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Salesforce is great for many reasons, one is the concept of citizen development. The ability to enhance the application with low code, clicks, drag and drop configuration. But with great power comes great responsibility.

It’s very easy to go ‘gung-ho’ and start creating stuff here, there and everywhere. Hold on! Before you start a Salesforce project understand what you have, and with that I mean ask questions and draw a picture of the following:

 

Objects

Objects provide a structured approach to programming, in Salesforce we know we have many defined already such as Leads, Accounts, Contacts, Cases, Opportunities …

Understand the data structures that you have right now, please do not ‘lift and shift’.

Lift and shift means moving an application or operation from one environment to another without stopping to redesign the app or operations workflow. One analogy often used for this is moving a houseplant from one environment to another; through being in a different habitat, can affect whether the plant will thrive.

 

Systems

A system is a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network.

Understand what are the current systems that are and will be involved in Salesforce data and processes, even those that may not require integration. Note them and have a clear picture. These may range from external databases, payment processors, CMS, CTI, marketing automation…

 

Actors

With actors I refer to what/who interacts with the subject in our case Salesforce, which consists of the users, devices, and programs.

As you know they not all have the same levels of access, to features, to functions, to records… Understanding the actors and the variety of it is going to help your architectural decisions for your project so that it can support the interactions of each actor.

 

Integrations

Once you have the actors and systems, it’s here that comes the defining of; if, when, what, which and how integrations may be needed.

 

Conclusion

Visuals are super powerful assets to convey common understanding, rather than leaving agreements at the intuition level, they help to express it in a way that is easier to understand, digest and recall.

Superpower your new Salesforce project with visual artifacts to draw a picture of the reality, to collaborate, to surface gaps and to convey agreement.

Do you want to see this frame ‘live’? you can watch Matthew Morris and Don Robins in a Salesforce implementation context here.

How do you tackle a new Salesforce project understanding?

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