Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re bringing in Nina Ziebarth-Pavlovich, Innovation Director at Work Differently and a Lead at our Ignite Program at Salesforce. She coaches customers to think differently about solving problems in creative ways and we’ll find out what tips she’s learned along the way.

Join us as we talk about methodologies that you can adopt to get more work done and improve your collaboration.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Nina Ziebarth-Pavlovich.

The Ignite team.

Nina’s team at Salesforce is super special and as soon as Gillian found out what they did she had to have them on the pod. “Ignite is a customer-facing team that consults with our biggest customers to help them develop stronger user and customer-centered visions to help them connect in a whole new way,” Nina says.

“Among all the different customers that we work, with, it’s no surprise that we see that digital transformation and software implementation and everything that goes with it is challenging,” Nina says. “When we think about how to tackle these big, complex problems there’s a whole skillset and resources out there that we can use to supplement all the awesome technical work that happens.” These include tools that can help you better understand your users’ experience or that can help you collaborate more tangibly with all of the different partners you need to work with.

Adopting Design Thinking, starting with SABWA.

The way of working that Ignite focuses on is often called Design Thinking and for Nina, there are three hallmarks of the work that you can start applying. The first is to be user-centered. “Before you jump in, stop and ask yourself what the user actually needs,” Nina says, “because if it doesn’t work in the way that they need it to they’re not going to adopt it.” That comes down to getting time with your users and sitting with them as they work. Turns out Mike was onto something when he coined SABWA— Salesforce Administration By Walking Around.

The second key is to be tangible. “So often the meeting is the currency in which things get done, but you’re often left holding the bag or someone else is,” Nina says. Instead, start writing things down so you can look at them. If you’re talking about a workflow, then start putting it on post-it notes and physically map it out so you can see what’s really happening and how you can change it.

Collaborating more effectively with post-its.

The third goal of Design Thinking is collaboration. “When we’re dealing with complex systems or trying to integrate technology across different business units that haven’t worked together in that way you need to understand that no person can do it alone. It’s not about being the smartest but finding a way to leverage all that knowledge,” Nina says.

Ignite uses a structure called Collaborative Cycle and again, it starts with giving everyone post-it notes. First, you need to effectively frame a conversation by clearly stating what big question or you’re trying to address: What are the biggest needs for our users? What hurdles do we expect to encounter? Get everyone to write at least seven of their own ideas on their post-it notes, and then start sharing by posting them up on the board. When you step back and look for themes, “I guarantee that you will see new information emerging, cover a ton more ground, and hear from people who have great insight but aren’t always the first ones to talk.”

Why bad slide design can get you great feedback.

Another key is experimentation. “We always say, ‘roughly right,’ and by that we mean put something out there and show it to someone,” Nina says, “when I show someone something I purposely use the ugliest slides I can so that no one will pay any attention to the design and instead give me feedback about the content.” No one will think that you’ve invested a lot of time into the project, so they’ll be more free with what they have to say, though that doesn’t mean you have to use it.

“Often times people talk about piloting something and our challenge to them is: how can you make it even smaller?” In other words, you don’t necessarily need to build something end-to-end to solicit feedback and get work done. Pick the tiniest part and sketch how you want it to work with stick figures. Again, it doesn’t need to be pretty, but you can save yourself so much time by experimenting early and often.

Resources

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