It’s no secret: Salesforce is a most popular CRM solution in today’s marketplace. It had infinitely customisable features and powerful capabilities. So, many businesses are turning to Salesforce to manage their sales, marketing, and customer service activities. However,…. implementing Salesforce can be a complex process. And without proper Salesforce project management, it can lead to a failed implementation. Let’s avoid that!
Let’s set you up for success instead. Let me begin by highlighting the key elements of Salesforce project management, i.e. what to manage. Then, I’ll share tips on what to watch out for during implementation. Last, I’ll explain why it’s important to hire a certified Salesforce consultant, such as the experts at CloudAnalysts, to help ensure your Salesforce implementation is a success.
Key Elements of Salesforce Project Management
Project management really plays a critical role to make sure that your Salesforce implementation will be successful. Here are some key elements of Salesforce project management:
- Defining Project Scope and Objectives: Before starting any project, it’s important to clearly define the scope and objectives. This includes identifying the 3 what’s:
- What features and functionalities you want to implement,
- What business processes you want to improve, and
- What goals you want to achieve with Salesforce.
- The larger the project, the more important it is that you write a Business Case written for it. Business cases are not just to get the funding. They also help sort out any ‘crooked thinking’ as well. 😉
- Establishing a Project Plan and Timeline: Once you have defined the project scope and objectives, the next step is to create a project plan and timeline. This should include tasks, milestones, and deadlines to ensure the project stays on track.
Further key elements of project management
Most projects have these two elements dealt with. But there are 3 more key elements:
- A PM would next look at costs & resources, but I’d like to have that detailed. Salesforce project cost typically are 99% human resources, so I’d like to translate both of these elements into: ‘Selecting a Team and Assigning Roles’: Selecting the right team is critical to the success of your Salesforce implementation. You should have a project manager to oversee the project, as well as individuals with the necessary technical expertise to implement Salesforce. Be sure to appoint an Executive Sponsor (board) who will oversee and champion the project. Also, make room on the org chart for a change management lead. Consistent and enticing project communication and advocacy will be key to adoption — see the next point.
- User Training and Adoption: User training and adoption is crucial to the success of any Salesforce implementation. Users need to be trained on how to use the system. They also need to be convinced of the benefits of using Salesforce to ensure adoption.
- Ensuring Data Quality: Data is a critical component of any Salesforce implementation. It’s important to ensure that data is accurate, complete, and consistent before importing it into Salesforce.
We find that companies who are taking that PM-role too lightly and are not having a professional performing it, are often skipping one or more of the key elements. Don’t be one of them.
Our top tips for Salesforce project management
Implementing Salesforce can be a complex process, and it’s important to watch out for potential pitfalls. Here are some tips for successful Salesforce project management:
- Start with a Pilot Project: Before implementing Salesforce across your entire organisation, it’s a good idea to start with a pilot project. This will allow you to test the system and identify any issues before scaling up. Also, break your project down into sections and start with a minimal viable product (MVP, or smallest project with real benefits) and continue with the rollout of each of these section, in order of urgency and importance. Under no circumstances (except for tiny projects) try to do it all at once!
- Ensure Proper Data Management: Data management. For starters, be sure it’s clean (data cleansing a project in-and-by-itself), and then in a format that can be aggregated, and be made actionable. Pivotal in this is data mapping, i.e. the process of mapping your existing data to the appropriate fields in Salesforce. It’s important to ensure that data is mapped correctly to avoid data errors and inconsistencies.
- In today’s Salesforce projects data plays a critical role. By managing data as a separate activity, it will get the focus it needs take out all the kinks in the pipelines of your omni-channel service, sales or marketing Salesforce solutions.
- Prioritise User Adoption: User adoption is critical to the success of your Salesforce implementation. Make sure to prioritise user training and communication to ensure user adoption. Develop some project enthusiasts/ opinion leaders in the various corners of your organisation, as they can become instrumental in training and adoption.
- Monitor Progress and Make Adjustments: It’s important to monitor progress (burn rate and other resources v.s. feature delivery – on a time line) and make adjustments as necessary throughout the implementation process. This will help you stay on track and ensure the project is successful. Unplanned surprises are nearly inevitable, so have a process to handle these. Agile methodology makes learning part of the process. Agile or not, stay focused. Constantly applying ‘even better if’– is demoralising to staff, if that becomes a daily reiteration of requirement changes. Best to work through what end-users really want before you start. Even better if- thinking works best if done in the early stages, and on period intervals for 2 weeks (a sprint) up to quarterly (depending on the nature/size of the project and the changes.
- Value PM skills: An end-user without PM training and certification is typically not the most suitable project manager. Proper PM leads to cost-effective project execution, and a focus on what is important instead of endless -(ly changing) wish-lists of end-users (as we have witnessed on too many projects when clients want to PM their own projects casually, as just one more task for an internal staff person who is busy with many other tasks.
Why hire an experienced certified Salesforce consultant
Hiring a certified Salesforce consultant, such as the experts at CloudAnalysts, can help ensure your Salesforce implementation is a success. Here are some reasons why:
- Expertise and Experience: Certified Salesforce consultants have the expertise and experience necessary to successfully implement Salesforce. They have the technical knowledge and best practices to ensure a smooth and successful implementation.
- Customisation and Configuration: Certified Salesforce consultants have the skills to customise and configure Salesforce to meet your specific business needs. They can help you identify the right features and functionalities to implement, and ensure that Salesforce is configured correctly to align with your business processes.
- Project Management: Certified Salesforce consultants are trained in project management. We can help ensure that your Salesforce implementation stays on track. They can create a project plan and timeline, manage the project team, and ensure that deadlines are met.
- User Training and Support: Certified Salesforce consultants can provide user training and support to ensure that your users are able to use Salesforce effectively. They can also provide ongoing support and help to address any issues that may arise.
- Return on Investment (ROI): Hiring a local, certified Salesforce consultant can help ensure a higher ROI on your Salesforce investment. By ensuring that Salesforce is implemented correctly and users are trained and adopting the system, you can achieve better business outcomes and increase revenue.
Salesforce project management is a critical component of a successful Salesforce implementation. To ensure a successful implementation, consider hiring a certified Salesforce consultant, such as the experts at CloudAnalysts, to help you achieve your business goals.
By working with a certified Salesforce consultancy and leveraging their expertise and experience, your Salesforce project can much more likely be successfully implementation: better meeting business needs, better adoption, and higher ROI.
Interested to learn more? Talk to one of our experts before you embark on your project. We offer free initial consultations to help you succeed with Salesforce: