls within or across Sprints: The Staggered Iterative Waterfall, parts 1 and 2



    Product Owner as glorified BA and other proxies