The Process Before Process Builder

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There’s much more to being a Salesforce Administrator than just knowing the features of the Salesforce platform. A truly #AwesomeAdmin also has to know when and how to use those features. We don’t just build a Process Builder solution to fire off an email until we understand why that email needs to exist in the first place. This is the secret magic of being an Admin – we get to look at the bigger vision of the organization, how processes affect the overall business value, and think of how to use features of Salesforce to help make that vision come true.

To help all Admins do this, we’ve created the “DOITTT” framework. “DOITTT” stands for Discover, Optimize Inefficiencies, Translate, Test, and Train to help guide you as you encounter real-life business scenarios, and want to implement Salesforce, but aren’t sure where to start.  

1. Discover

It’s critical to make sure that you understand the underlying business need before you begin building solutions. If colleagues are asking you for a specific field or a dashboard see if you can get to the “why” of their request. Is there information that isn’t being collected, or are there metrics that the company or department needs to share that need more visibility? Make sure you know which questions you want the report or dashboard to answer before creating it. A valuable discovery technique to employ to answer those questions is SABWA (Salesforce administration by walking around). Performing SABWA will always keep you in touch with what’s actually happening “on the ground,” so to speak.

2. Optimize Inefficiencies

As you dive into the business challenge, you will often find there are extra steps or other inefficiencies in a process. This is an opportunity for you to dig deep and get clarity on why each step is needed, and if it’s not, how you can replace it. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a visual representation of the process using a “process flowchart.” There are a number of tools that can help with creating this type of chart such as Gliffy, Lucidchart, Visio, and Omnigraffle, to name a few. The most important thing is to go through the process of creating the flowchart because it will force you to critically examine each step, who performs it, and what the next step or decision point is.

3. Translate

Now that you’ve gone through the effort of mapping out the process and increasing process efficiency, you’ll need to match those requirements to Salesforce technology. This is an ideal time to review which tool is best for the requirements you have. You can even use your Sandbox to build the same functionality using different features or functions of Salesforce. Take a look at the “Which tool to use” chart on the Business Process Trailhead module for a great overview of the options. It’s generally a good rule to stick with standard functionality as much as possible. Don’t build a custom solution unless you have a firm business requirement that requires custom coding. For multi-step processes where the user needs to click on multiple objects, send emails and other repetitive tasks, try using Macros as an alternative to building process automation.

4. Test

So, you’ve built a cool macro or workflow rule, but now you need to make sure it works properly! This is where testing comes in —you should always build your new functionality in a Sandbox, ideally one that has been recently refreshed. By testing your new enhancements in a Sandbox, it gives you a safe place to debug any errors that may happen and to test specific use cases against what you’ve built. Also, give some of your “super-users” access to the Sandbox so they can test, too. It’s always revealing to see how other people use the things you’ve built!  

5. Train

Finally, you’ve created awesome automation to help your users be more efficient and productive. You’ve tested to make sure it does what it’s supposed to, and now you need to make sure everyone knows how to use what you built! That’s where training and communication come in. Training is NOT a one-time event, although there is typically an initial training kickoff session with a large number of people. But, you as the Admin know better: make sure to have open office hours, lunch and learns, and other ways to keep people engaged. These are some of the best ways to ensure that that initial training is reinforced over time. Making sure to regularly communicate with people is key to making sure they are up to date on the latest Salesforce changes you’ve implemented — after all, you’re trying to make things better!

We hope you enjoyed this preview of our upcoming TrailheaDX session on March 29, and you get to try the “DOITTT” framework!  Hope to see you in-person or online at TrailheaDX next week!

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