Every service delivery role has had to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Technology Alignment Manager (TAM) is no different. The TAM (previously known as Net Admin) provides knowledge of the customer’s technology to the vCIO so a proper review of a customer’s IT environment can be completed.
The TAM Core consists of two items: Math and Process. The Math includes measurable drivers while the process contains priorities, steps, and tasks. The Results are the impact on the client, the business, and the person in the role. The Essence is the spirit of the role that ties the Core to the Results. The struggle for TAMs is to find a way to maintain the Essence in a remote environment.
Over the years, we’ve encouraged our members to do onsite alignment reviews of their customer’s IT environment because being onsite has multiple benefits. When you’re onsite, you’re visible. You may see or hear things of value. You get to know your client and your client gets to know you. Onsite reviews are ideal.
But the coronavirus crisis has changed the way we operate. We now must be more deliberate, visible and ensure processes are in place. Being disciplined when it comes to relationship management is key.
There are a few things to consider when maintaining the Essence of TAM in a remote environment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What you should know about the Essence of TAM
There’s more to being a TAM than just following processes and measuring drivers. If you stick to the basics, you’ll get the job done, but to be a great TAM, you must embody the Essence of the role and tie the Core to the Results. Go beyond what’s expected of you. When you do, your clients won’t forget.
Hold SOD, EOD meetings with your clients
Holding meetings at the start of the day (SOD) and end of the day (EOD) with your clients is one of the best ways to maintain your technical relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though some of your clients may resist at first, ask them to give it a shot. If they agree to your request, it’s up to you to keep them coming back. You can accomplish this by setting expectations upfront and staying true to your word.
These meetings should be brief (no longer than 10 minutes) and have agendas. They should also be held over Zoom or some other video conferencing solution (video calls humanize virtual communications). Also, avoid being too technical with your clients on these calls (e.g., stay away from explaining how many patches your team installed). Always aim to deliver value with your calls.
TAMs can use Microsoft Teams or other platforms to create a specific channel for TAM visits. It’s important to note that TAMs should set expectations around these virtual TAM visits. For example, TAMs should set a schedule of when they’ll be available to meet and stick to it. They must establish boundaries with their clients. For instance, they shouldn’t monitor the channel when they’re not scheduled for a TAM visit.
It’s possible to maintain the Essence of TAM in a remote environment if you communicate with your clients on an ongoing basis and are adding value where it counts!