18 Mar The Salesforce Admin’s Hack – BPR to Delivery
In this article, my goal is to help Salesforce administrators understand an organisation’s business, identify the inherent issues and deliver solutions in order to drive sales. The process begins with the BPR (business process review) and ends with happy users.
As a Salesforce administrator, you have to wear many hats, there is no denying that. You chit-chat with Sales, Marketing, Engineering, HR, Accounting and every other department in your company in order to get things done. And when these departments want Salesforce to deliver something specific, it is time for you to put on your analyst hat.
As a consultant, I have worked with many different companies. Therefore, I have been in your shoes many times, meaning I have had to wear my analyst hat. As a result, I have learned a few lessons the hard way. I have now developed a hack that I want to share with you. It will get you to where you need to be, as well as save you time and money. You also get to skip the hard lessons.
This is an unpretentious, modest framework, but I can assure you it will get the job done. The time you will need to spend in each segment will depend on the scope of the project. Obviously the bigger the project, the more time you will have to invest on each segment.
So here it goes, 1, 2, and 3, it is that simple:
- SOURCE – The 5 Ws and How.
Being thorough is key when you are in this stage. I cannot stress enough how important it is to invest your time and focus your attention here. Suffice to say that almost all my hard lessons happened here. I should have asked more questions. Today, I have an easy way to ensure that I have all the details I need – I simply follow the 5 Ws and How: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How?
Who – has this need? Speak directly (or through the key stakeholder) with everyone involved. They are likely to span several departments.
What – are the specificities of the need? What are the exact pain points? You will need input from each person you identified in the “Who” above. I predict this will take up most of your time.
When – are the deadlines, if any? Are there other pending events that might impact your work (scheduled training sessions, expiring licenses, expiring contracts, vacations, conferences, tradeshows, etc.)?
Where – can you do the work? Is it a physical location, on site or online? What are the technical constraints, is the environment in Production or is it a sand box? If it is going to be a sand box, is it the same version as the production environment and will you be able to test external integrations within this sand box?
Why – do the users want this requirement? Why is it important that they find a solution? In other words, why are they willing to spend big money to resolve this? Is a Salesforce solution really what they need?
How – this is your segue to the next segment.
- SOLVE – The “How”
Deliberate – Allocate a good amount of time to think about the solution you will bring to the table. Be sure to identify process gaps and risks. Do not be shy about asking experts that you know, community groups, forums, developers and others for their input. Do not assume ruminating and discussing your proposed solutions with others is a waste of time. It is exactly what you need to be doing, and this another lesson I learned the hard way. Collectively, we are smarter than when we are alone. Be smart and take advantage of that fact.
Sketch – Document your solution. It does not have to be fancy – just start with sticky notes on a board if that is your jam. Then transfer that brain dump onto a professional diagram using Lucidchart, Draw.io or Gliffy. It does not matter which one you choose, just pick one quickly to avoid getting sucked down the rabbit hole of discovery and experimentation where you will be wasting your time (I have been there!).
Approve – Get a buy-in or approval if required. Having someone, preferably an SME, sign off on your work will ensure that nothing has been overlooked and will give you the confidence to move ahead with your plan.
- SEED – Implement.
Execute – If you did your work properly in the Source and Solve segments, this one will be a breeze. The implementation is the fun part. It is easy and challenging all at once. You will learn many new technical things along the way. You will learn to bend Salesforce to your will (a declarative to make it possible, sometimes with a little help from our friends, the Apex coders).
Test – This step is mandatory. You do not want to release anything out there without exhaustive testing first. So, test, test, test, fix a bug, test again, test again, and test some more. Once you are done, it is time to release.
By the end of this process, you will have delivered on the 5 Ws + How, giving everyone what they need to make their work easier, to be more productive and to make their job more rewarding, including yours. What a beautiful gift!
If you have any questions on this article, or if you simply want to chat, please reach out. My colleagues and I at Nubik do this for a living, and we love using Salesforce to help businesses shine.
By Shilpa Varghese, 5x Certified Salesforce Consultant