3 Business Challenges Arising from Poor Governance and Ways to Mitigate Risks
Salesforce’s secret sauce has always been “clicks, not code” and the power the platform gives common administrators to do uncommon things, such as:
- Develop objects, apps, and intelligence without code
- Weave complex workflow processes into any business function to optimize it
- Change interfaces and improve the worker experience on the fly
The business challenges from poor governance is that, like many business processes, what begins as a great idea can become problematic over time. Management shifts, administrative turnover, and poor governance can lead to bad ideas that pile up until they eventually block your ability to evolve and scale the Salesforce platform.
Here are 3 major challenges that we see arise in the absence of a strong governance strategy and ways that Rainmaker helps our clients combat them.
Top 3 Business Challenges that Arise from Poor Governance
Starting Over When Turnover Occurs
There is often a high amount of employee turnover in IT and software platform administration. Companies often hire recent college graduates or young professionals in the early stages of their careers to hold the keys to the system and serve as the central administrator.
Inevitably, these employees develop professionally and move on to the next stage of their careers. This means companies must proactively maintain proper governance, including project tracking and standard operating procedures, to prevent lost progress when IT employee turnover occurs.
Ideally, your company is utilizing a continuous improvement cycle (like the one modeled below used by Salesforce itself) to optimize your employee and customer experience.
When turnover occurs and there are no safeguards to ensure there are no breaks in this cycle, it impacts both user groups and can even affect overall productivity.
Changes Bring Breakage
When organizations don’t have proper change controls in place, simple system requests can have a ripple effect that results in a breakdown of things that were already working. The reasons behind this vary: lack of planning, lack of testing, hasty deployment, and plain old human error can all play a role.
While “clicks, not code” is a strength of the Salesforce platform, it can bring scaling challenges when there are too many clicks without enough code. This can lead to a major increase in development cycles, especially when it comes to changes that impact process automations.
This might be obvious to you if you’ve ever asked your administrator to update picklist values in a field, update a step in a workflow, or modify a formula field only to receive a response that it’s not actually that simple.
At a certain point, native workflow automations get nested and entangled in ways that make them hard to distinguish from one another, and a small change to a field that’s caught up in the process can have cascading effects.
The Top 3 Ways to Mitigate Issues
Centrally Manage Your Backlog
The simplest mistake companies make is that they rely on people, not processes, to keep things organized.
If you’re going live, make sure you have a buttoned-down, centralized way to gather user requests, from new user setup to a custom app development. If you don’t, those requests end up being managed in administrator inboxes and prioritized according to which wheel is squeakiest.
Establish a Release Strategy and Stick to It
Take time to plan how often you’ll release new functionality to your production organization, specific steps in the testing and deployment process, and what documentation is needed to unwind things if new changes break old functionality.
Communication is also key to an effective release strategy. Are administrators and developers aligned on the timing and process for releases? Are changes also being communicated to end users? These types of communication details can be just as important as the technical benefits of the changes you release.
Develop, Configure, and Test in Sandbox
Too often, administrators are given very short timelines to make changes and meet unrealistic deadlines, with very little planning to back up requests. The natural instinct is to “build it on-the-fly” in production, but this can be a recipe for disaster much of the time.
Instead, adopt sandbox management best practices. Do your development in a developer environment, promote to a partial or full sandbox, then test, train, and deploy.
Other Ways to Bulletproof Your System
These are more sophisticated solutions that are not as immediately or easily implemented but are definitely worth considering if you face some of the challenges discussed above.
Adopt a DevOps Platform Designed for Salesforce
Salesforce DevOps platforms like Gearset, Copado, or others can dramatically increase your ability to introduce changes with less negative impacts. DevOps tools offer benefits like better rollback capabilities, stronger version control, frequent testing, and more sophisticated reporting.
Consider a Trigger Framework
A trigger framework is a way to scaffold your system automations to make sure that they don’t run into each other in unexpected ways that create questionable or unintended outcomes.
What if you don’t use trigger frameworks?
Not doing so generally works for smaller organizations for a long time, but eventually almost every company will need to look into a trigger framework, and ironically all of those manually configured workflows will then need to be systematically coded into triggers.
Find Your Solution
Rainmaker Cloud builds tailor-made solutions that help companies optimize their Salesforce effectiveness. Contact us today to get started on yours!