January 24, 2022

John Lange | Senior Manager, Product Marketing

In Part One of the Winning Strategies to Achieve Salesforce Success blog post series, we highlighted the four approaches that companies use to successfully add new clouds, features, and functionality to their existing environment.  

We uncovered these insights via a third-party research project we sponsored during the fall of 2021. We asked Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) to interview Salesforce decision makers, architects, developers, and administrators about what it takes to get their users to say, “bravo, well done on that project!” (Ok, truth be told, we didn’t actually ask the question that way, but you get the point.) 

In this post, we drill down into the first winning strategy: how to kick off major Salesforce projects.  

Winning Strategy #1: First Validate Business and User Needs and Plan Extensively 

The first winning strategy seems obvious and straightforward, but it’s also an area where companies underinvest in both time and resources. This step is the foundation of project success.  

The research points out that there’s a temptation for companies to be less exacting with needs assessments and requirements gathering when adding another application. That can lead to serious problems during implementation. 

Here’s the other benefit of performing an extensive discovery process: warding off scope creep. One of the most common problems in software development is the continuous adjusting of project parameters.  

A well-executed kick-off approach means that the development team will stay focused on the critical path – and not get distracted by an avalanche of new requests. This helps projects stay on time and on budget, which is exactly what executives want to hear. 

Here’s what survey respondents had to say about this step: 

“Conduct business process analysis before hopping on the idea of a new SF app or a major change to the setup. We implemented a new Salesforce Cloud before seeing that we could’ve achieved what we needed by altering some processes and integrating an add-on app.” 

“Understand user requirements from A-Z before you start the process design, solution design, and implementation planning. If you don’t get user requirements right, everything after that will be off-base as well.” 

“Build in the time at the start to validate all user requirements, especially those requiring customizations. It’s like planning a complex road trip. You’ll save time if you map it out carefully and identify shortcuts versus just setting out with only your final destination in mind.” 

We agree with this step wholeheartedly, which is why we always build in ample time to make sure we fully understand business requirements and user needs. There’s really no context in which a new solution should be adopted without first doing the “homework.”

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