Salesforce offers anyone with System Admin permissions great power to customize their Salesforce org. The Salesforce platform is so intuitive that anyone, including those without expert knowledge, can customize their pages. Unfortunately, with great power comes great responsibility. Many Salesforce admins attempting to customize their orgs aren’t very responsible and need a few Salesforce lessons to audit their activities.
From the stories on Org Confessions, a platform designed for Salesforce admins, developers, and consultants to air their frustrations and anonymously share their experiences, it’s evident that a lot of users are running into preventable challenges.
Let’s begin with a quick look at the leading causes of the painful and perhaps even hilarious experiences admins go through when attempting to customize their orgs.
If you study the complaints carefully, you’ll find that the four main challenges haven’t changed much over the years. The majority of admins struggle with business analysis (22.6%), architecture (20.6%), documentation (19.2%), and lifecycle implementation (15.5%). This adds up to 77.9% of all the complaints.
Indeed, you’ll find that most of the confessions are the same or revolve around the same Salesforce features and would be addressed by such admins getting some curated Salesforce lessons.
As already mentioned, the main issues in the confessions remain the same, although a few new concerns emerge in more recent submissions. The following is a summary of the main lessons and potential solutions;
Business analysis is a vital front-end activity that admins appreciate as a driver for better solutions on the Salesforce platform. Good analysis also increases adoption.
Admins and organizations that spend more time trying to understand what their users really need (rather than what you thought they need) are guaranteed better results, faster. These people also tend to save on related costs. It may seem that you’re taking too much time to get to the most important part – development. However, rest assured that once you’re ready to go, your roll-out will be much smoother and more rewarding.
Solution: There are now multiple resources to help you navigate the business analysis stage. For one, you can now access trailhead live sessions dedicated to analysis. You can also turn to the business analysis community group to answer any questions you may have. Finally, you can also consider the business analyst role in Trailhead.
Every organization needs solid Salesforce architecture and those organizations that ignored or undervalued. It’s nearly impossible to find a successful Salesforce implementation where the architecture is poor or where there was no architecture at all before the build started.
Getting the architecture setup right is therefore paramount. More importantly, architecture development should also happen at the beginning of the project. The challenge is that Salesforce architect and the related skills are difficult to come by.
Solution: Salesforce has rolled out more architecture certifications than ever before. You should strongly consider enrolling for these certifications to gain the required knowledge. Additionally, development teams are encouraged to consider the customer architect and CTA architecture trailblazer communities for answers to any questions they may have. The Salesforce architects blog is another resource worth checking out.
It looks like a lot of people are underestimating the need to document Salesforce org configurations. Indeed, very few organizations even bother to fill out the description field.
It’s important to remember that as the Salesforce platform expands in scope, lack of documentation can kill agility. Documents are a critical part of impact analyses that inform change. Without the relevant documents, every change requires a significant level of manual analysis. This can delay releases.
Solution: First off, org cleanup and optimization are now regular topics at TrailheaDX and Dreamforce. You should check out the two platforms to gather some insight. Secondly, the new DependencyAPI enables multi-level metadata impact analysis while Metadata API makes it possible to pull some org metadata from the org. You can use these APIs to build metadata dictionaries for the implementation lifecycle.
The leading cause of implementation lifecycle challenges is a combination of poorly designed or unnecessarily complicated implementation methodology and standards. Many people are joining the ecosystem with little or no background in systems implementation or change management and thus need to undergo serious training and get to learn the vital Salesforce lessons.
Such people are bound to struggle with implementation even after gaining certifications. At best, you can expect them to fumble their way to a release – thus longer release cycles. At worst, they put the entire org at risk.
Solution: There are multiple solutions to consider. The Trailhead Live training program on implementation lifecycles would be a good start. Other than that, check out the Center for Excellent Trailblazer Community Group. This community brings together heads of COE and DevOps who meet and discuss best practices.
Reason to Smile
There shouldn’t be any alarm if you run into issues with business analysis, architecture, documentation, or even lifecycle implementation. In many cases, it’s a learning curve. Better still, there are endless resources, from training programs to Salesforce certifications and user communities to help you find answers and learn critical Salesforce Lessons to help you solve the challenges you face.