Dreamforce 2016 series- Best practices for creating center of excellance using Salesforce

If you are an executive or sfdc admin concerned about not getting more value from your salesforce investment, this post will help you do that. This dream force session had 2 great speakers who shared great insights on building center of excellence on their teams.  I would like to thank Matt Evans and Kevin Flowers from Salesforce to be gracious enough to share the slides.  Here is my key takeaways.

  1. When and Why should you build center of excellence.

If you have multiple teams in your company working on multiple salesforce orgs or working on multiple projects involving different  salesforce products like sales cloud, service cloud, marketing automations, then there is a need to build center of excellence.  The list below is the value your organization would get from a center of excellence.

a. Align your different salesforce teams to bring measurable value to the different business units instead of making changes for the sake of changes.

b. Increase capability of the teams by sharing best practices and knowledge.

c. Reduce cost by improving productivity on change management  .

The below screen shot explains why you should start a center of excellence based on where you are in the steps below.

coe-core-principles

2.  What are the initial steps to start Center of Excellence?

If you are trying to start with center of excellence, you should first do the following.

a. Identify each line of business using salesforce and identify top 3 goals they have which would help them to increase revenue, reduce cost or increase productivity.

b. Identify kpi which would be used to measure success for each line of business.

c. Get the funding for your center of excellence with a business sponsor who would champion the cause.

The below screen shot shows an example of how you would be able to map a business goal to a specific salesforce change.

coe-business-value-delivery

The below screen shot explains some governing principles which you can use for a center of excellence.

coe-principles

3.  Who should be on the  COE team?

a. Identify 3 to 5 resources who would be the team. They should be resources who are passionate about business and technology.

b. Always have an architect who looks at the bigger picture as part of excellence.

c. Business resource with process improvement background would be ideal.

The below screen shot shows some examples of COE teams which you can structure around your current teams.

coe-team-model-2 coe-team-model-1

4. What should the center of excellence do?

Here are some tasks which you can take on for your current COE team.

a. Understand the time taken currently with each line of business to do releases from start in development to finally deploying in production.

b. Try to create 3 types of releases with faster IT like weekly releases, daily releases and monthly releases instead of one bigger release.

c. establish cadence on releases.

d. Have a program management strategy to create roadmap on releases from a 2 year period which provides value.

e. Have a process to have key resources perform capability tasks like trailhead badges, certification and incentivize them.

f. Create guidance on architecture decisions, release management and adoption strategies.

g. Have time for innovation like playing around with new features .

h. have a time for releases which will improve innovation.

The below screen shot explains all  different tasks your center of excellence can perform for your organization.

coe-functions coerolesandresponsibilities

I have implemented  several Center of Excellence for organizations ranging from small to enterprise level . I would appreciate if you can post your questions below or email me at buyan@eigenx.com for further questions. To download the slides for this presentation, you can click here to download it.

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