A step-by-step guide to Salesforce implementation

MICHAŁ GRONOWSKI

Principal Software Salesforce Engineer

During our years of working with Salesforce, we created a framework that can help you implement Salesforce in your company (regardless of the size). Below we describe the steps and resources needed to make your Salesforce journey smooth.  

Step #0: Pre-discovery (optional for small projects) 

This is the first step and needs to be done carefully. All the senior stakeholders will discuss the use case with our industry expert from the helicopter view and decide if Salesforce is their system of choice. Even if we love the platform and have implemented dozens of projects already, we know that Salesforce is not always the best fit. During this step, we discuss the business case and try to set up a roadmap.  

Input: Business Case 

Output: Salesforce Clouds (licenses), Drafted roadmap 

Actors: Business Owners, IT Owners, Spyro industry expert, Spyro Senior Salesforce Architect 

Step #1: Discovery 

It depends on the use case - it can either be a full-day workshop or a few weeks of work. During this phase, we dig into the business use case and draft the journeys, often demo-ing Salesforce to get the feedback as soon as we can. We also discuss the architecture landscape, integrations, etc. It helps us to capture and describe all the dependencies. 

Input: Roadmap, Salesforce Clouds to be used 

Output: Epics or User stories, System/Integration diagram, project milestones (or project plan), Salesforce environment strategy 

Actors: Business Domains Owners, IT Domains Owner, Spyro Business Analyst, Spyro Salesforce Architect 

Step #2: Implementation 

Mobilisation (sprint 0) 

This step often overlaps with the Discovery. The team needs some time to prepare themselves for the development phase. It depends on the project size. Sometimes it is done in the development sprints. Please be aware of the importance of this step. Salesforce projects are nothing more, nothing less than Software Delivery; therefore, proper tools are needed to ensure the quality of the delivery. You can use many different tools, but throughout our long story with Salesforce, we selected the best ones.  

Input: N/A 

Output: tools ready 

Actors: Scrum Master, Dev Team 

Development sprints 

We always suggest implementing Salesforce in the Agile model. Every project, every industry, and every client is different, but the Agile principles work in every case. Salesforce is Agile-friendly, and you can demo a working solution even on the first day of the project. It is all there, ready to be shown. We need to benefit from that. What makes Salesforce delivery different compared to a tailored software project? The Salesforce team needs to speak business language and understand when to use declarative tools. Having a proper/skilled team is the key to success.  

Input: Epics or User stories, System/Integration diagram, project milestones (or project plan) 

Output: Working System  

Actors: Agile Team, Business Owners, IT Owners.  

Wrap-up sprint / Go-live 

Deployment to production can be automated, but it is a good practice to have a dedicated sprint/time to ensure the deployment goes smoothly and the system is ready to be used. Please remember that automation can do a lot, but pre- and post-deployment steps must be executed. It is worth mentioning that it is good to split the go-live into multiple phases and not forget about the rollback plan. Make sure the go-live is planned according to Salesforce releases, and you work on good sandboxes (i.e., release preview).  

Input: Working/tested product 

Output: Product installed in the production environment 

Actors: Agile Team, Deployment Team 

Step 3: Stabilization  

After the successful go-live, plan a sub-group of your Agile team to focus fully on the production support. There are always issues or queries from system users. Having this mixed with the backlog is not the best idea. Document all the requests/issues and update the documentation. 

Step 4: Plan for the next steps  

This comes back to step zero. We strongly recommend stakeholders sit together, discuss lessons learned and plan for the future. Remember that Salesforce is constantly improving the platform, and you need to benefit from this.  

We have never seen a successful Salesforce project without proper support and discussion about new features. I remember one case, where turning on the dynamic form saved lots of time for the Sales Team. Salesforce release notes will be a Bible for your Salesforce Team.  

If you want to know more about Salesforce, check our offering page and contact our team.