Celebrating Three Years at Sprout Social

It’s hard to believe it, but today is my 3-year anniversary at Sprout Social. Anyone who’s worked with me before knows that I’m passionate about design systems, and the role I originally applied for was to be a Product Design Manager on that team. I shared in my interview that a design system is a horizontal (cross-cutting) product and that I love working on all product problems – both horizontal and vertical.

Publishing zone group photoThe Sprout Publishing Zone at our Q4 Onsite

When I got my offer, it wasn’t for Design Systems, but to join the Publishing Zone. I would have the opportunity to serve the designers iterating on some of the most fundamental functionality of Sprout – compose, scheduling, calendars, approval workflows, asset library, advocacy, and much much more. I dove right in and still couldn’t be happier with the dynamic problems we’re focused on or the amazing individuals I get to work with in my zone and across our product design org as well.

In January, I was asked to present to Sprout’s entire product org as part of our annual kickoff. In my short talk, I explained that the teams working on the functionality we sell to customers (including Publishing) could be represented as vertical bars, and I showed a slide with just those bars. Then, I shared the parable of the blink monks and an elephant describing how if we focused solely on those vertical bars, we’d end up building a suite of confusing, inconsistent, siloed experiences.

Slide showing the Sprout tapestry I described.

Horizontal and vertical bars that represent most of our product org.

As much as I love what I do, none of it would be possible without the ever-improving foundation created by our horizontal zones. As I look back at some of the stunning solutions we’ve shipped and forward at all the exciting challenges ahead on our roadmap, I’m still very grateful to have landed where I did. I’m just as grateful though, to be at an organization that invests as much as Sprout does in the essential, horizontal product work that ties all of our efforts together.

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