How to Approach Salesforce Change Management

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Cloud Insights and Innovation

Salesforce is not a “set it and forget it” solution. To reap the full benefits of everything Salesforce has to offer, it’s imperative to regularly look for opportunities to improve and expand what you’re doing within the platform.

For this type of regular growth to be successful, you need a proper governance model. This includes a Center of Excellence (COE) to make decisions, sets standards for processes and design and collect user feedback.

One of the most important responsibilities of a Salesforce COE, particularly as it releases changes to the program, is to lead change management efforts.

Change Management is Essential to Salesforce Success

Whether you’re first introducing Salesforce into your organization, rolling out new features and processes or onboarding new users, change management is essential to success at every step of the way. After all, you can have the most well-designed processes and technical architecture, but if no one knows how or wants to use Salesforce, then nothing else matters.

One way to increase user adoption is through a formal change management strategy. Including change management as part of your Salesforce governance can improve user adoption by:

  • Communicating value: Help users understand the need for Salesforce and see it as a helpful tool so that they actually use it.
  • Ensuring proper usage of Salesforce: Clearly explain how to follow set processes through training sessions so that everyone uses Salesforce consistently and adheres to proper workflows.
  • Creating a feedback loop with the user community: Regularly collect user feedback to understand what’s working and what’s not to plan for improvements in processes, technical setup and/or communications about changes.

How to Get Started with Salesforce Change Management

Getting started with change management for your Salesforce program involves two key steps:

1) Issue a readiness analysis

Issuing a readiness analysis can help you gauge where your organization stands currently when it comes to user adoption of Salesforce and the value users see in the program.

To conduct this analysis, you might ask questions like:

  • How do users feel about Salesforce?
  • Do they find it adds value to their daily activities or do they see it as nothing more than an administrative tool?
  • Are they aware of processes and best practices for using Salesforce?

Ultimately, the results of this analysis should help you identify whether or not Salesforce is driving the desired value for users as well as their readiness to accept change. If Salesforce is not driving value as expected and/or users are not ready to accept change, you may need to revisit your processes within Salesforce and/or how you introduce changes to users.

2) Develop a change management model

Whether or not your users are ready to accept change, it’s important to develop a change management model to govern deployments going forward.

If your users are not ready to accept change, this model can help you address the underlying issues. If they are ready to accept change, this model can ensure you continue to develop and communicate changes successfully.

Your change management model should focus on five areas that you need to satisfy as part of any new rollout for your Salesforce program:

  • Communication: How and when will you communicate changes to users?
  • Sponsorship: Do you have proper sponsorship from the top down?
  • Adoption: How will you help users incorporate the application into their daily activities?
  • Process: How effective is the application as it relates to overall business processes?
  • Training: How will you deliver ongoing user training?

Are You Ready to Improve How You Approach Salesforce Change Management?

Ready to discover everything you need to know about approaching Salesforce change management and how else you can set your organization up for success with a formal governance strategy? Check out our white paper on Salesforce Application Governance to learn more.

Ojay Malonzo

Read more posts by Ojay Malonzo