Mastering Lightning Rollouts with Evan Johnson

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Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re speaking with Evan Johnson, Principal Salesforce Administrator at Vivint Solar and the Salt Lake City User Group Leader.

Join us to learn about the power of Integrated Email, why you shouldn’t assume you know how your users work with Salesforce, and why new users are a great opportunity to implement Lightning.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Evan Johnson.

If at First You Don’t Succeed…

“I got a random summer job working as a Customer Success Manager,” Evan says, which is how he came to Salesforce. He took the Certification course and failed it the first time, “but it was such a cool thing that I kept at it, did a lot of googling, and listened to your podcast.” Eventually, with the help of these resources and the Salesforce forums, he was able to pass the Certification and the rest is history.

Evan’s consulting jobs turned into his full-time job, and he’s been at it for 10 years now. “It’s a tough test,” he says, so just keep at it and you’ll pass it and go on to bigger and better things, like implementing Lightning, which Evan has done more than a few times, both in side-jobs and in his main job at Vivint Solar.

Discovering Lightning for Yourself

Evan has a ton of experience with Classic, but obviously he’s been involved in several changeovers to Lightning. When asked why there’s still so much resistance to Lightning, even though it’s been out for a few years now, he comes up with an example everyone can relate to: “Whenever Facebook rolls out an update, everybody is just so angry about it,” Evan says, “and then two days later everybody forgets, and they can’t even imagine going back.” It’s natural to be afraid or hesitant about new things.

To help himself make the transition, Evan started by implementing Lightning on his own, playing around with it in a sandbox to really get to know what it was all about. That was when he figured out how important Lightning will be to the future: “This isn’t just a new refresh of how it looks, this really is a fundamental shift for Salesforce in the right direction. This is a much more styling, but also the underlying technologies and platforms are moving in the right direction.” The bottom line is that if you don’t jump in now, you’re going to be left behind.

Why Lightning is the Future

Why switch to Lightning? Just look at the release notes: there are more and more Lightning changes and less and less for Classic. “If you want to start getting new functionality out of Salesforce, if you want to start using new features that are being released, I promise you this— Classic is not going to get you there,” Evan says. “There’s a reason why Salesforce is doing that, and it’s not because they want to make it look pretty. It’s because everything is going to work better.”

There are so many features in Lightning that you just can’t get in Classic. Maybe people are content with what they have, but they need to realize that they’re passing up amazing functionalities like Integrated Email or the Kanban board. These kinds of features make you ask yourself, “how did I live without this?”

For Admins, there are all these declarative things you can do in Lightning that weren’t possible before. For Evan, Lightning Components are such a game changer: “It’s almost like a brand new App Exchange.”

Evan’s Process for Rolling Out Lightning

For Evan, there are three phases to go through in rolling out Lightning. The first phase revolves around you: you need to learn everything there is to know about Lightning. Evan recommends taking a deep dive into Trailhead to learn how to migrate, learn about Lightning Features, and get comfortable. At this stage, it also makes sense to bring in some select users to figure out what their process actually is: “We pretend to know, as Admins, that we know how everyone uses the system but that’s simply not the case. You’re going to be amazed at how many different ways people are using the system and what kind of workaround they’ve got.”

Phase two is to put together a group of folks who are ready to jump in, whether that’s a small pilot group or a division that’s ready to make the switch. The way Evan did it the first time was by making the transition for a new division that was coming in. Because they didn’t have any Salesforce processes to worry about they were a perfect way in. It could also be a team that wants a specific feature— for Evan it was a sales team that wanted Kanban. It’s also a good idea to get an executive involved at this stage, “If you have executives that are going to push their team to use Salesforce and Lightning, you’re going to have a lot better chance of success at the end of the project.”

From there, phase three is a bigger rollout and also making sure you do the follow through to keep adoption up and everything running smoothly. You may need to force users to stick with Lightning, but the long-term payoff is what matters. Check in with your users constantly to see how things are going.

For more insights, make sure to follow Evan on Twitter (@EvanSFDC).

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