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The Salesforce Blog with Tailored Goodness

Your Guide To Salesforce Maintenance

5458265138_90f45c0109_mI recently took a road trip to Western NY to visit some clients.  Driving along the rather boring NYS Thruway, I started watching the other cars on the road.  Some of them appeared to be “Well Implemented”, while others looked a little bit neglected.  With nothing else to do, I started thinking about the parallels between car ownership and “owning” a Salesforce org.  How do practices in both impact outcomes?

Read the Manual

How many of you have actually read your car’s manual?  I had no idea, until actually reading it, what my car was capable of.  For instance, my Volkswagen has dimmable footwell lighting that you can control in 10% increments. Shocking!  I NEVER would have guessed that was something I could customize.

In Salesforce, while there’s not really a manual, there are a lot of resources out there that are great for administrators and users to get the most out of their system.  A few of them are listed below and definitely worth a read.  Perhaps you can figure out how to dim your proverbial Salesforce footwell lighting!

Maintenance

Cars need maintenance.  If you don’t wash your car once a week, it’s going to be dirty.  If you don’t change your oil, you’ll blow your engine.  The same is true for Salesforce maintenance.  I like my car to be shiny, good looking, and reliable.  I want to get the most out of my investment in the car, and the same holds true for Salesforce.  Consider this:

A “Weekly Wash”, where as an administrator or user, you do the following:

  • Close/resolve any open tasks

  • Run adoption reports to gauge usage in the past week

  • Using Email to Salesforce? Resolve any unattached emails

  • Check all your record statuses and make sure they are up to date

  • Perform a backup by using the backup export utility

A periodic “Oil Change”, where as an admin:

  • Clean or Dedupe data

  • Check installed packages to make sure you’re running the most recent version

  • Audit users & licenses- Have you recently had employees leave the company?

  • Review setup/audit logs

  • Run Field Trip and analyze usage of fields in the system

  • Clean up page layouts & related lists to assure consistency

Driving

When you go out on the open road to take a spin, people just don’t do whatever they want.  There are rules of the road.  The rules exist for a reason – to keep people safe.  The rules are well documented and codified.  Do you have any “Stop Signs” in your Salesforce instance?  A few simple ways to establish rules of the road in your Salesforce instance:

  • Document business processes and make documentation or help available in Salesforce.  We love an application called “Crowd Guide” located here:  https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N3000000B2sgMEAR

  • Conduct periodic user training/QA sessions to reinforce proper behaviors

  • Share a “Tip of the Day” or week in Chatter

  • Cleanup the user experience in the application which can push users to best practice

Okay, One Big Difference

A car gets old with time and eventually needs to be replaced.  Salesforce, on the other hand is the equivalent of being given a brand new shiny car 3 times a year with each release.  This is one of my favorite parts of working with this technology, it never gets old and no one ever has “the old model” which means that everyone always has the latest & greatest.

To sum it up, by thinking about your Salesforce ownership as an investment and something that needs to be taken care of, it becomes easier to understand that keeping something great requires a little “soap” and some effort but the rewards will be worth it.  Define and enforce rules of the road to keep traffic flowing smoothly, read the manual, and set the cruise control for Successville!

Here are some additional resources to help:

If you are rolling out Salesforce and need help with your Salesforce Owner’s Manual, Training, or Salesforce customization Red Argyle offers a suite of services that will help you delivered tailored Goodness to the Salesforce platform. Contact us today, we would be happy to set up a discovery session and ensure your Salesforce implementation is a successful one.