Salesforce Lightning

  • What I learnt rolling out Salesforce Lightning…

    Rolling out Salesforce Lightning is something most of us have or will shortly experience.  If you are an Admin, there is fewer and fewer reasons to not take the plunge and migrate over to Salesforce Lightning.

    I have long been pushing our various Salesforce instances towards being able to migrate to Lightning Experience. 

    We had focused so much time and energy trying to reduce the technical debt to a point we could possibly make the jump.  Until we made the decision to shift gears, and actually move into a shiny new org.

    But moving to Lightning, has taught me a few things as an admin/dev, and it is time to share!  So here are some musings/lessons/thoughts about rolling out Salesforce Lightning…

    Learn Lightning, inside and out! 

    I got to say, there was plenty of things that stumped me about the move across to Lightning.

    One that ALWAYS got me, was the difference between the Lightning Page Builder, the ‘normal’ page layout builder and what controls what on the actual overall layout in Lightning.

    Simplest way to learn this, is imagine the Lightning Page as the top layer, or shell, which allows you to organise the overall feel of a specific page in Lightning.

    Lightning page regions 

    • This is where you define how many columns you want to display, how where the columns/rows go.
    • It is also where you control what displays where.  And groups together things like record pages (ie the ‘normal page layout’), any widgets or components you want.
    • This is where you can control the sub-tabs which display in Lightning.  Like the Related sub-tab or Chatter/Activities

    Adding a Component to a Tab

    The thing that got me, the most when starting out? 

    This is NOT where you control the buttons, quick actions, etc visible on the page.  For that you still need to go and edit the Record Page.

    I don’t know why, but this is one thing that really irritated me the most until it finally just ‘clicked’ and made sense in my head.

    The section on the Record Page Layout for ‘Salesforce Mobile and Lightning Experience Actions’ is where you control this.

    But remember, you may have a Lightning page for all users.  But if you have a Record Page Layout for different profiles/record types, then you will have multiple places to manage this and make sure it is correct for everyone.

    Lightning is about speed and efficiency, so use it!

    So use the opportunity of moving to Lightning as a way to change how your processes work. If you are migrating to Lightning, you will have to review most (if not all) processes anyway. So use this as an opportunity to work with your internal stakeholders and improve the workflow for the end-users!

    Going through our transformation to Lightning, there was a ‘hit list’ of things we wanted to change.

    Depending on your scope re: the project and time allowed, you won’t hit everything. But by identifying and prioritising the ‘top speed boosters’ for your end-users, helps get them engaged in the overall project. And by even improving their workflow by reducing 3 or 4 clicks, you would be surprised how quickly this all adds up to measurable improvement for your users.

    Even reworking your page layouts, to display the information the end-user needs can add to the overall benefit of Lightning.

    Why is this important?

    Rolling out Salesforce Lightning, as a new User Interface, gives you a lot of flexibility. So the more you can do in this area, helps when it comes time to rolling out the new system and getting your users to buy-in and actually use Lightning!

    It all ties back into driving engagement and adoption. Which is the reason you are doing this change in the first place, isn’t it?

    It is a bigger jump for your dev team than you may realise…

    Through this project, I had the benefit of working with a number of top notch dev teams, but specifically the Salesforce dev team.

    But changing from Classic to Lightning, had a massive up-skilling implication for us as a company. And we ensured we gave the development team time to learn the ropes with Lightning Pages/Components/etc.

    To help out, we also tried to go as ‘out of the box’ as possible. But no matter how hard you push for this, there are likely to be business rules which need customisations.

    So don’t underestimate this!

    Allow your dev team time before the migration to up-skill and learn about how the new Lightning framework fits together.

    I would always loved to give our dev team more time for this, but keep in mind that you do have to try and balance this with likely delivery ‘windows’ within your organisation.

    We had a lot of other projects happening, both before and after this porject. So we had a specific time frame we had to aim for to release in. But we made it, and I think we managed to get a decent amount of time for our devs to learn the new world.

    Think about the data!

    As previously mentioned, we made a decision that it would be easier for the teams involved to deliver Lightning to the business as part of a new CRM. This was instead of the option to try and update/upgrade things in a Salesforce org that was around 12-14years old!

    For us, though this meant we also had to plan in a CRM Data Migration… YAY!

    Image result for data

    Now, you might not have the need to go this route. But data is still very important in the project.

    What data is visible, can in some circumstances be controlled by Lightning. Do you use Customisable Forecasts? Nope not Lightning compatible, instead you will need Collaborative Forecasts. Salesforce have done a massive job in trying to plug all the gaps between classic and Lightning, but some still exist. (Like Close Date showing in US Date format, regardless of locale settings – very confusing everywhere that isn’t US/Canada!)

    So, remember the data.

    Remember what you need your users to do in Lightning, and make sure they still can do it.

    It could be simple tweaks to page layouts (as per my first point). But you need to make sure everything that is needed, is visible to those who need it.

    And where there are system or feature differences, weigh up does the Lightning alternative work for you? And if yes, what training/coaching do users need to get used to the new way of working? Then this should feed into your overall training plan, as remember, Lightning is very different for end-users!

    Remember your Users (aka avoid the Bambi effect!)

    Any change of this nature is going to be big! As admins and developers, we have now been conditioned re ‘all things Lightning’. And have been for a number of years – even if you haven’t used it before yourself.

    Everything Salesforce related has been pushing Lightning now for a number of years…

    But the biggest thing here is, don’t underestimate the change for your end-users. Remember this will mostly be brand new to them. And some will likely resist the move, at first…

    One anecdote for you, which was something that I had to fight hard against myself. Don’t underestimate the impacts of some of the ‘out of the box’ features that come with Lightning. Remember as Salesforce users we have seen things like Kanban and Lightning Consoles in every Salesforce demo and feature release now for a number of years…

    And this is how you want to ensure you avoid your end-users becoming like the proverbial ‘deer in the headlights’ (aka Bambi).

    Image result for bambi headlight
    Oh look, new features!

    When we rolled out Salesforce Lightning, our sales and finances team LOVED Kanban View on their relevant list views. But it was something that was easy for the delivery team to skip over or avoid, because for us we had seen it all before, and it wasn’t part of what we were actually developing…

    But we didn’t deliver that as a feature… Or did we?!

    Sometimes the project team got a little disheartened, myself included. Why? Because the meetings you go to with end users, they would always say how ‘we love these things’, but those were the Salesforce Lightning ‘out of the box’ features, like Kanban.

    But to make those features work and work properly for your teams, there is a lot of effort that is needed to ensure they work as expected. You have to adjust all the things that go on ‘inside’ Salesforce, in the places end-users don’t really see! Like your workflows and validation rules. These things simply have to be in-sync with what you are trying to deliver with Lightning.

    So we might not have created Kanban, but we did everything behind the scenes that makes it work fluidly/’drag and drop’ in a system. We updated the workflows, approval rules and validation rules behind the scenes to allow users to be able to ‘simply drag and drop’ records into the new status.

    In the old classic workflow, we would just throw up a validation error (not best practise, but so many orgs do this), if something was missing. But now moving to Lightning, this gave us a huge opportunity to rethink how/when certain information got entered in Salesforce.

    Rolling out Salesforce Lightning? Engage the top brass, and the foot soldiers

    A project on this scale, will need so many different people to be involved.

    Success is paramount on engaging the top brass (ie senior leaders/stakeholders) and getting them involved in the process. And likewise, you have to also get the foot soldiers (or your super users) comfortable enough to be able to help take some of the questions.

    We treated this as much of a culture change, as it was a system change. And that seemed to work really well for the project.

    There are a lot of ways to do this, and you can search until the cows come home about Change Management practices. But put simply you and your team will need allies and generals. People on your side to help push your message across the teams / organisation and drive adoption.

    And the biggest lesson here, is to remember that everyone reacts to change differently. Doesn’t matter what it is.

    But by treating this like a cultural change, and preparing to support people as they went through the ‘change curve‘, you can help ‘short circuit’ the pain of change. You won’t get rid of it completely, but you can come up with a plan that helps people transition through to the ‘new way’ as quickly as possible.

    Rolling out Salesforce Lightning is like any change.  Here is a Change Management curve
    Rolling out Salesforce Lightning, can impact people differently. The ‘change curve’ highlights a number of outcomes…

    And finally…

    There is a lot to go through. The key to success really is to plan. I have touched on a number of facets to what we learned as part of our Lightning migration. Everyone has a different starting point, both re: Salesforce instance but also experience with driving changes within an organisation.

    Planning your project will put you in good stead, and by scheduling in the change on your roadmap, you can use it as a golden opportunity to revisit almost everything to do with how Salesforce works at your organisation.

    As part of this revisit, decide what are the must-haves and things that need to change, versus the nice-to-haves. And also use this as a chance to try to identify any risks to the project.

    But don’t just focus on ‘must-haves’. Sometimes the nice-to-haves are the things that also help you get people excited about a new system…

    Comments below!

    Have you recently moved across to Lightning? What are your tips or lessons for moving to Lightning?

    Or if you are planning on moving to Lightning, what are the things you are most looking forward to (or nervous about)?

  • How to Plan Your Move to Lightning Experience

    For many businesses, now is the time to move to Salesforce Lightning.  But moving to Lightning can feel like a daunting task.  Where should you start?  How to you make sure you don’t disrupt the business?  So in this first post, we will take a look at how to plan your move to Lightning Experience.

    In the next post, we look at how to implement your plan and go-live!  But in the meantime, if you have any tips of your own, feel free to add them in the comments section below.  And let’s start planning…

    Planning your move

    migrating to Lightning is all about planning

    Before we start, let’s just clear the air.

    As an #AwesomeAdmin you probably already know there is planning required to make the switch over.  The old adage – ‘failure to plan, is planning for failure’ – is never truer than when changing how a user works within a system.

    But driving user adoption and making the transition as smooth as possible, doesn’t need to be overly complicated process though.  And by planning your transition you set yourself up for the best possible result.

    So let’s get started.

    WIIFM?!… What’s In It For Me?

    One of the first steps to planning any change should to be understand the ‘what’s in it for me’.  It is the first question most users want to know about any change…

    Salesforce Lightning adoption - answer 'What's in it for me' from your end-users point of view
    Understanding ‘What’s In It For Me?’will help drive adoption…

    Sure Lightning Experience looks great.  You can now customise the colours to match your company identity…

    But that doesn’t really engage end-users in using the platform.  After all we want them to use the system once we make the change, don’t we?…

    Be honest with yourself.  Would a typical sales, customer service or partner really care about that?

    Answering this question for each type of stakeholder is one of the best ways to ensure everyone buys-in to making the move.

    A great example is dealing with a stakeholder from Sales.  Lightning offers many new features which benefit most sales users.  Here are a few…. Sales Path to guide on what to do in the system to move to the next stage.  Kanban board for managing your pipeline with drag-and-drop ease.  What about Sales Console?  Use of macros practically anywhere in Salesforce?

    The point here is to you need to demonstrate you understand your end-users by understanding their problems.  If you understand the problem, you can effectively position a feature or benefit that solves it.  And this helps engage these stakeholders early on…

     Why should we invest in making this change?

    The next step is to develop a business case.  It sounds horrible, but it can really help in convincing your senior stakeholders on why they should support the change.  And to drive adoption when launched, you need their support…

    Salesforce Lightning Experience across multiple devices
    Even Astro loves Lightning Experience…

    This may not be applicable for all business, but I always try to work out a rough cost/benefit to any changes my team make.  Even if it is just an estimate.  And this loops back to understanding the WIIFM within your business.

    Every business problem – and in turn the potential solution – have a potential time/cost associated with them.

    This is the gold dust in developing your business case to answer the question most senior stakeholders within business would ask,

    As an example, a simple cost-to-benefit calculation could be based on decreasing sales admin time.  By improving the time taken to process and close a contract within the system, you can quantify the potential upside to the business.

    So if an average salesperson closed an extra 2 deals a day/month/year due to improving the sales workflow in Lightning, how much is that worth to your business?  (average contract value * extra deals per day = potential upside).

    Keep in mind, this is only an estimate.  But it can be a useful way to engage the business and to capture metrics relating to the success of the project once completed.

    Mind the gap…?

    Salesforce has spent the last couple of years attempting to make Lightning match the features of Classic.  But there are still some gaps between Classic and Lightning Experience.

    The next item on our list is to check what these gaps actually mean your org.  By doing so you ensure your users can still use all key features they need.

    If there is a feature gap or limitation, the next step should be to look at the publicly available roadmap.  This outlines the upcoming features planned for release and may cover the feature that is a priority for you.

    Also each published version of the release notes now include a section on what is and what is not included in Lightning Experience.  For the Spring ’18 section, please have a look here.

    Side note: The roadmap is scheduled to be updated after the Spring ’18 release, but a handy video to watch about the Force.com platform and upcoming features is the True to the Core video.  Or there is a breakdown of the expected features in the 2018 predictions post here.

    Resources

    Salesforce is clearly invested in supporting all orgs to move to Lightning Experience.  Releases now introduce most new features as Lightning Experience only.  But to help, there is a wealth of content available for free to sink your teeth into.

    For starters there is a great Trailhead module specifically on getting hands-on with a Lightning Experience roll-out.  There is also a quick overview of the steps on the Admin blog.  But personally I highly recommend jumping to the Power of Us site, which has been setup to cover best practice for making the jump to Lightning.

    Each and every org now also has the Lightning Readiness Check built-in.  And the check gets an update every release to give you more and more insight into your org’s compatibility into making the change.

    If you want more information about how to take a business-first approach to rolling out Lightning, I found this article over on SalesforceBen.

  • Is it time to move to Salesforce Lightning?

    Salesforce Winter ’18 has now been rolled out across all Salesforce instances.  As you have noticed, Salesforce Classic didn’t get many feature updates, and almost the entire release is Lightning Experience focused.  You might have noticed the trend over the last few releases – seemingly everything Salesforce has done has been labelled ‘Lightning’ or only available for the Lightning Experience…  So is it time to move to Salesforce Lightning?

    How did we get to this point?  It feels like only a little while ago, we were all talking about key missing features.  We will take a look at the history of Salesforce and how Lightning came to exist.  What features are now available to you in Lightning Experience?

    Stepping back in time…

    Back in 1999, things were different.  Let’s take a step back in time…

    To connect to the internet, if you were lucky enough to be able to get it, your computer had a modem which made really funny noises and it could take a minute or two for it to simply connect with your ISP.

    Nokia 3310
    Not an iPhone in sight… Even the 3310 wasn’t available in 1999!

    Mobile devices looked quite different.  There were no iPhones or Android’s.  Even the Nokia 3310 hadn’t been released… It was released in 2000!

    The world used Lycos, Hotbot or Yahoo to search… Google had only started in 1998 and not many people used it (or even knew what Google was!)

    Do you Yahoo…?

    But 1999 also revealed Salesforce to the world.  And over that time there has been a number of UI improvements but the core of Salesforce has always been the navigating via tabs.

    Old Salesforce User Interfaces: Pre-Lightning UI

    Salesforce: a brief history…

    The world has changed considerably since 1999.  And so much of it, for the better!

    Internet in many offices now is super-fast broadband, some would even say “Lightning fast” (#sorrynotsorry, I couldn’t help myself).

    Internet speeds on mobile are also significantly faster and now we take for granted the ability to use internet on our mobile devices (let alone being able to stream Netflix on a mobile device).

    As a result companies switched to a ‘mobile first’ approach to development, Salesforce included.  This resulted in spending a number of features that became exclusive to mobile devices.  And as the Salesforce1 app on mobile devices continued to evolve the desktop version started to really look dated.

    Some people even resorted to using the “One App” on desktops to gain access to these new features.  This was mainly to test app features, but none-the-less there were stark differences between desktop and mobile.

    And over the last few years we can even add into the mix devices like smart watches, which allow us to be even more connected to our work.

    Introducing Salesforce Lightning

    This is why Salesforce needed to evolve again..  Enter Salesforce Lightning Experience (otherwise referred to as LEX for short).

    Lightning Experience across all devices…

    It was designed as a way to unify the interface across all devices.  While also introducing a new wave of web technologies to the CRM for admins and developers to be able to leverage.

    Lightning Experience (LEX) promised a whole new interface and way to interact with Salesforce.  When launched it was features like kanban boards for sales to manage their pipelines, news highlights & account news, sales path and being able to put graphs on list views which caught the eye of most admins and developers.

    That isn’t even mentioning the new design framework and components which let you extend the functionality on pretty much any page.  Lightning Experience suddenly expanded the world of point and click admins!

    Lightning – started with a flash…

    As with any transition though, not everything was working as expected.   Lightning Experience was quite cumbersome and sluggish to use.  And so many features of what became Salesforce ‘Classic’ weren’t even available in the new user interface, as an example Forecasts wasn’t available at all.

    Since being introduced as part of the Winter ’16 release, Salesforce was aiming for feature parity with Salesforce Classic within 2 years.  Over that time there have also been a huge number of improvements made.  Which begs the question, is now the time to move to Salesforce Lightning?

    Salesforce has not only improved how Lightning loads, but improved how Lightning looks and also introduced a range of brand spanking new features to Salesforce platform and only available in Lightning (looking at you Salesforce Einstein).

    Salesforce Lightning versus Classic

    Over the last two years the list of missing features in Lightning has been thankfully shrinking.  As you can see from the Salesforce feature comparison, we are fast approaching the milestone of feature parity in Lightning Experience.

    Clearly Salesforce isn’t just looking at feature parity, with Lightning “exclusives” such as Dialer, Assistant, new dashboards (not with just three columns) and even new report graph types are being released only on Lightning.

    Move to Salesforce Lightning for features like Kanban
    Salesforce Kanban and list view graphs (Source: Salesforce)

    You can also forget about using Salesforce Einstein sales features if you haven’t migrated…

    Looking at the list, there are still some specific exceptions.  But not being able to migrate to Lightning Experience due to a missing feature is now mostly a thing of the past for organisations.

    Final verdict: Move to Salesforce Lightning

    Lightning Experience has come a very long way since it was first released, and is now ready for most organisations to make the switch.

    Standout features in Lightning Experience do grab the eye of users and admins alike.  This is quite beneficial as it can help drive user engagement and adoption.  And ultimately this can help make the change to Salesforce Lightning an easier process.

    But now is the time to start planning the upgrade to Lightning Experience.

    Remember though, you do have to plan carefully for it (which we will cover in the next post).

    Most organisations should now be able to start using Lightning without having to keep switching back to Classic.  Even if there is a feature still missing, the Lightning Experience roadmap shows the future product releases.  Check it out to see if your missing feature is about to be released.

    What do you think?  Share your thoughts below in the comments section.

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