Is Your Salesforce Org Ready for Lightning Experience?

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Everyone’s excited about Lightning Experience. While activating Lightning Experience is literally a flip of the switch, Admins should know that there is a bit of homework that needs to be done before activation. So, how do you know if Lightning Experience is ready for your org?

We first need to understand the basics.

Lightning is More Than a New User Interface

Lightning Experience is more than just a pretty new skin. It’s a totally reimagined and reinvented way to use Salesforce. To some degree, it’s a totally new CRM! The team at Salesforce has spent years (literally!) to craft and perfect every element of the new Salesforce.

As a result, activating Lightning Experience does not result in a one-to-one conversion of your org’s configuration from Salesforce Classic. The Navigation Menu and Dashboards, for example, need to be configured to provide users with quick access to their data. Customizing Lightning Experience is an important first step.

The differences between Classic and Lightning don’t stop there, though. Page layouts differ between the two; the lead convert process is different, and creating an Opportunity from a Contact isn’t the same. Remember, Lightning is a new approach to Salesforce and it’s important to note the differences in order to determine if your org, and your users, are ready.

Creating an Org Checklist

Not all features and functionality of Salesforce Classic are available in Lightning Experience yet. A Community member mentioned that their company users Contracts which isn’t supported today (Spring ‘16) but the company is eager to activate Lightning Experience. There was even discussion of creating a custom Contracts object and replicating the functionality with Process Builder and complex workflows and my response was “No! Slow down, be patient and activate Lightning when it’s built out enough to accommodate the org’s process.”

The worst thing an Admin can do is to make the current iteration of Lightning Experience fit the org when so many new features are being brought into the fold with each release. Remember, there is no need to rush.

This is where an org checklist comes into play. Knowing that Salesforce is working hard to convert Sales Cloud to Lightning, Admins should look at their configuration and determine what features of the Sales Cloud are being used today and then determine if the functionality is available in Lightning Experience. Based on the findings, you can determine when to deploy Lightning.

Get Your Hands Dirty

Admin’s need to be working with Lightning Experience on a regular basis – even if it isn’t deployed to the production org. There are two ways to do this: Company Sandbox or Admin Playground (or both)!

Creating a copy of your production org with a sandbox is where I would start. Sandboxes house production configuration and metadata and allows you to test and validate in the context of your company’s configuration and business processes.

Admin Playground is a developer edition org that isn’t tied to a specific company. Anyone can create these orgs free of charge. Activate Lightning Experience in your developer org  and explore. While you’re at it, use this developer org to work through Lightning Experience trails on Trailhead.

Find the Early Adopters

Every organization has early adopters who like to try new things. These people are an invaluable resource for an Admin (especially a solo Admin) because they are willing to explore, find the gaps, and communicate their honest feedback.

Admins can selectively deploy Lighting Experience to specific users via a Permission Set. Don’t pass up the opportunity to grant these early adopters access. Encourage them to provide their feedback, errors, potential issues, bugs, and even praise! By getting a small group representative of the target users into Lightning Experience early, the configuration can be tested and validated before releasing it to the masses making for a smoother deployment.

Obtaining feedback and working through the gaps and bugs will also improve user adoption. Because Lightning Experience provides a whole new challenge to user adoption, leveraging positive peer feedback and testimony can help to reduce potential adoption woes. To take it a step further, learn how to improve overall adoption by tapping into the human psyche! Check out my presentation Psych 101 for Admins: How to Drive Adoption and Create Awesome Users.

Devise a Plan

Activating such a drastic change to a user’s workflow will take careful planning and thoughtful communication. Because you’re an #AwesomeAdmin, you also want to setup your users for success but success doesn’t just happen. Success requires purposeful planning and execution.

Create a roll-out strategy for Lightning Experience which includes a target go-live date and communication plan. Provide a WIIFM (what’s in it for me) statement in every communication sent. Develop training material, resources and train users with a fun and engaging session.

Remember to read the release notes and notify users of upcoming Lightning Experience related enhancements and cross-check these enhancements with your org checklist to help onboard other teams and departments in the future as features and functionality become available.

I would love to know how you’re preparing your org for Lightning Experience. Leave a comment below and let’s chat.

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