Jeff Spitulnik is part of the product management team at Lithium. He joined Lithium in April 2012 from IBM, where he was part of the BigFix product management team building innovative endpoint management and security products now in use on tens of millions of computers and mobile devices around the world. Jeff has a wide range of experience innovating in social, consumer, and enterprise web technologies having served product management roles at BigFix (acquired by IBM), Documentum (acquired by EMC), Razorfish, and Borders Group. As part of his graduate research at the University of Michigan, Jeff studied the use of collaborative technologies and technology-enabled communities of practice. Jeff is an avid soccer player and youth soccer and lacrosse coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can follow him on Twitter at @spitulnik.
Here at Lithium, we take our community of customers seriously – you are the engines that inspire us to innovate and you motivate us to deliver great tools and technologies to help you provide the most amazing customer experiences on the planet. This is why I’m excited to announce a revamp of the Lithosphere Customer Ideas area. We love to hear your thoughts and ideas about Lithium products – what you’re doing with them, what your wishes and desires are, and what we can do to make them even better.
Your insights and feedback are both rewarding and challenging for us, and we want the Ideas area to be the premier place to collaborate directly with you. This type of exchange is critical to our mutual success and it is fundamental to the agile product development methods we use at Lithium. The Lithium Product Team and Lithium Brand Nation: taking customer’s success personally and building products we’re proud of together.
The first change you may have noticed about the Customer Ideas area is we’ve updated the submission guidelines and statuses. The concept here is to have a stronger, more definitive process – we want to be a lot more clear and responsive, especially on the items that influence our roadmap and get delivered to the market. We're committing to be a lot more active and approachable in the Ideas area so you can comfortably post your thoughts and know you’ll get a response from us or from the community.
However, please have some patience. It's going to take us some time to get that area “cleaned up,” but our ultimate goal – to keep things moving through and have a clear status set for every item in a timely manner – is within reach. Once you’ve had a chance to review the new submission guidelines and status, drop us a comment or two with your thoughts and questions. And in the coming months, look forward to a crisp workflow emerging as we catch up and stay in sync with you.
Also, on a related and final note – and we’ll expound on this in a future article – we’ve been busy evolving several parts our product development lifecycle process. You might already know we’re an active agile scrum shop. In fact, if you know agile, you might recognize the user story format we now suggest you use when submitting into the Ideas area. We’ve recently moved to a more aggressive sprint pace, added more teams, and we’ve re-upped our training and commitment to building and maintaining the expertise to continue to benefit from some of the greatest aspects of agile. Specifically, agile allows us to collaborate more closely with you, our customers, and respond quickly to change.
In our marketplace – and by “our” I mean the social business technology space where Lithium plays and the socially-driven marketplace where our customers play – being agile is a competitive advantage and a necessity. Some say that to continue to innovate and survive in the modern economy, we must be ruthlessly agile. We recognize this as we endeavor to help the world’s best brands cultivate the world’s best customers, and the world’s best customers develop the world’s best brands, including our own brand of great Lithium products.