Preparing for Salesforce Releases

In Tips & Tricks by Andy Yang

One of the great things about Salesforce is their regular release cycle — 3 per year. To get the most value from your Salesforce investment, it helps to take advantage of new and improved functionality that comes with every release. In this post, I’d like to offer some suggestions on how to do that.

The Salesforce Release Readiness team does a great job of fulfilling their mission, providing ample resources to help distill the 300+ page release notes into various summary levels. The first place to start is a visit to the New Features page.

Step 1. Read the “Release preview.” The first page of this 27 page PDF summarizes all the changes within each Cloud. From there, it links to a summary paragraph for each. The Release Preview is a great way to acquaint yourself with the breadth of changes or quickly identify a specific feature for which you’d like additional detail.

Step 2. Review the “Release Notes” for a more detailed summary and the full details. For the first time, it’s available in HTML in addition to the 323 page PDF tome. This is the document that provides step-by-step instructions for configuring certain functionality.

Step 3. Read the Release Notes including a section called “Feature Summary and User Impact.” As puts it “Spring ’14 has features that immediately affect all users. In this section, you’ll learn about some of the features that your users will see. And for these features, it’s a good idea to communicate to your users about what they can expect. Other features require your input before users can benefit from the new functionality.”

Step 4. Check out the feature videos. These well-produced videos are not more than 6 minutes long and are a great alternative to the long text, especially when trying to keep the attention of your users and executives.

Step 5. Watch the Release Training videos. If you’re Salesforce certified, this is the place to go to prepare for your release exam. But even if you’re not, the series provides a visual demonstration about the benefits of new functionality and a guide to enabling it.

Step 6. Incorporate the new release into your Salesforce Roadmap or Change Management process. We’ll talk about that in a future article.

Read my post “Feature Highlights from Spring ’14 release” for some ideas on what might matter the most for your company.

Let us know if you have any questions about a new or changed feature, we’re glad to review it with you!