Salesforce Org Optimization
Salesforce is the leading end-to-end platform for CRM, Revenue Operations, and beyond. Managing this business-critical platform at a highly performant and effective level takes a continuous and targeted effort. In this article, we will walk you through a suggested approach for reviewing and aligning your Salesforce organization to capture its full potential.
Why an Eye for Optimization
From ‘Quick Starts’ to seven-figure Fortune 500 custom implementations, the RevOps Rangers team has led and seen them all. It doesn’t matter if a Salesforce organization is a completely custom application with a tailored user experience or only a base Sales/Service cloud implementation, if it isn’t routinely evaluated for standardization, adoption, security, and technical debt its effectiveness and ROI will decrease.
In addition, Salesforce teams are challenged by continuously evolving business requirements and growing digital landscape complexity, all the while Salesforce continuously releases new features and architecture standards. Without a strategy for monitoring your Salesforce organization's health, it can quickly become cumbersome, can gain a negative user perception, and ultimately have a direct impact on your businesses’ revenue.
There are many ways to slice an Optimization approach, but we keep it straightforward by combining functional and technical reviews to produce a comprehensive prioritized roadmap, system architecture review, and implementation strategy.
The technical review is focused primarily on technical debt, architecture standards, and security. The functional review is focused on adoption, standardization, and stakeholder priorities. We recommend starting with the technical review to have a clear picture of the data model and architecture before going into Stakeholder sessions. This will give some background to the functionality they’re currently using and an idea of some possible shortcomings. After the technical and functional reviews, the two pieces are then merged to create an aligned vision and roadmap.
Performing a Salesforce technical review requires a combination of leveraging industry analysis tools and working with seasoned Salesforce Development experts to analyze your organization's architecture and system.
Keeping your Salesforce organization agile and scalable as it grows is critical. Aligning your organization to the correct standards is a worthwhile investment for any Salesforce team. This type of review requires an experienced Salesforce Developer or Architect but also stakeholder sessions with the organization’s Salesforce team.
This review in particular requires a humble and open approach. Every Salesforce team we’ve worked with truly wants what’s best for their organization. A number of the standards and philosophies to be discussed most likely have come up before and could be a hot button for individuals. Speak with the Salesforce development team while avoiding ‘leading the witness’ or to a specific standard or philosophy and seek only to understand difficulties and their experience.
The criteria covered in an Architecture review can be vast, but a few that we oftentimes find ourselves discussing are:
- Security Model
- Change Management and DevOps Processes
- Trigger Framework(s)
- Apex Libraries
- Clicks vs Code Philosophy and Implementation
- Standard over Custom
- Unit testing and Regression testing strategy for Automation and Code
- Feature Deprecation
Having developed a clear picture of where the team has been from an architecture and development practice, clear architecture guidance can be curated and most future technical details should align nicely.
Technical Analysis Tools
System Overview Page
Your Salesforce organization has limits. These limits are necessary with Salesforce's multi-tenant architecture. The System Overview page is a resource available for manually checking your organization's limits. Ranging from limitations regarding API calls to Validation rules, the System Overview Page is a recommended stop whenever you're planning a new feature, integration, or planned growth in your organization.
To access the System Overview Page, navigate to Setup and then search 'System Overview' (Setup -> System Overview).
The Salesforce Optimizer is another tool that helps to identify simplification, limits, and security issues that may be present in your org.
To run or review the Salesforce Optimizer results, you can navigate to Setup and then search 'Optimizer' (Setup -> Optimizer). Salesforce Optimizer is also available by searching 'Salesforce Optimizer' in the App Launcher.
Security Health Check
Almost every Salesforce organization contains private and sensitive information. Therefore, we must take the time and effort to keep our organizations locked down. The Security Health Check provided by Salesforce will provide a score and setting review for high, medium, and low-risk security settings. Salesforce security can be extensive, but the Health Check is a great place to start for checking security compliance.
To review your org's security health, navigate to Setup and search 'Security Health' (Setup -> Security Health).
Static Code Analysis
Almost every Salesforce org has Apex code. It’s critical to review this code for Security and Quality standards. PMD is the industry-standard analysis tool, and Salesforce provides a once-a-month scan in partnership with Checkmarx(leveraging PMD) to review your organization.
Go to this link to kickoff your scan: https://security.secure.force.com/security/tools/forcecom/scanner
A Salesforce functional review is different from a technical review such that it is a stakeholder and feature alignment focused. The goal of the functional review is to understand what features the organization is leveraging to meet Stakeholder needs, how the stakeholder ‘feels’ about their needs being met, and where they’d like to go forward.
Standard Feature Adoption
When performing a functional review, one of our core goals is to align the Salesforce organization to standard functionality. We strive for this path to help reduce org complexity, align to Salesforce upgrade roadmap, ownership continuity, and lower the cost of ownership.
We have seen time and time again a custom solution loses support due to lack of documentation and the Salesforce Developer leaving the organization. With standard functionality alignment, it allows an organization to find an admin or developer to quickly pick it up.
Fortunately, since the technical review has already been performed. Knowing which standard features are being leveraged and are available with their current licenses should be clear. This can be helpful for stakeholder sessions to tease out why perhaps a custom solution was created versus using native functionality.
With the range of products available on the Salesforce platform, it’s very common to have multiple stakeholders with competing priorities. Common teams we work with are:
- Customer Success
Our approach for Stakeholder sessions is to listen and engage with each stakeholder with the same priority. This can be challenging as different teams can have more stakeholders, thus more feedback which can inflate their priority.
One of the most important activities we do for our Stakeholders sessions is to prepare our questions and flow of the discovery sessions. A simple but effective structure is:
- How did you arrive here?
- What’s working well for you now?
- What’s not working well for you?
- If you could have exactly what you need, what would that be?
This is where having performed the technical review first can be advantageous. Technical and feature-related questions should already be primed from the technical review especially around the “How did you arrive here and what is and isn’t working”.
Bringing it all Together
Salesforce Business Requirements Document
Having completed the technical and functional reviews, you’ll find yourself with a plethora of insightful information. The value of Salesforce Optimization shines when the complete vision is put together clearly and cohesively. We leverage an industry ‘tool’ called a Business Requirements Document. Walking through how to build out a Business Requirements document deserves its article, but at a high level we break down the information in the following manner:
Business Requirements by Team/Stakeholder and Priority - These are the ‘stories’ or desired needs of stakeholders as they were communicated in the discovery sessions. These can be shared across multiple stakeholders.
- Functional Requirements - How the business requirements can be met with Salesforce standard or custom functionality.
- Non Functional Requirements - Oftentimes where system architecture improvements land. These are the technical debt or performance items that improve the system but often don't have clear user visible ‘features’.
- Projects - Grouping of functional and non-functional requirements in a logical manner to propose possible release cadence.
- Addendums - The architecture guidance/visuals, and possible solutions to help guide conversation and understanding of functional and non-functional requirements/projects.
Call in the Rangers
Performing a Salesforce Optimization can feel overwhelming. The RevOps Rangers team has extensive experience performing these technical and functional reviews.
We pride ourselves in having expert technical consultants that can perform the full technical and functional review end-to-end without needing to pass it off. If you want to build your Salesforce roadmap and vision but need someone to guide the execution, we’re happy to help!