CRM Health Check: Annual Salesforce org maintenance schedule
An investment in the Salesforce platform enables you to unify data from different segments of the organization within a world-class CRM platform. Leadership and stakeholders from companies large and small use the platform at all levels to ensure accurate and timely information for reporting and decisions.
If the previous statements are true, as I believe they are, then why do organizations defer regular Salesforce org cleanup and maintenance?
Salesforce org maintenance is often deferred in lieu of seemingly more pressing priorities. This can lead to a reduction in user adoption, decentralization and loss of data, the reduction of efficiencies from AI solutions thus reducing visibility to operational metrics and critical key performance indicators (KPI).
All machines perform better with regular attention and provide higher returns on investment (ROI) with maintenance.
The following is a list of the best Salesforce org maintenance practices that have helped keep me out of trouble. It provides a guide to items that will ensure full realization of your Salesforce instance by maintaining a healthy CRM org.
Salesforce org maintenance checklist
Each company or organization is unique and may include customized solutions to complete day-to-day tasks as required by their industry and customer base. That means each organization’s regular CRM health check tasks may look different from other organizations.
The following are guidelines technology teams can use to create an org maintenance plan that makes sense for each specific Salesforce instance. We’ll cover regular maintenance best practices for Salesforce orgs that need regular attention to stay healthy.
If you’re working in a Salesforce org that has thousands of records that are outdated or incomplete, or your Salesforce org is in a total state of disarray, then you may need to bring in the experts. As always, reach out to a Salesforce-recognized consulting partner for complex challenges that require deep technical expertise.
Biannual Salesforce Org Health Check Tasks
Two times per year we research, verify, update and perform tasks that either require significant effort and/or are unlikely to change.
Changes that require a longer latency period before changes will be noticed are best for biannual maintenance. For example, you would not want to remove a quarterly report that was not viewed in the last month or even after a single quarter, but you might want to remove it after not being used for two consecutive quarters.
Here are specific areas you should target on a biannual basis to maintain a healthy Salesforce org:
Check to ensure duplication rules still match the organization’s needs.
Network Access IP Address
Check the network access IP address and ensure that the IP addresses are what has been authorized to have as trusted IP addresses.
Installed Packages Check the installed packages within the Salesforce org and ensure they still have active licenses and are being used.
Permission Sets Review your permission sets and see if you can combine or remove any not assigned to users.
Custom Code Review segments of code for refactoring and optimizing.
Test Code Coverage Improve test code coverage.
Object Record Types Take inventory of object record types and remove any that are not being used.
Tip: Use the Report of Records feature to check if the record type was used in the last 90 days. If not, then remove permission for 30 days from all profiles.
Role - Hierarchy Review the Role - Hierarchy and ensure it still allows sharing records with the right users and represents the needs of your specific Salesforce instance.
Quarterly Salesforce Org Health Check Tasks
Four times per year, you should target items that have a direct impact on priorities of the organization’s success and keep the Salesforce platform and the processes it supports top of mind for stakeholders and leadership teams.
Schedule a quarterly meeting to review what has been accomplished, what is on the Salesforce roadmap, and to listen for queues of changes in priorities or needs.
Here are specific areas you should target on a quarterly basis each year to maintain a clean Salesforce org:
Key Leadership and Stakeholder Review
Conduct a “State of our Salesforce Org” review with the key leadership team and stakeholders. During this review, you’ll discuss:
What has been accomplished, what is being worked on, and how everyone can help.
The process for requesting changes, communicating needs, and set expectations for discovery for optimal solutions.
Scheduled maintenance communication. For example, communicate that reports may seem to have “vanished,” but they are in an archive for 90 days. Advise users if they do not see the report they need, then they should let the Salesforce administrator know.
Unexpected org behavior. For example, review user-created Contacts not associated with Accounts at an aggregate level to discover why the unexpected org behavior is happening.
User adoption initiatives. Set user training schedules with leadership and stakeholders for new employees and initiatives.
Salesforce releases. Review recent features released by Salesforce that your firm may benefit from and implement.
Refresh your sandboxes. No matter how hard we try, production orgs and sandboxes get out of sync. Even with the advent of scratch orgs for development, life is so much easier if the organization has a sandbox that is relatively current. Now presentations, prototypes, testing and training have a place where they can occur on a regular basis.
Page Layouts Remove any unassigned Page Layouts.
Email Templates Remove email templates that have not been used and place them in a private folder for 90 days.
Connected Apps Review the Connected Apps OAuth usage.
Dashboards Create a private folder for dashboards and move those not accessed within 90 days into the folder for removal within 90 days.
Custom Report Types Remove Custom Report types and ensure duplicates are not still there. Also, check for any unnecessary Custom Report types.
Active Sandbox Users Review active users in the full and partial sandboxes. It’s easy to forget, but it’s important nonetheless. The data in the sandbox is a duplicate or a segment of data that is in production. As a result, that data is just as sensitive. We need to remove users who have not logged in and confirm there are not users who have been deactivated in the production instance.
Monthly Salesforce Org Health Check Tasks
Every month, your team should address those actions that will make a substantial impact on the Salesforce end user and their data and assist in the more timely resolution of daily issues.
For example, the removal of unnecessary data will result in less confusion in search results and faster loading time. Additionally, the elimination of unused or inactive automations will allow quicker diagnosis of process failures and shorter response times for users, and monthly backups of metadata will mitigate risk of failed changes.
Here are specific areas you should target on a monthly basis each year to maintain a clean Salesforce org:
Integration and App Compliance Review connected apps and integrations to be sure users are not connecting to the Salesforce instance with applications that are not compliant with the firm’s requirements.
Unused Data Consider removing any data in the Salesforce org that is not being used. Do you have six years of task and event data but only report on the last rolling 13 months? Consider porting that data to a data warehouse in case historical reporting is needed, but you should remove it from the Salesforce instance.
Inactive Rules Remove any deactivated Flow, Process Builder, or Workflow rule that is not active. Tip: When you come across inactive rules for the first time, you can set a due date in its description for it to be removed, and then follow through.
Validation Rules Remove any deactivated Validation rules.
Reports Create a private folder with the name of the month 90 days from today. Place any report that has not been accessed in 60 days in that folder. If any users need the report, then they can request access and you can move it back to the public folder.
Tip: Place all unfiled public reports in a folder marked for deletion.
Salesforce Optimizer Application Run the Salesforce Optimizer App, which automatically looks for potential problems in your implementation.
Backup Metadata Be sure to backup your Salesforce org metadata with Visual Studio Code or another metadata backup solution.
Weekly Salesforce Org Health Check Tasks
Weekly tasks represent those that monitor the current health and risk of the Salesforce instance. They show trends and changes in user activity, possible financial losses, and they verify responsible data security through active user management.
Salesforce Usage Reports Review usage Reports and Dashboards to monitor spikes or decreases in activity.
Tip: Salesforce Labs has an Adoption Dashboard available on the Salesforce Appexchange to get you started.
Salesforce User Licenses Take inventory of your Salesforce user licenses and check who is and is not logging into the org. Users may have switched positions and no longer need a license or a full license.
Tip: Consider a scheduled flow that runs weekly and sends emails out to those who have not signed in within the last 30 days, and at 45 days deactivate their user account. Nothing is scarier than learning someone left the company three months ago and still has access to the firm’s information.
Picklist Values Review the picklist values on a single object. Then, address any unneeded items.
Create a case with the deactivated values.
Remove the deactivated values.
Review with key stakeholders concerning the values they need in a field.
Pull a report to see what values are being used.
Backup Data Export data to a safe location on a secure shared resource.
List Views Remove any unneeded List Views.
Daily Salesforce Org Health Check Tasks
Performing daily Salesforce org health check tasks prevents problems before users realize there is a problem, and they assist users in smoothly executing their day-to-day jobs with little friction from the platform.
Completing these daily maintenance tasks prevents the phone from ringing (or the Slack from pinging). For example, ensuring new fields that are taken from a page layout are dated with a delete date allows them to be removed promptly on a schedule and prevents noise to the user when creating reports. In addition, updating orphaned Contact records ensures activities are being captured and associated with the correct Account, adding Help Text to fields allows users to quickly reference answers and allows accurate data entry, and removing of duplicate records ensures data quality and reporting for the organization.
Due Dates Place due dates within field descriptions when they are removed from the page layouts so the next month you can remove the field-level security to the field.
Tip: Once the field-level security has been removed from all profiles for three months, backup the data and remove the field from the Salesforce instance.
Reports Review a duplicate report and merge any duplicates.
Contacts Review orphaned Contact records for reassignment.
Users Review users with large counts of tasks and events that are not being closed. These users may have left the company, or you may have a process creating tasks and events that are not needed and useful.
Help Text Add Help Text to fields so users know exactly what to enter into a field. This will limit calls and fosters users to be self guided.
Field Descriptions Add descriptions to fields when they are created, and consider entering the field’s purpose or how it is used within the organization.
You can keep a tidy Salesforce org!
I get it. This Salesforce org maintenance schedule is long, and it can seem overwhelming. But, if you and your team start small and incrementally, you will find that it’s certainly a manageable process.
The results of regular Salesforce org maintenance efforts includes free time that you previously spent researching and solving issues. Additionally, Salesforce user adoption will increase because Salesforce users will be confident that their particular Salesforcer org contains the right information and is reporting accurately all the time.
Salesforce Org Health Check and Maintenance Resources
Contact CRM Science Salesforce Consultants
Completing a Salesforce org health check is often the first step when our Salesforce consultants dig in to client orgs for the first time. Internal Salesforce teams generally have the best of intentions when it comes to Salesforce org maintenance. However, resourcing limitations often get in the way of even the best laid plans.
So when it comes to messy Salesforce orgs, our consulting team has seen it all — the good, the bad, and everything in between. We’ve nursed many distressed Salesforce projects back to health, and we’d love to do the same for you.
Contact CRM Science Salesforce consultants to chat about your Salesforce projects.