Roadmapping Revisited – An Essential Exercise

In Best Practices, Change Management, Salesforce Administration by Andy Yang

Creating a roadmap is a vitally important exercise that will help you better align your infrastructure to your business needs resulting in more business capability, better efficiency and lower cost.  Roadmapping doesn’t have to be a huge strategy exercise — even a simple high-level roadmap can help inform where you are and where you would like to go. Roadmaps are extremely important for the following reasons:

  • Shows alignment with business needs and technology assets
  • Identifies current gaps
  • Provides easy-to-use communication tool for organizational debate and alignment
  • Provides a conducive environment for being able to take better advantage of opportunistic situations
  • Is the first step before creating a budget, project plan and more

In fact, a rather simple roadmap is a great place to start – knowing full well that no company in any industry is static.  One should absolutely expect that both short and long term business needs will change and therefore the roadmap should change in kind to keep regular alignment.

Salesforce The Platform

More than many other technologies, Salesforce is a tool that needs a roadmap.  Salesforce is a highly flexible SaaS application and platform. It is dynamic and is purpose-built for change.  Gone are the days of lengthy release cycles to make changes — the Salesforce platform in many cases can be modified to meet a new requirement with just a few clicks.

When you invest in Salesforce you are investing in a platform that can grow with you.  Every time you make a change to further your path along the roadmap you are gaining some advantage.  It may be:

  • Greater efficiency
  • Better automation resulting in faster results and fewer mistakes
  • New capabilities. Sometimes ones that you can charge customers extra for.

And as mentioned earlier, making changes in Salesforce generally is inexpensive — definitely compared to the advantages that can be enjoyed.  In addition to small tweaks and changes, larger-scale steps can make quantum leaps in business capability. Some examples include:

  • You have Sales Cloud but can see value in automating your quoting process using Salesforce CPQ.
  • You have Sales Cloud and have a two-tier distribution network.  You see value in adding PRM capabilities through Salesforce Partner Communities to co-sell by sharing opportunities through the Partner Portal.
  • You have Sales Cloud and see that if you add Service Cloud your sales and service team can get a 360-degree view  (with no integration needed). Salesforce Customer Communities can then be added next so that customers can perform many self-service capabilities.
  • For a rapidly growing end-user base, adding a completely custom, highly simplified and optimized page can improve efficiency, be easier to train new employees on and minimize user errors.

Some Recommended Steps

  • Articulate your business needs in the short and long term – business needs must drive IT
  • Get a better understanding of Salesforce technology – aligning IT with business needs is critical to making good decisions and good execution
  • Work with technology experts to get estimates particularly on the important and largest items.  Compare cost estimates versus benefits
  • Work with technology experts to identify low hanging fruit as well – these are great opportunities to get high value at low cost
  • Build the roadmap while noting:
    • Does the vision make sense and is every step attainable in the long run?  
    • Just because business requirement A is more important than B may not mean that A should be done before B.  Order based on business needs and technological dependencies.
    • How does your organization absorb change?  What is the ideal pace and timing of releases?  Is it better for one large change or smaller incremental changes?
    • Is the vision sellable internally and to executive management?  How does it fit with budget and development cycles?
  • A consultant can be helpful because they have seen many advanced usage scenarios and often with the very best leading companies in the industry.  Having this type of experience can help identify best practices and cheaper approaches. In addition, you don’t want to make mistakes that other companies have made in the past – getting it done right the first time greatly minimizes risk, cost and time.  

Feel free to reach out to your MondayCall representative for roadmapping support.  We have a lot of experience and best practices that we are happy to share to help you prepare your Salesforce roadmap.

Want to learn more about MondayCall’s Roadmapping services? Contact us now!