How Salesforce Admins can get Release Ready with Jacinta Burke

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Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re speaking with Jacinta Burke, the Senior Manager of Product Readiness at Salesforce. Jacinta is the first person you should go to if you have questions about what’s coming up in the next release that will impact your org and improve what you do.

Join us to hear about how Jacinta and her team help Admins get ready for each new release, and where you can go to learn about all the new features that make Salesforce even better.

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

Diving into Release Readiness

Jacinta is in charge of Release Readiness, but she’s also an ex-Admin, so she knows what it’s like to run an org. “Usually you’re doing it in addition to whatever your day job is,” and she understands that, as Salesforce has evolved, there are so many features in each release that staying on top of it is a tall task. The job of Release Readiness is to put together tools, content, webinars, and more to help you sort out what’s in each release and what might apply to you.

With so much going on in each release, deciding what to look at can be tough, so Jacinta says, “a lot of what we try to do is help you filter through all that information.” Paradoxically, they do this by producing material that is not curated, because they want everyone to be able to decide for themselves what they need. However, by using a variety of formats, they try to make it easy for people with different learning styles to digest the material. For more visual learners, for example, they produce slideshows and videos.

Making a Release Strategy

Releases just happen in your org. “That’s part of the beauty of Salesforce: there are no upgrades, no being out of date with the software.” However, that means that you need to have an actual strategy around releases because your users are going to come in on Monday morning and see some new features.

To help with this, the Release Readiness team offers webinars with MVPs around how you can manage your release strategy. Releases are so heavily tested by Salesforce that there’s no risk to you and your instance, but being aware of what new features are auto-enabled will help you give your users a heads up.

How to Keep Up with Releases

Six weeks before each release, Jacinta and her team publish a Milestones Doc on the Success Community. “That’s the really the first step for any Admin because you want to know what’s coming and when.” In it, you can find things like when the release notes are coming, and when the Sandbox preview will be available. As it gets closer, the team will also make pre-release orgs available so you can play around. As Jacinta puts it, “It’s kind of like a little playground for the new release.”

As for where to go to keep up with what’s going on, Jacinta says that “if you’re not already, join the Success Community, and join the Release Readiness and Feature Adoption Group.” The community is very active, and with every release, there’s something called the Treasure Hunt, where people go in and see what great little features they can dig up in the new release. “I was an Admin by myself, with no money, no resourcing,” Jacinta says, “and the community was great for me.”

Staying on Top of Release Notes

When it comes to how you should approach release notes, Jacinta has some advice: “Don’t eat the elephant all in one bite.” The Documentation Team at Salesforce is continually improving, and they’ve made release notes that are filled with screenshots and easily searchable. There are filters by edition, UI, classic features, and even mobile-only features.

A great place to go for more information is the Feature Impact Table, which is where you can see the features that your users are going to see automatically after the release, as well as the features that you need to set up as an Admin. The team also sends out emails to all Admins from Technology Communications, and of course, there’s a lot of communication on the Success Community group, Twitter, and even in-app notifications. If you have an idea for how to make the release more consumable get in touch with Jacinta and her team, “We’re all ears.”

For more insights, make sure to follow Jacinta on Twitter (@jessburkesfdc).

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