Smart Salesforce Architecture: Key Strategies

salesforce architecture

Welcome to the world of smart Salesforce architecture! In this blog, we’re going to take a look at how to design a strong and smart Salesforce org using the Well-Architected framework. Think of it as your guide to designing a healthy Salesforce org, that provides value fast and can grow with the business.

Our key strategies – Plan, Optimize, and Document – will guide you through this journey. Planning involves carefully monitoring changes and thoroughly understanding your org. Optimizing is about eliminating clutter (technical debt), embracing newer tools like Flows, and ensuring seamless communication between different parts of your org. And Documenting involves creating clear records of all processes and configurations, essential for maintenance, knowledge transfer, and future scalability of the system.

Remember, creating great Salesforce apps is about more than just coding and setup. It’s a holistic process where each decision impacts the overall efficiency and functionality.

Salesforce Well-Architected Framework

The Salesforce Well-Architected Framework is designed to guide Salesforce professionals in creating solutions that are trusted, easy to use, and adaptable, all of which is essential for any robust Salesforce implementation.

The Salesforce Well-Architected Framework is built on three fundamental pillars: Trusted, Easy, and Adaptable. Each pillar is crucial to the overall success and longevity of the system.

1. Trusted pillar – this ensures that every solution is secure, compliant, and reliable. This foundation is critical for safeguarding data and maintaining user confidence.

2. Easy pillar – this emphasizes the need for simplicity, automation, and engaging experiences. Solutions that are easy to understand and use, gain higher adoption rates, while automated processes reduce errors and operational overhead.

3. Adaptable solutions – these are key in an ever-changing business environment. They are resilient, allowing for flexible modifications and scalability. This adaptability ensures that Salesforce solutions can keep pace with business growth and technological advancements.

The key to successfully implementing these pillars within the Salesforce Well-Architected Framework lies in the disciplined practice of planning, optimizing, and documenting. Together, these practices create a structured approach to developing smart Salesforce solutions that are as enduring as they are effective.

Best Practices for Salesforce Architecture

Strategic Planning: Blueprinting Success

To excel in Salesforce, planning for change is essential. It means getting ready for future updates and aligning them with what your business needs. Good planning involves having a solid plan for making changes, knowing what changes need to be made, and figuring out how they’ll affect your Salesforce world.

Let’s break down the key steps of strategic planning in Salesforce to ensure your system is effectively adapting to change and meeting business needs:

  • Define the Change Management process: The journey begins with establishing a clear change management protocol. This involves detailing the sequence of actions, identifying key players, and assigning specific duties for overseeing the evolution of your Salesforce org.
  • Identify change requests: To adapt responsively, you must have a reliable system for capturing and categorizing change requests from all stakeholders. Whether it’s a minor tweak or a major overhaul, understanding what’s on the table allows for informed decision-making and prioritization.
  • Evaluate impact and feasibility: Every change request should undergo  thorough impact analysis. Assess how each modification might affect your current Salesforce setup, including the potential ripple effects on processes, data integrity, and the overall user experience. Panaya ForeSight significantly enhances this process by providing immediate X-RAY visibility into your Sandbox and Production orgs. Furthermore, ForeSight enables a clearer understanding of potential outcomes and risks, thereby facilitating more informed and strategic decision-making in your change management process.
  • Plan and prioritize: Effective planning doesn’t stop at assessment—it extends into accurate scheduling and resource allocation. Understanding the time and effort required for each change, and then stacking them in order of importance and urgency, ensures that your Salesforce org lives in harmony with business priorities.
  • Test in Sandbox: Salesforce sandboxes are invaluable for validating changes without risking your live environment. This controlled testing ground is where you can experiment, tweak, and fine-tune to perfection before making any changes public.
  • Post-change monitoring: The cycle of planning is never truly complete without post-implementation monitoring. Keep a close watch on the outcomes of your changes, and actively seek out feedback. This continuous loop of monitoring and adjusting paves the way for a smart Salesforce architecture that not only responds to the present but is ready for the future.

Building a Knowledge Foundation: Documenting Your Salesforce Org

Documenting in Salesforce architecture is a critical practice that transforms the complexity of your Salesforce org into a clear, accessible, and manageable format. It’s about creating a comprehensive and understandable outline of your system’s processes and components. With the integration of innovative tools like ForeSight ExplAIn, the task of documenting your Salesforce org becomes significantly easier and more efficient.

Let’s take a look at the essentials of documenting your Salesforce system, and the tools that will help you make it a source of clarity and strategic advantage.

  • Ongoing Updates: The foundation of solid documentation is to continuously create and update records detailing your org’s processes and components.
  • Utilizing Data Tools: Employ a Data Dictionary or Salesforce Workbook to document key elements like field help, descriptions, and a comprehensive list of objects and their interrelations.
  • Create Process Flows: Create a visual map of the sequence and interactions of work processes, including business requirements and user interactions. Make sure you document components related to Salesforce’s UI, such as: Dynamic Forms, Screen Flows, Lightning Web Components, and Web forms on community pages.
  • Understand and document metadata customizations with ForeSight ExplAIn: Understanding metadata customizations can be very challenging, especially in a Salesforce org that you might not be fully familiar with, such as one you’ve inherited or an older, heavily customized org. Tools like ForeSight ExplAIn play a pivotal role in this scenario. They provide an easy way to comprehend the various components, code, and customizations present in the org. ForeSight ExplAIn offers clear, concise explanations of these elements. This tool not only aids in unraveling the complexities of the existing setup but also simplifies the creation of documentation for future users. By quickly copying explanations generated by ForeSight ExplAIn, you can efficiently produce a detailed and understandable guide to the org’s customizations, making it easier for anyone who works with the org after you to grasp its architecture and continue its development effectively.

Optimizing Your Salesforce Org: A Continuous Journey

Optimization in Salesforce architecture is a critical ongoing process, not just a one-time task. It involves regularly identifying and eliminating technical debt to ensure your Salesforce org remains efficient and effective. The causes for technical debt can include outdated processes, unused fields, or redundant code.

Let’s review some free and paid tools that will help you maintain a lean and well-functioning Salesforce environment:

  • Schema Lister or Salesforce DevTools enables you to export lists of fields to Excel, making it easier to analyze, spot and remove unnecessary components.
  • Org Check is a free app from Salesforce Labs that helps you look at components such as: Objects, Custom Fields, Automations, Custom Labels, Visual Components, Apex and more. It allows you to easily find out if something is used or not used; when it was created, or last modified, to name a few.
  • Salesforce Optimizer is a tool takes a snapshot of your Salesforce org and looks for potential problems in your implementation. It provides recommendations for feature improvement, clean up customizations and reducing complexity.
  • Panaya ForeSight is a solution makes the process of optimizing and reducing technical debt straightforward and efficient. It identifies areas of improvement by highlighting underused or outdated custom fields and inactive components. With features like impact analysis, ForeSight ensures safe removal of these elements without disrupting your Salesforce org’s functionality. This tool streamlines the audit and cleanup process, enabling a more optimized and effective Salesforce environment with minimal effort.

Where Smart Salesforce Architecture can take you

Smart Salesforce architecture is a journey of continuous learning, adapting, and refining. It requires a keen eye for detail, an understanding of the broader business context, and the ability to foresee and plan for the future. By mastering the art of planning, optimizing, and documenting within the Salesforce Well-Architected Framework, professionals can ensure that their Salesforce org is not just a collection of features and functionalities but a strategic tool that drives business growth and success.

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