As a Product Analyst, Marsha Blobaum uses her vast array of technical and customer advocacy skills to throughly gather customer insight, present vetted data and user experiences to our Development and QA teams, establish feature request priorities and deliver real solutions back to our customers.
Plus, she's a wizard within the software and holds the honorary title of Queen of the Matrix. Learn more about Marsha in our third installment of Tiger Tales in which we highlight members of Team Tigerpaw:
How long have you worked at Tigerpaw and what brought you here?
This June, I will celebrate 11 years with Tigerpaw. When my husband retired from the Air Force back in 2007 and we moved back to the Bellevue area, I had spent the last few years in retail and I knew that I wanted to get back into a job where I was working in the IT field. I had previously worked for four years supporting a small software program for electric companies to gather meter readings. I kept my eye out and after a few months. I saw an ad for a position with Tigerpaw Software, Inc. for a Tech Support Technician and so began my Tigerpaw adventure, and what an adventure it has been.
Bonus points, my commute went from 30 to 45 minutes each way to 10 minutes! Love the gift of time!
What is the best thing about working at Tigerpaw?
Without a doubt, the people! Both the people I get the privilege of working with each day and the people I interact with over the phone, email or over our Community. I enjoy hearing how people use our software and discussing how we can improve. It is always a great feeling when I have championed a feature request on the behalf of a user and I get to tell them it is coming in the next release, as I know how much it will improve their day-to-day process at work.
As far as my fellow work peeps, we are truly a family here and we all have each other’s backs. I cannot imagine going anywhere else five days a week. We like to say we work hard and play hard. That is the truth.
You’re like the bridge between our developer geeks and our awesome customers. How does that process work?
I communicate in many ways with our partners that use Tigerpaw to run their business. We hold meetings with the Customer Advisory Group (CAG) and I receive frequent communication via email or phone as well as monitor the Feature Request of the Tigerpaw Community. I am open to discuss new features, how to come up with processes that might make things better, more streamlined or automated.
Do not be surprised if you receive a call or an email from requesting a meeting to discuss further if you place a request for a change in the software. The first stop is always the requestor(s). I like to gather the use case for any request and then do further research on what areas of the software are impacted as well as reach out to other users to gather more details on the use of the feature or change. Once all the research is completed, I sit down and write the user stories for our developers that give the details on what the Tigerpaw user would like the software to do for them. From there the developer assigned takes it over, but there is usually some back and forth during the development process.
We receive many requests and prioritizing the request is sometimes a challenge as there are limited resources each development cycle. We do our best to get the most popular requests to the top of the list and our stakeholders meet each month to discuss and prioritize our backlog for the next development cycle. Sometimes the size of a job is a factor due to the resources available. It is a fluid process and I see us getting better and better at it.
You know the software inside and out. What piece of advice would you give to users that would make their day-to-day jobs easier?
I like to give the one-step at a time process to people. I have always given the same advice, sit down and prioritize what area of the software makes sense for you to tackle first, second, third, etc. based on your use of the software. Then concentrate in that area and systematically become an expert, learning all you can in that area before moving on to the next area. After you get the basics down, move on to the more advanced features and automate as much as possible. The process of automation is critical to your ROI on Tigerpaw. Like I said earlier, love the gift of time!
When you aren't at Tigerpaw, what are you most likely doing?
Spending time with family and friends, most likely feeding them. I enjoy cooking and creating in the kitchen, and it is something that I like to share with those I love. I like to experiment in the kitchen. Sometimes I make things up from scratch, others I start with an existing recipe from someone else and then tweak it. But the most fun is trying something delicious in a restaurant and duplicating it at home. I appreciate the whole process of creation and it helps get my artsy side out. I love to cook. I get to cut things. You know, therapy.