I’ve been working in Salesforce since 2008. And the platform has been around since 2000, which means there could be some Salesforce orgs out there that are 15 years old! That’s ANCIENT in the technology world. A lot of the customers I’ve been working with lately have orgs that are 5+ years old, and they’ve been coming to me and asking, “Hey, how are we doing?”
This got me thinking about Salesforce checkups. It’s much like how we go to the doctor for an annual checkup, even if we’re feeling fine. The same rule applies to our oral health–most of us go to the dentist to get our teeth cleaned even though we brush and floss every day at home. Having a professional give an objective assessment of their observations can save us from a lot of problems down the road–particularly for those situations in which there are no apparent symptoms. Dental x-rays are a great example of this type of proactive health care. They can identify a cavity or risk spot years before it becomes a hole in your tooth and causes a major toothache.
My conversations with my customers and prospects lately have all been leading me down this path: How can I help a company perform an assessment like this? But also, how can I help their onsite Admin get positioned to better manage their Salesforce org afterward? So, without further ado, I’ll share some of the things that I recommend to my customers and have also been actively helping them manage:
When was the last time you gathered data from your users? Not just anecdotal observations made during SABWA (Salesforce Administration By Walking Around), but actual feedback that identifies areas for improvement. When did you last poll your users to collect information and analyze that data to help steer your actions? Here’s my favorite tool for this important task: http://www.getfeedback.com
Much like that precautionary checkup or dental visit, have you used your x-ray machine to evaluate how things are going in your Salesforce org? Reviewed installed packages and versions? Run Field Trip on your objects to determine how fields are being used? Analyzed the data for duplicates? Documented the results? Validated code coverage so you don’t have deployment challenges in the future? Audited workflow rules, processes, and validation rules to make sure they’re still relevant? Checked page layouts to make sure they’re efficient and audited licenses and user login history? There is a lot of information that can be gathered by running these exercises.
I bet you a wooden nickel that when your Salesforce org was originally implemented, everyone had high hopes and lofty expectations. Hopefully those are all being exceeded. However, that begs the question: When was the last time you audited what Salesforce is accomplishing vs. what was originally promised? If Salesforce was supposed to be the equivalent of a marathon runner but is barely able to complete a 5K, I wonder if some adjustments are in order.
Are all of your training documents and technical documents findable, organized, and readable? Do users know where to locate critical how-tos, and if they do, are they up to date? Do you have a strategy to manage documentation in the future?
Talk to the Boss
Reviewing all of the above will produce results. Sharing these results with your stakeholders can help them differentiate between the vision and the current state of your Salesforce org and gain a more thorough understanding of any issues. It can also help you get some buy-in on recommended strategies that will aid your organization in continuing to improve and expand its use of Salesforce (or any technology, for that matter).
Yes, we do all of the above.
The content of this post has a goal–to give you something to think about. Consider putting an evaluation like this in place for your company. If you can do it, DO IT. And if you think you need help getting this off the ground, we should talk. Red Argyle has worked with hundreds of customers. We know the best practices and how Salesforce likes to work, and we can help you organize, learn, and craft a long-term strategy for your Salesforce org.