Lessons not confessions: 1000 OrgConfessions and counting
At Dreamforce19 we had 405 OrgConfessions.com. Less than a year later we are at over 1,000. So what has changed, and how does it impact you, the Admin, Developer and Consultant?
First, let’s look at the root cause analysis of the OrgConfessions and see how they have changed in the last year. Interestingly enough, the top 4 causes haven’t changed since DF19. It is the same issues that dog implementations:
22.6% Business Analysis
15.5% Implementation lifecycle (Methodology / Center Of Excellence / DevOps)
So what has happened in the last year — apart from 600 new confessions?
Side note: I’ve read all 1000 confessions and whilst there are common themes, there are relatively few confessions that are exactly the same.
It is now widely recognized that business analysis is a critical front end activity that drives better solutions but also increases adoption. If you spend more time understanding what the users really need, not what they thought they wanted, you will get a better, faster, cheaper result. And, although it may seem you are taking more time to get into development, your roll-out will be faster in the long run.
What is new? There are now Trailhead Live sessions dedicated to analysis. Here are the previous sessions train.elements.cloud/live . There is a Business Analysis Community Group and a Business Analysis Trailmix. However this Trailmix is a source of constant confusion to those new to business analysis as it is really focused on data analysis.
Good architecture is fundamental to a great implementation. But it very hard to fix a Salesforce implementation where there was little no or architectural design before build started. Therefore getting the architectural input at the start of the project is key. Unfortunately architecture skills are in desperately short supply.
No one seems to find time to document their org configuration; not even filling out the description field. But it is clear, as Salesforce becomes more strategic and broader in scope in organizations, that a lack of documentation kills agility. Documentation is a critical part of the impact analysis of changes. Without it, every change needs huge levels of manual analysis which delays releases. But what if someone could do the documentation for you?
What is new? Org clean-up and optimization are now regular topics at Dreamforce and TrailheaDX. The Metadata API enables some (not all) org metadata information to be pulled from the org.The new DependencyAPI (beta, no GA plans yet) enables multi-level metadata impact analysis, and whilst it has limitations, it is a start. ISVs are leveraging these APIs to build metadata dictionaries with where used analysis. Elements.cloud has probably the most comprehensive use of the APIs as it is the platform for the entire implementation lifecycle.
Implementation lifecycle / DevOps / COE
This is a broad category. The root issue is a combination of a poorly designed, misunderstood or poor adherence to an implementation methodology and standards. Many individuals are joining the ecosystem with no background in systems implementation or change management. They become Rangers and gain certifications but still do not understand the fundamentals. At best this results in long release cycles, at worst it puts the whole org at risk.
What is new? There is Trailhead Live training on the implementation lifecycle. There is a dedicated Center Of Excellence Success Community a LinkedIn community and a monthly COE Lounge where Heads of COE and CIOs can meet and discuss best practice. DevOps is now an understood discipline with several ISVs providing apps and Salesforce launching its own DevOps Center in Sept 2021. 10K recent survey highlighted the importance of COE and DevOps in project success.
Trailhead and Certifications are giving everyone and opportunity to build a new, more fulfilling career on Salesforce. But as Salesforce becomes more strategic to customers, badges and Certifications are no longer enough. Therefore you need to look outside Trailhead for training and direction. Skills need to include business analysis, architecture and understanding of the implementation lifecycle, Center Of Excellence (COE) and DevOps have become critical.