Salesforce is a powerful platform that not only provides rich functionalities to different type of users across an organisation, it also empowers non-technical users with the capability to meet requirements by making changes without using code. Because a lot of functionalities can be delivered via configuration, many organisations are encouraged to explore different implementation options.
Some organisations prefer to execute internally to save money or maintain more control over the project, while others choose to outsource to an external implementation partner. To choose the right option for your organisation, first you need to understand the type of project and what your implementation options are, then you can make an informed choice of the best approach for you.
Types of Salesforce Projects
- Greenfield Projects
A greenfield implementation means the project does not follow on from prior work, and people often use words like ‘transformation’ or ‘innovation’ when talking about these type of projects. It could be that your organisation wants to move from their existing platforms/systems to Salesforce to help fulfil their company vision, or from traditional ways of writing things down on a piece of paper to a completely paperless system with greater information visibility, or you want to embrace the concept of working anywhere, anytime and closer collaboration… this list could go on and on.Regardless of size, these types of projects generally focus more on strategy planning and scoping at the beginning, which then drives requirements gathering, solutioning, project planning, prioritisation and execution. Of course, for some smaller or simpler projects, some steps can be skipped or simplified.
- Brownfield Projects (Enhancements/Changes)
Opposite to greenfield projects, brownfields projects are based on what has been built on the company’s existing Salesforce instance. They aim to extend functionality to meet changing requirements or to reflect new business processes. In terms of approach, it’s similar to greenfield with a few additional items: existing solution and architecture review. In some cases, these projects can take more time to complete because of the complexity of existing solutions.
Depending on the type of project, the common reasons to consider self-implementing Salesforce projects can be categorised into four areas, with different approaches being adopted based on the actual situation.
Salesforce Implementation Partner Considerations
If there is no in-house capability, or mentoring is preferred, then it is important to choose the partner that can best deliver the project vision or objective. There are a number of areas to consider when searching for a suitable partner.x
- Relevant Industry Experience and Success
Ideally, the implementation partner should be local and have both relevant industry understanding and previous successful experience. Bringing value to every step of the project, they can share what they’ve learned from the past, what to do and what not to do, and suggest better ways of handling the business scenarios. They’re also more available for face-to-face meetings when needed. All of these things will help ensure the project stays on the right track and heading toward success.
- Salesforce Platform Knowledge
It is important for the implementation partner to have a broad knowledge of Salesforce products and third-party applications knowledge, rather than focusing/specialising on just one specific area. Most Salesforce projects involve a combination of products (e.g. Sales Cloud and Service Cloud) and third-party applications (e.g. eCommerce, CTI tools, document generation tools, etc), and without this overall knowledge and experience some parts of the project may not be executed smoothly. Instead, it might be case of trial and error, back and forth, until it works.
- Overall Technology Capability / Knowledge (apart from the Salesforce platform)
Systems integration is a vital part in most of the projects, as it’s important to automate the exchange of information between different systems instead of relying on manual processes. Salesforce provides great integration capabilities, however, depending on the targeted systems and the information to be exchanged, different integration approaches and tools need to be evaluated and selected accordingly. With the right exposure to relevant integration products and technologies, the implementation partner can provide better guidance and support during this selection process and deliver a more effective and efficient integration experience.
- Project Implementation Approach
The right implementation approach will make a big difference when it comes to successful project delivery. Agile is the preferred method for Salesforce projects. Using agile methodology, requirements gathering and implementation both exist in each iteration. , along with feedback, so you can continuously align customer expectation and product delivery. The implementation can adapt to changing requirements throughout the process, which then reduces the overall risks associated. Taking an agile approach provides high visibility and transparency, and is is a good way to see value being delivered on a continuous basis.
In summary, every business is unique and every project is also unique so there is no fixed approach on how a project should be initiated and executed. Before embarking on any new project it is always good to think about what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it, and have a high-level plan in place. If you’re interested in having a chat and find out how we can help you, please get in touch with the team today via firstname.lastname@example.org.