The best Salesforce programs grow and evolve over time. They expand within the organization to serve new teams and they regularly innovate on capabilities and processes to meet changing user requirements.
Importantly, the best Salesforce programs also take an organized approach to this growth by managing it through a Salesforce governance strategy. This strategy should help centralize oversight and decision making, manage user adoption, handle change management and set standards for organization and design, among other key responsibilities.
When it comes to expanding or evolving how Salesforce gets used, setting a Salesforce organization strategy is one of the most important governance responsibilities. Let’s explore why this part of the Salesforce governance model is so important and how to get started with it.
Minimize Risk with a Salesforce Organization Strategy
Any changes you make to Salesforce from a technical perspective come with risk. For example, you might disrupt data or unintentionally alter configurations. These disruptions can hurt the user experience and wreak havoc on your business.
However, you need to make changes to Salesforce to ensure it continues to meet changing business needs and to further innovate how your users work.
The key to making these necessary changes without exposing your organization to risk lies in implementing an organization strategy that governs new developments for your Salesforce instance.
Specifically, this organization strategy should determine where new developments for your Salesforce instance get built and tested so that they don’t interfere with your production environment. It should also ensure that no changes go live to the system until they are fully tested and the impact to the production environment is clear.
5 Best Practices for Your Salesforce Organization Strategy
Once you determine the need for an organization strategy to govern new Salesforce developments, how do you get started? Follow these five best practices:
1) Use a sandbox
A sandbox is a copy of your production instance. Using a sandbox allows your team to run development and testing for new Salesforce features, net-new applications or enhancements in an isolated environment that mimics production but does not have any impact on live data, processes or users.
2) Set up multiple sandboxes
The best organization strategies rely on multiple sandboxes, usually one for each department/stakeholder. Having multiple sandboxes allows you to run different development and testing efforts simultaneously. It also means you can create sandboxes that contain specific data sets from production data to keep development efforts extremely focused. Finally, it can help improve confidence in new developments by allowing you to test changes in multiple environments. Critically, one of your sandboxes needs to be a full copy of your production environment, as that sandbox will be essential to validating the impact of pushing changes live.
3) Refresh your sandboxes
When you first create a sandbox, it should be an exact replica of your production environment. But as your production environment changes, your sandboxes will not automatically change as well. To ensure you have a recent, exact copy of your production environment for development, testing and training, you need to refresh your sandboxes periodically.
4) Set test coverage requirements
Testing any new developments before you push them to production is obviously important. Equally as critical is setting test coverage requirements. Best practices in this area include requiring a minimum of 75% test code coverage by line, setting a rule that all tests must be complete with no errors and ensuring that tests pass one or more assertions (or expressions that encapsulate testable logic to demonstrate that the code is functional as intended). These requirements will help further minimize the risk associated with making change.
5) Implement a source control system
Implementing a source control system to capture version control data on pre-deployment tasks, Salesforce metadata for deployment, post-deployment tasks and data loader reference data will ensure alignment and help audit historical changes. Two of the most common options for source control systems are using a custom application in Salesforce or using Jira, an Atlassian product.
Are You Ready to Introduce a Best Practice Salesforce Organization Strategy?
Ready to discover everything you need to know about implementing an organization strategy for your Salesforce program and how else you can set your business up for success with a formal governance strategy? Check out our white paper on Salesforce Application Governance to learn more.