Salesforce Project Management has always been a positive experience. Nevertheless, there has been an even bigger push in recent years at Salesforce to make the system more user-friendly. You can see this in the lightning-fast UI—not just for the day-to-day users but the admins and devs as well. More and more businesses are finding that they can get started with Salesforce straight away with very little changes!
However, there will definitely be some needed tweaks to make the system better adapt to your processes. Sometimes you may think “Well this should be simple” or “What’s the worst that can happen?” when looking at making changes in Salesforce. It’s true that sometimes implementing Salesforce is easy and nothing goes wrong. But because of Salesforce’s ever-growing system, you could face problems down the road. And if you’re dealing with a more complicated change, you could quite easily do something that breaks part of the system.
What Can I Do?
There’s no reason why you can’t do some stuff yourself, especially if you’ve had some Salesforce admin experience in the past. There are many parts of Salesforce that are simple to implement and some if you follow the right steps, that can be performed straight into your production org.
Salesforce releases massive updates three times a year; it’s always changing! So it’s worth taking some time to research and train on what it is you’re looking to do. Again, some changes are low impact and very easy to implement. Other items like changing page layouts or adding fields can be done as long as you understand the impact and risks tied to those changes; we’ll talk about this a bit more below.
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Get Some Help
There are a lot of really good tools out there to help you perform some DIY Salesforce changes. Start with using some freebies, like Trailhead as a how-to guide for your changes. Trailhead is Salesforce’s official FREE online training center and has a huge number of step-by-step guides to pretty much everything on Salesforce. There is also the Salesforce Optimizer, which you can run to get information about how your company uses Salesforce and areas that you can improve.
You can then look at getting something from the AppExchange or installing other tools made specifically to help you manage your Salesforce system, like Panaya ForeSight for Salesforce. These will help you assess your changes and how they will impact your organization as well as help you create a plan for them to be released. Understanding the impact is key when thinking about making a change, since Salesforce focuses on making a fluid connected experience. And because of this focus, everything tends to be connected!
Salesforce Project Management: Is There a Better Way?
There usually is, and this would be one of the big reasons for getting an experienced professional to work with you in-house. Most of these people will have experienced many different business processes and found those which work really well—and those which don’t. Why not capitalize on their business successes and mistakes? There can be many ways to perform changes in Salesforce. Sometimes the way you think is best isn’t always right and may also have unwanted impacts further down the line. Here we’ll take a look at the options you have to take advantage of professional help to get the job done right.
This option will depend on the size of your company and the number/complexity of the projects your planning on doing for your org. Currently, the demand for experienced Salesforce devs/admins is massive, making it very expensive and difficult to find the right person—or people—to manage your system. Due to the sheer amount of Salesforce’s product tool options, if you use more than one product, you may find it difficult to find people with specializations to cover them all.
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For small businesses, it tends to be most cost-effective if you get your Salesforce instance to a point where it is near perfect (very difficult I know!) via projects with contractors or partners. Then find yourself a Salesforce admin to maintain your org going forward. For larger businesses, it may be worth the cost, in the long run, to look for specialists in each of the Salesforce product areas that you use. Most large businesses will implement Salesforce for many areas of their business and therefore need constant configuration and development.
It can be a good idea to hire contractors if you need to get a specialist to help you complete a specific project that you cannot complete with the Salesforce resources you already have. Contractors tend to have a vast amount of experience covering multiple Salesforce product areas. The key with contractors is to make sure you get exactly the people you need. As you may know, contractors are fairly expensive. So, the best approach is to find contractors for specific roles/tasks in your project. For example, find a consultant (who will be fairly expensive) to help you design and manage the project, then hire devs or admins to do the build. This way, you won’t be paying high rates to the consultant for doing the build work where a separate dev may be a lot cheaper.
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Salesforce has a list of “preferred” partners they use for each of their products. These people are specialists and have to meet certain requirements to obtain their partner membership. This includes proven project results, a number of certifications, and high customer review scores. Your Salesforce Account Executive will be able to help you find the right partner for you.
Alternatively, you can look around yourself; however, this can result in finding smaller consultancies that don’t have the proven track record Salesforce demands from their consulting partners. This can be cheaper but risky, as they don’t need to adhere to Salesforce’s partner rules, which ensure quality control over projects performed. You can look through registered partners here. Don’t forget to filter to your area, as it’s always nice to work with someone local!
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Lastly, there are a number of great tools, like Panaya ForeSight for Salesforce, that you can use to help with deployments. These are great to use alongside the other options. This is especially the case if you choose to have contractors or an employee, as they allow you to manage your deployment projects and reduce the risk of any changes negatively impacting your system. You may find that a lot of Salesforce partners actually insist on using tools like these during projects they take on as well.
Have a look at some other great tools you can use for Salesforce projects here.
Ultimately, if you don’t really know what you’re doing, find someone who does. In the end, even if you can eventually figure out how to do something yourself in Salesforce, it would probably have been far quicker for an experienced professional to do it. Time is money, and your time could be better spent helping your business in other ways. This is why Salesforce professionals exist! It’s likely you will save time, money, and reduce risk by finding a pro to help you with Salesforce.