So why do you need a proper Salesforce development process in place? After all, the early days of configuring a new Salesforce org is like a walk in the park: with just a few clicks you are able to adapt and build new applications based on business needs. You don’t need to pay much attention to the way you are configuring your orgs. The risk of experiencing performance issues or unexpected maintenance costs are very low.
Although it is always a good idea to have a proper development process in place, quite often we make changes in our pre-production and production orgs without any strict process in place.
New challenges ahead
As soon we want to digitize more and more business processes into our Salesforce, we will need either to increase the configuration team or look for external help. With more business demand, we will have to deliver more and now, faster because we have more developers.
At this stage, we might encounter some of the main problems companies are facing: slow development process; performance issues; lack of quality in our development; lack of traceability of the configuration and so on. Errors start appearing and change management becomes a difficult task.
Set up a repeatable and scalable Salesforce Development Process
To avoid such a significant problem, which inevitably leads to high maintenance costs and a slow delivery of new functionality, we need a strong and Agile development process in place.
1 – Define clear roles and responsibilities within your team – who is responsible for understanding all the Salesforce capabilities? This is key to avoid building things that already exist in the platform. We have seen many companies building stuff that is totally unnecessary as it already existed in the platform
2 – Involve your Enterprise IT architects – they will help you to define what needs to go where. Amidst a myriad of SaaS solutions, defining a good enterprise architecture becomes more important than ever. SF architects will also define what’s the best bug tracking system to use as the interconnection of several systems mean that this bug tracking system will be used by many different teams.
3 – Level up your developers. Setup a continuous training program. Ensure they understand the principle that no code is better than low code and better than code! Train them in all the best practices trailheads (e.g. APEX best practices)
4 – Define a proper governance model – especially if you outsource part of the Salesforce work, you need to control all what’s happening in details – what’s being delivered, its quality, documentation, inventory of all the assets, code readability and comments, etc. Any identified issue needs to be automatically sent to the bug tracking system for proper handling before it hits our production environment.
5 – And the secret sauce: Automate! Static code and configuration reviews, regression testing, and the inventory of all changes.
If you achieve number 5, then you will reach a point where you can increase the team without jeopardizing the quality and development speed. More people will mean more throughput and having your stakeholders happy.
As we’ve seen there are multiple reasons you may should be investing time in establishing a proper Salesforce development process. To do so effectively will require utilizing your team well and automating wherever possible. If you’d like to find out more about how automation could improve your development velocity, book a meeting with our experts to find out more.