Getting Ready for Lightning Process Builder


For Salesforce Admins Christmas came early this year with Lightning Process Builder- which is among the many epic features in the Winter ’15 release. We did an amazing demo in the Admin Keynote at Dreamforce this year to show the Lightning Process Builder in action, as we prepared for the keynote the real power of Lightning Process Builder struck me like- well- lightning!

Maybe it’s my compulsive need for order but that cluttered list of workflow rules has always pestered me. Especially when I had to do a live demo of Salesforce for an executive. I never really had a good way to look at how all of my workflow rules interacted with each other and get that complete view of a process. But Lightning Process Builder does SO MUCH MORE than organize workflows. It has powerful actions like Record Create, Post to Chatter, and submit for approval! The first two- up till now required code to execute. So with Lightning Process Builder in beta- here are the three things Admins should do to prepare for lightning to strike! (You know I couldn’t pass that up.)

1. Sign up for the Beta

Lightning Process Builder is available in beta with the Winter ’15 release. To get process builder enabled file a case with Salesforce Support, they are working through cases as fast as possible. I would suggest having Process Builder enabled in a Sandbox that way you can try it out without touching production and directly impacting an existing process. And it’s just a best practice to try out a feature in a sandbox first anyway.

2. Evaluate your Workflows

Prior to getting Lightning Process Builder enabled it’s a best practice to start documenting your workflows. As Admins we often create a workflow in haste to make our users happy and think we will get around to the documentation. Well now is the time to get around to it! Below is a screenshot of my messy workflow list for Opportunities. Now try and sit down with a stakeholder and explain what is going on here- I dare you! Imagine if you are a new admin trying to untangle the workflows to troubleshoot a problem? I get a headache just thinking about that.

Let’s commit to getting all of our workflows- for all objects documented by the Spring 15 release. It could be a simple word document that lists the order in which the workflows execute or diagram of an entire process and what workflows happen at each stage. Think of this like sorting out the garage in preparation for a new car.

3. Explore the Possibilities

Before Lightning Process Builder ButtonClick Admins were a bit limited when it came to executing complex business processes like creating a record based on a condition, or a chatter post- for items like this we needed a developer friend to help us with some code. But now we can solve those use cases ourselves. So how do we execute this step?

Start by scheduling meeting with stakeholders who have processes in Salesforce that they depend on. In those meetings talk about pain points in the process and improvements they would like to see. For example- your sales process ends with the sales person closing the opportunity as Won, but then they either have to email someone or create an “Implementation Plan” record so the organization knows how to execute the sale. While moving from the opportunity to the Implementation Plan object sounds minor to you, it could be a huge pain for the sales person because they close 5 deals a day and in between have dozens of phone calls to follow up on. With Lightning Process Builder we can add an action to create an Implementation Record on that custom object based on the criteria of Closed Won. Pain point solved.

But let’s go even further. Let’s use Lightning Process Builder to increase Chatter adoption! With Lightning Process Builder we have an action that can create a Chatter Post. Maybe in your discussions you find that Human Resources is launching an employee recognition program. Looking back at our Closed Won scenario and talking with HR, we could create a Chatter Group and give HR Chatter Free licenses. Then when an opportunity meeting their criteria is met a post can go to the group and HR sees it. Now we have a new group using Chatter to collaborate and an improved Sales process. I call that a win-win-win!

Choosing the Right Automation Tool

Right now is a great time to be a Salesforce Admin. With Lightning Process Builder, Workflow Rules, Visual Workflow, and Approval Processes, we have many great automation tools in our utility belt. As a Productivity Protector we are often working to streamline business process and deliver real business value. And if you watch any superhero […]