Implementation is only part of the journey with a successful Salesforce solution. For long-term, continuous innovation and success with the platform, a Salesforce managed services engagement guided by a vendor (aka partner) who understands your needs, scope, and goals each step of the way is essential.
Ensure your Salesforce managed services engagement gets off to the right start
Technically speaking, the ramp phase is where your salesforce managed services engagement work begins. This phase is critical because it will lay the foundation for a solid relationship with your partner. The ramp phase will vary in length and is dependent on a few specific factors:
- How complex is your environment and are there any integrations and third-party tools?
- Do you have a devops/release management process already defined such that it’s plug and play or does that need to be fleshed out?
- Do you have the resources on your team ready to step in and integrate with your partner?
Generally, the answers to these questions will determine whether your ramp time is two weeks or six weeks. Either way, you want to make sure your ramp checklist is complete before diving into the run phase (aka the development phase).
Set yourself up for success with a comprehensive “getting started” checklist
Like any project, a checklist of items to complete before kicking off sets the tone for the weeks and months ahead. While administrative tasks, such as project setup, access to systems, and scheduling meetings are necessary, the critical checklist items can often be glossed over in the name of simply getting started.
Four critical steps in the ramp phase you want to get right the first time
1. Knowledge transfer
The key to any engagement is having the right people with the right knowledge to be successful. Knowledge transfer goes beyond a technical demo of your current environment (though this is important). During ramp, there should be one or more functional knowledge transfer calls with each user group.
The key takeaway from these sessions should be how each group is using the environment in their day-to-day workflow. This will ensure the vendor has a full picture of how your environment is being used so they can design solution plans that will satisfy everyone.
2. Devops/release management process
While the knowledge transfer calls are taking place, it’s important to connect the technical resources on both sides to review and discuss your devops and release management process.
Don’t have one? That’s okay. Your Salesforce managed services partner will guide you through best practices and put in place a process that makes sense for the engagement. Having a devops process in place will enable the development team to develop and release faster and more easily, which in turn gets requested changes into the hands of your business users.
3. Backlog review and creation of user stories
Once your knowledge transfer calls are complete, it’s time to review the backlog. Creating user stories and grooming the backlog prior to starting the run phase will set the stage for a successful first sprint. Oftentimes engagements start with no backlog, or a backlog without any details. This slows down the development process once ramp is complete and can have a negative impact on the momentum the project had at the beginning. Take the time necessary to ensure that once the ball starts rolling, it keeps going.
4. Run phase kickoff call
Before you officially move on from the ramp phase, it’s important to have a run phase kickoff call with the entire team. This call should be a quick, 30-minute call designed to review and confirm the “rules of the road” outlined over the last few weeks for your engagement. It should also confirm the work included in the first sprint and the priority of each item. This ensures everyone is on the same page moving forward and will set the team up for success.
Having the right Salesforce managed services partner matters for your team and the health of your Salesforce org
Partnering with an experienced Salesforce partner to manage your Salesforce environment can be a great way to gain access to experts in various areas of the platform. It also allows you to turn out enhancements and support your Salesforce environment at a quicker pace than what your in-house employees may be able to support. It can also help with change management challenges you may otherwise face, which can slow or halt adoption internally.
Set the foundation for success from the start by choosing a partner that understands not only the technology, but also your team’s unique goals and expectations. By ensuring the checkboxes are checked prior to moving into the development phase of your engagement, you’ll be happy, your managed services partner will be happy, and your users will be happy.
Get to know more about our Salesforce managed services expertise and how we can help achieve your goals.