Strategically align business goals with Salesforce capabilities using a project management roadmap
A Salesforce project management roadmap is a strategic alignment of your business goals and your Salesforce org capabilities. More simply put, a project roadmap is a guide ensuring you are doing the right things, at the right time, to help your organization be wildly successful.
Now, that may sound like I am overselling a roadmap, but I promise you having a well-thought-out plan is key.
A Salesforce roadmap enables you to:
Five steps to building a Salesforce project management roadmap
So how do you build a Salesforce project roadmap? As a CRM Science Project Manager, I work with businesses and organizations of many sizes to bring Salesforce dreams to fruition. These are the five steps I think are most important when building a winning Salesforce project roadmap.
Step 1: Understand your organization’s strategic technology vision.
First, get your Salesforce dream-team together. This should be a cross-functional group of decision makers and those who have insight into your Salesforce org.
Your first goal with this team is to achieve shared understanding of your:
You want to discuss how these will impact each of your teams, and agree upon communication standards for the group by using effective communication strategies when discussing complex technical topics.
Step 2: Analyze the current state of your Salesforce org and technology systems.
Every Salesforce project roadmap needs a starting point. Reflect on what you have accomplished in the last year, and discuss current challenges and any current work in progress. This is a great time to talk about challenges expressed by users.
Analyzing challenges can take many forms, such as bug ticket reports, user surveys, or even water cooler conversations. But, it’s important to know what your end users think is important.
Document an analysis of your:
Are there systems, apps, or programs you could be using in better ways or more often? Is your organization utilizing all of the technology tools available, and to what extent?
Step 3: Find the gaps in your Salesforce org and technology systems.
Now you know where you are and you know where you want to go, but it wouldn’t be a roadmap if there wasn’t distance to travel. It’s time to discuss the gaps.
Here are some questions that will help you mind the gap:
What are the barriers to achieving your goals? (Some common answers are data quality, user adoption, disconnected systems, and lack of tools).
Where do you need greater efficiency?
Where are the areas of innovation?
Are there new concepts to implement, such as a new Salesforce feature?
Step 4: Explore solutions available on the Salesforce platform.
With technology system gaps identified, it’s time to explore possible solutions.
Now, this is a very important warning: roadmap planning is not the time to commit to a specific solution. It is very important to simply explore what’s possible so you can have an idea of effort before you prioritize.
Platforms like Salesforce offer a wide variety of solutions for complex problems.
Possible solutions include:
Step 5: Prioritize and create your Salesforce project management roadmap.
Alright, your walls are probably covered in sticky notes and you have a thousand ideas in your head. It’s time to put pen to paper and prioritize and document your roadmap.
In the end, your roadmap should clearly outline:
As you are prioritizing, I encourage you to rank the first two to three items on your project roadmap, and leave the rest unranked. Things always change. It can do more harm than good to make promises you hope to keep far into the future.
Your documented Salesforce project roadmap can take many formats. My favorites are the five W’s (who, what, when, where, and why) and an impact versus investment comparison matrix.
Salesforce Project Roadblocks
While you are going through this process, watch out for the gotchas. These are typically overlooked variables that can influence the success of your Salesforce project management roadmap:
Committing to specific timelines
Finding “solutions” before you understand the problems
Allowing outside factors to influence your decision-making process (ie., Salesforce releases, unexpected business challenges)
Neglecting other Salesforce work in progress
With all that being said, there is a secret sixth step. Execute your roadmap!
Having a Salesforce project roadmap is great, but using it regularly to get ready for your next project is even better.
Contact CRM Science Salesforce Consultants
When you are ready to get started or want to review your Salesforce project management roadmap with an expert, contact us to chat. We’d love to know what’s on the road in front of you.