Dreamforce ’16 ended with a lot of new features and optimisation to the Salesforce Products. How do you know if your Salesforce implementation is evolving in alignment with your business? As you change your organisational structure, scale, processes and priorities, has your software been kept in lockstep? Just as we need to keep a pulse on the business – it is important to keep tabs on the health of your Salesforce implementation.
You made an investment with the intention of enabling your business and you have had Salesforce for a long time and it may be working well for you, you want to ensure that your investment is reaping returns leading to better sales processes, automated business processes and insights into key metrics.
We all know that there are so many ways that you can utilize Salesforce to fit your business model. But are you leveraging it to it’s fullest potential? Are you running out of storage space? Are there too many triggers and workflows that you don’t know up from down? Too many installed packages that are no longer in use?
According to a 2015 Informatica sponsored report called the State of Salesforce, “in 2014 44% of companies released changes to their Salesforce instance at least monthly. This year, 64% of companies are releasing at least monthly—a 20% jump.” Salesforce does a minimum of 3 releases a year with new features and functions, which can sometimes cause errors in customize code, triggers, workflows and applications from the AppExchange. This is why it’s important to reevaluate the health of your Salesforce instance and innovate new processes to build a better sales environment.
Just like it’s important to clean up and monitor your data that’s within your database it is also important to audit and set goals for your Salesforce system. Salesforce Health Checks can help identify areas where best practices and standard functionality are not being utilized. They are a great way to measure throughout the year how well the CRM is operating.
To evaluate the current state of salesforce effectiveness in the organization, it is necessary to revisit the orginal drawing boards once in a while and ask yourselves these important questions bradly classified into 4 categories of Design, Measure, Manage and optimize.
Does your original implementation align with your rapidly-changing company and business initiatives? Salesforce offers you the ability to configure various components- data, metadata and infrastructure. This configurability is a powerful lever to shape the technical layout to match your business needs. Some key questions you want to ask during this phase are:
- As your business scales, what is the optimal number of orgs needed to meet goals?
- How will you roll out Salesforce across business units?
- Will you have global deployments?
- How will the information flow between orgs?
- Will you need to migrate from multiple orgs into a single org?
In order to keep up with changing demands, you take up new initiatives and projects. In order to improve the performance and enhance the functionalities, you want to assess where you stand in terms of technical debt. Here are some key questions you want to ask in this phase:
- Are end users logging in and using Salesforce as expected?
- How much have you customized Salesforce?
- How long are your deployments or migrations taking?
- Have you observed a delay in response time for queries, reports or dashboards?
- Is your custom code efficient and scalable?
# 3: Manage
Successful Salesforce implementations are a result of a strong framework to support appropriate structure, accountability and visibility to make good decisions. As your organization evolves, Salesforce enables you to maximize its effectiveness.
There are multiple facets adding to the complexity of effectively managing Salesforce – program management, change management, release management, development environment management and alignment between IT and business are just few of the examples.
To move from chaotic to a very controlled and holistic process management, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are the key stakeholders aligned with IT?
- Do you have a clearly defined and well-documented development, release, maintenance and training cycle?
- How do you gather feedback to make sure the initiatives align with priorities?
- What risk mitigation processes have you defined at every stage of software development lifecycle?
# 4: Optimize
The more integrated Salesforce becomes to your business processes, the more you will benefit from a formalized solution governance model — one that enables innovation and agility. Designing a center of Excellence drives cost saving by using standardized best practices and helps mitigate risks through gap analysis.
Some key considerations to take into account as you move towards optimizing performance are:
- Are you maximizing the return on investment in Salesforce?
- Do you have a significant backlog of business requests stuck with IT teams? If yes, have you done a root cause analysis to investigate the cause?
- Are IT and business stakeholders able to effectively prioritize requests?
- With the current resources and complexity in your org, will you be able to scale to meet business demand?
Completion of the above assessment shall provide you a clear idea of how effectively salesforce capabilities a re being tapped into by your organization. While the above might suffice for occasional reviews and take corrective measures, it is well advised to adopt a proactive approach of monitoring the applications health rather than a diagnostic one. It is with this idea, Standav has defined a set of Health Rules where each rule contains certain conditions that maps to main performance indicators to effectively measure the health status of applications. It proactively monitors the performance of your application and provides alerts regarding performance concerns prior to the occurrence of an actual outage.
Why Standav Health Check?
Health Check shall include comprehensive Review of Business Processes, Governance and Security Audit, Configuration and Code Review, Solution Design Review and User Adoption Analysis while using benchmarking, Prioritization, Impact Roadmap & Cost Analysis techniques to generate key recommendations and Detailed action plan.
The business process review focuses on recommendations for better automation, improving data quality and clearing up page layouts and dashboards while the technical assessment envisages a summarized technical health report aptly highlighted in RAG (Red, amber & Green) against Limit Analysis, Data Model Review, Apex and Visualforce Code quality etc.