Cloudy playing in the snow next to text that says "Jen's Ultimate 2021 Automation Playlist."

Jen’s Ultimate 2021 Automation Playlist

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Anyone in the Salesforce ecosystem who knows me knows that process automation is my passion. I think it’s super cool to be able to build process automation that allows you, as an admin, to free up your users (or yourself!) from having to perform certain time-consuming tasks.

By cutting down the steps or number of processes that require manual input, businesses can reduce overall process turnaround time, which can also lead to increased work efficiency. Ninety-five percent of IT leaders are prioritizing process automation right now, and businesses have seen a 27% increase in IT productivity. Another benefit of automation is that when it’s built in a reliable platform, it can effectively eliminate costly mistakes. In fact, it’s estimated that data errors and faulty information cost U.S. businesses $3 trillion every year.

There are so many other reasons why I love automation, which is why I’ve gathered my favorite automation blog posts, videos, and podcast episodes we produced this year for your viewing and listening pleasure. #GoWithTheFlow

Cloudy in a snow globe and text that says "Favorite Automation Blog Posts."

Go with the Flow: What’s Happening with Workflow Rules and Process Builder?

What it covers: This blog discusses answers to FAQs related to the recent announcement of the future retirement of Workflow Rules and Process Builder, and provides resources to help admins on their Flow journey.

Why I loved it: This announcement might be unnerving to some admins, especially those who use Workflow Rules or Process Builder more or have never built a flow. This blog is a place for admins to find answers to what is top of mind for them, and reinforces that we’re here to support them in this migration through tools, content, and learning resources.

Read it here.

The Ultimate Guide to Flow Best Practices and Standards

What it covers: Flow is the automation tool of the future, allowing developers to create low-code components — Lightning web components and Apex — for admins to use in building declarative automation. This blog shares best practices, ‘gotchas,’ and design tips for admins to consider as they build flows.

Why I loved it: This blog provides a LOT of great information and is definitely worth a read and bookmark by admins to refer to when building flows. This was authored by Adam White, who is now on the Automation Services Product Management team and working on making further enhancements to Flow for admins.

Read it here.

How I Solved This: Using Digitial Experiences and Flow to Make Reservations

What it covers: In this blog post, Mike Grandel walks through how he built a solution on Experience Cloud using screen flows. The business problem involves the need for guests to make advance reservations to allow for reduced building capacity and social distancing so that the National Aquarium can reopen during the pandemic.

Why I loved it: This is a great example of how Mike was able to use the Salesforce Platform — and clicks, not code — to allow 99.2% of the reservations to be made by guests directly on the site without requiring a login.

Read it here.

Cloudy in a snow globe next to text that says "Favorite Automation Videos."

Expert Corner: Plan for the Future of Your Automations with Product Management Director Diana Jaffe

What it covers: In this Expert Corner episode, LeeAnne Rimel (Senior Director, Admin Evangelism) chats with Product Management Director Diana Jaffe about Flow and how Salesforce Admins should plan for the future of their automation.

Why I loved it: If you haven’t considered using Flow in your automation, now’s the time. I recommend watching this video to hear directly from Diana about how Flow is the future of automation. You’ll learn about the recent changes to record-triggered flows, how to build automation using a record-triggered flow instead of Workflow Rules or processes, and recent enhancements to Flow debugging to help you troubleshoot issues with Flow.

Watch it here.

How I Solved This: Build BANT Opportunity Scoring with Custom Metadata Types

What it covers: How I Solved This is a video series I host where #AwesomeAdmin Trailblazers talk about their specific business problem and how they solved it. In this episode, Hayley Tuller builds a BANT model with custom questions and answers using Flow and Custom Metadata Types (CMDT).

Why I loved it: Those who know me know that I’m a huge fan of CMDT. I truly believe all admins should have CMDT in their tool kit to avoid hard coding values and for ease of maintenance of logic used in configuration and/or code. This video provides an awesome example of how you can use CMDT in Flow.

Watch it here.

Update Records with the World’s Simplest Flow | Did You Know

What it covers: This Did You Know episode focuses on how to create the world’s simplest flow — update the Opportunity record when it’s created to set the opportunity name to a specific naming convention.

Why I loved it: Lead Admin Evangelist J. Steadman makes it super easy for an admin getting started with a record-triggered flow to easily update something in a record when the record is created or updated. It only takes one Flow resource (formula) and Flow element (assignment) to update a record.

Watch it here.

Cloudy in a snow globe next to text that says "Favorite Automation Podcast Episodes."."

Flow Automation with Sam Reynard

What it covers: This podcast with Gillian Bruce (Principal Admin Evangelist), LeeAnne Rimel, and Sam Reynard (Senior Manager of Product Management) covers three key takeaways: (1) Flow is the future, (2) have empathy for your users and think from the user’s perspective when you build and (3) use record-triggered flows instead of Process Builder and Workflow Rules.

Why I loved it: I fully embrace the concept of one automation tool to rule them all and love hearing about the direction the team is taking with Flow. I love the part that explores thinking about the user experience. As admins, we can build a lot of cool things, but at the end of the day, if we’re not solving a problem for our users, they aren’t going to use it. We should think about how we can make their lives easier and less stressful.

Listen to it here.

Automation for Admins with Jen Lee

What it covers: This podcast features me as the guest with Gillian and, at the time, a Salesforce customer. I talk about how admins should use automation to make not only their users’ lives easier but also their own. I highlight a few Flow enhancements that were delivered earlier in the year. Lastly, I cover my process for building out new automation in my former org. It doesn’t include creating the automation in Salesforce right away, but rather understanding the business process first and thinking about how to safeguard your automated process.

Why I loved it: Building a solid automated process involves really understanding the business process as well as why the process is done a certain way (ask the five why’s). It also requires thinking about what can go wrong and safeguarding against that. Understand that not everything that goes through the process will follow the ‘happy path.’ Admins should also account for exceptions. These are the things you should consider before logging in to Salesforce and putting your hands on the keyboard.

Listen to it here.

Embrace automation

“I like to do everything manual” is a phrase of the past. Automation has become a way of life. Use it to your advantage to make your users’ and other admins’ lives easier. “Flow is the future” is an important message to keep in mind as we head into 2022 and beyond.

We want to know what your favorite admin resources from the year were, too! Sharing your favorite blog posts, videos, and podcast episodes is easy.

1️⃣ Fill in our quip template: sforce.co/FavoriteAdminContent.
2️⃣ Take a screenshot of it.
3️⃣ Share it on social using #AwesomeAdmin.

We can’t wait to see what resources you enjoyed the most.

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