It’s been a running joke between Tom and I that when a client or prospect says something is “Pretty Straightforward”, it almost never is. After mulling this over in my mind recently, I figured a blog was in order to share my thoughts as a business analyst and consultant on the topic, and hopefully help increase awareness of the hidden complexity that lies in any process.
Admins – this blog is for you! If you feel like something is straightforward, think about the rubric shared below. It is guaranteed to help round out your proposed solution.
Consultants – this blog is for you! If a customer says “It’s pretty straightforward” don’t believe them until you’ve consulted the rubric below!
I’ll make up an allegorical example for the purposes of this post, but hopefully it shines some light on this topic. Let’s say a customer or prospect says “I want to hire you to add a workflow rule to my org. It’s pretty straightforward, all you need to do is change the Account Type to “Customer” when they close a deal.”
Wow, it sounds simple. I bet you already architected the workflow rule in your head. When an Opportunity is modified and did not meet the previous criteria, update the related account type field to the Customer status. I bet you could jam that into the org in 15 minutes. Even 5 minutes! You’re going to be a hero!!! Wait, hold the phone….
This is the part where you need to check yourself. Let’s peel back the union and followup with these questions. This chart shares some points to check along with the reason why I would want to ask these questions. By no means does it contain every question, but hopefully this line of thinking helps you get clarification and avoid a deploycastrophe.
[table id=1 /]
The wrong answer in any of these situations could present you, the admin or consultant with a minefield to dance through or architect around. Or at least validate/test that there are not other related processes that will be negatively impacted.
So sure – that 15 minute fix now takes a day, but a day in advance vs. multiple support tickets from users with broken functionality is time well spent, and as a consultant we never want to have our customers go through that.
So remember, it’s not ever straightforward. Salesforce makes it easy to apply a technical solution, for sure. But no software application, ever, will be able to understand a business process and a stakeholders’ intent when looking to implement something new.
I hope this table is helpful as you’re evaluating features and functionality. It is but one small part of the mindset that we have at Red Argyle to a considered and reliable approach to delivering great work that makes our clients happy.