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Project Management 101 for Salesforce Administrators

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At some point in your admin journey, you will be involved in or lead a project. These two skill sets are in high demand, and the combination of the two creates a powerful and productive duo! But you don’t need to wait for that big project to focus on project management. Every admin can begin to practice project management skills today, much like you practice and grow your Salesforce Admin skills.

What is a project?

First of all, projects come in all sizes. Often, project management is associated with giant transformational projects — but smaller projects (sometimes called micro projects) are in abundance. A project is generally anything that is not part of your regular workday routine. Have you been tasked with solving a business problem using Salesforce? If so, that is most likely a project. If you’re asked to create a picklist value or a new user, that is most likely not a project; rather, it’s considered part of your everyday work routine.

Project documentation

Documentation is the backbone of every project, no matter the size. Documentation does at least these three things:

  • Provides a summary of the project
  • Defines what work is accomplished in the project
  • Outlines how parties will work together

The depth and amount of documentation needed correlates to the size of the project. Small projects may only need a page or a paragraph to cover the above, whereas a large project could be 100 pages.

The real value in documentation is that it helps all parties involved understand what the project will entail and who needs to do what. It sets expectations and helps all parties agree on the objectives, goals, and activities associated with the project. As an admin, you probably already do this. Now is your opportunity to formalize it.

Project communication

Communication is not only a significant part of an admin’s job but also an important part of any project, large or small. You already manage how you communicate with your stakeholders and end users. With projects, the communication may be more structured. That’s why it’s best to always have a communication plan as part of any project.

To craft an effective communication plan, start with a list of the stakeholders involved. A stakeholder is anyone who has an interest in your project. Determine, with them, the cadence and frequency of communication. Some may only want to know when there is a roadblock to finishing the project. Others may want a weekly email. The larger or longer the project, the more complex the communication plan typically becomes.

Start applying your project management skills

Ready to get started? Identify a micro project today and apply project management skills to it. Begin by taking 20 minutes to summarize what the project is about. Next, allocate an hour to outline who is doing what on a project, and then share it with parties involved to get confirmation. This is just the beginning! Continue your learning on Trailhead and take the Project Management Plan Lite module.

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