Dealing with a New Salesforce Org

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Throughout your Salesforce Odyssey, there is one milestone that we all end up hitting sooner or later as Salesforce Admins.  That is accessing an org different from the one we originally started with.

It could be due to you getting a new job or due to changes in the business you work for.  But sooner or later, you will get a new login for your second org of Salesforce.

Over the years, I have seen a number of Admins within my team make the jump from the org they were used to into their first ‘new’ Org.  Heck, I have even been one of those admins in the past!

In this post, I am going to write a bit about the Emotional Intelligence side of changing from the first org you learnt on, to your first ‘new’ Org.

Same platform, different solutions

I must admit, getting the keys to a new/different org is a little exciting for me.  And yes, I am a bit of a Salesforce geek.  But I love seeing new and different ways Salesforce can be used to solve business problems.

Even though the underlying platform is ultimately same, there is very rarely two businesses which use Salesforce the exact same way.

Why is this? Let’s look at a simple equation to explain why this happens.  Firstly, there are generally multiple ways to solve a problem within Salesforce.   Add in the differing Salesforce experiences of Admins.  And don’t forget to add in the age of the org in question, but subtract any Technical Debt that has been managed and removed from the org.  This simplistic equation can give you a different result, no matter if each org only uses the same Sales/Service Cloud features.

What I am trying to say here, is be prepared for things to be different.  But remember the fundamentals of Salesforce don’t change.  It is a cloud-based platform with three updates a year, no matter which org you are in.

As an example, page layouts and record types will still exist, but each page you will be different.  But if you know how the basic building blocks work (like fields, objects and how record types control page layouts), it makes the transition so much easier.

Change is the only constant

Before we continue, I want to cover a quick concept that I will really help you through the transition to a different/new org.  It is something everyone goes through and applies to almost any change people may encounter.

Why am I talking about this?  There is strength in being self-aware and this concept will help you in this regard.  But learning this concept will also help you in understanding your end users, as well as helping you drive adoption of Salesforce within your company.

The concept I am referring to is the Change Curve.  It is a concept widely accredited to Kubler Ross and it outlines the transition experienced for personal or organisational changes.  We all go through it in some fashion, the difference between us though is the time taken to get through to the other side.

It is a vast subject which I highly recommend spending a bit of time studying, but this diagram shows the Change Curve in action:

As you can see from the dotted lines, there are many outcomes – but it is important to recognise where you are on the curve and how to keep moving forward.  The objective is to get to the end state of ‘this can work and it is good’.

And this also applies to your end-users through any system change.  Hence why the concept is so valuable to learn and become familiar with.

But this is how we did it…

As mentioned above, there is always a change/transition curve we experience, and  it is always easy to fall back on what we know.

Moving companies and Salesforce Orgs is no different, you will experience a feeling of something being the same, but not quite, and it will have you scratching your head.

Firstly, you need to try to remember that each business is unique, and each business/Salesforce team has come from different starting points.  You might see something glaringly obvious that others don’t.

This is the value of starting working on a new org.  You are essentially a fresh pair of eyes.

Personally, I always try to encourage people who join my team, to challenge us on new/different ways of thinking – but always in a constructive way.  But keep in mind that each team will handle this differently (or you may be a solo Admin in your new company).

I always suggest writing down things I call ‘what the…’ moments.  You know, those moments you see something and think ‘what the heck!?  Why do you do it that way?’

But also take the time to recognise that it happens to us all.

There are things within processes or the system that just get overlooked once you have been working in the system for a long time.  So, someone coming into the team can offer valuable insights into these things that end up becoming ‘oh we have always done it that way’ (I hate that saying, and always challenge why if I hear that).  But remember, be respectful, no matter how glaringly obvious something might be to you…

Find the Sacred Cows

Starting at a new company gives you this insight, but there is also a great responsibility to this.

Don’t just challenge everything for the sake of questioning.  Also, as you are learning the new org and business processes, try to find out what ‘sacred cows’ are within the new company.

These are things that tend to be protected by everyone in the organisation, and as such will generally be protected for the sake of protecting it.

It may not make sense to someone who has just joined a company, but these are things that to change will generally require a lot of energy to change and will definitely require a certain finesse to get stakeholder buy-in to change (if at all).

These processes tend to be identified by the phrase ‘oh we have always done it that way’…  and probably has led to my personal vendetta against that phrase!

If you have time, I recommend reading about the ‘5 monkeys’ fable/experiment/paradigm.  It has nothing to do with cows, but keeping with the cow theme, let’s call it a story about herd-mentality and formed habits.

Wrap up

Moving to any new org is an exercise in change management.  There will be things similar, but not quite, and there will be brand new things to learn.  There will be new dynamics with the team/business to comprehend also.

But all of this can be exciting and will definitely hep you grow as an Admin/person.  I am someone who loves the challenge, but not everyone is the same.

The key is to recognise where you are in the change curve, and see the opportunity you have with ‘fresh eyes’ when joining a new company.

7 thoughts on “Dealing with a New Salesforce Org

  1. Very true and appreciated the insight. As I sometime proposed, i wanted to design and info graphics on the first 30 days as an admin and what to do.

  2. Adam, how long do you think it should reasonably take for an admin to get acquainted enough with a new org to make changes, etc.?

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