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Mastering the Art of Salesforce Flow Architecture: 7 Tips to Rule the Org

By Xavery Lisinski

Flow has evolved quickly to be hugely powerful. It is ‘virtually’ Apex with a drag-and-drop interface. Without programming you can achieve a lot, but you can also create havoc in your org, or develop flows that are so complex they are difficult to test – or change. 

Fear not, as we’re here to share the ‘secret sauce’ on mastering the art of Salesforce Flow architecture! Buckle up as we unravel seven tips to help you accelerate changes to your org.

Flow Architecture: The Symphony Behind the Scenes

Flow architecture is the practice of designing your automations upfront and in relation to each other. It is like being the lead of a band, ensuring all the instruments (flows and other automations) play together harmoniously. It’s not just about creating flows, but also about designing and communicating how they fit into your org’s existing configuration and automation chains. 

With Flow architecture, best practices are shared, mistakes are caught early, and testing is planned in advance. Now, that’s music to our ears!

The Hidden Cost of Not Architecting Flows

Neglecting Flow architecture is a little like turning up to band practice without any music. Failing to plan can lead to reworks, reliability issues, productivity and communication problems, and ‘reinventing the wheel’ when existing solutions could have been repurposed. It not only drives the costs up for the business, but also makes your experience as an architect, admin, or developer stressful and unpleasant. Save yourself the headache and build a sturdy foundation with proper Flow architecture.

Tip #1: Design Process and Standards – The Blueprint for Success

To achieve Flow architecture mastery, start by establishing design processes and standards. It is important to have a clearly defined process for decision-making on the type of automation to use, as well as who will be responsible for designing, building, and testing each type of automation. The process should also include guidelines for naming conventions, documentation, and version control.

We recommend using Salesforce’s Well-Architected framework, specifically the decision guides on record-triggered automation. On top of that, make sure you complete the Trailhead course on business process mapping so you can design a tailored step-by-step playbook on how you and your team will collaborate, design, and build automations going forward. 

Tip #2: United We Flow – Collaborate on Familiar Notation

Clear communication is crucial for effective Flow architecture. Using familiar notation in your designs ensures everyone is on the same page, avoiding confusion and making collaboration a breeze – just like music.

Rather than using notations that are not universally understood, pick a tool that can help you visualize your intended logic – something that actually looks like the flow you will end up building. This way it will be understandable to everyone on the team.  

The Architect Diagrams tool has all the Flow icons and the Salesforce Diagrams Notation. You can draw the flow going left to right or top to bottom.

Flow diagram (left) and actual Flow (right)                    

Do not design in isolation. If you are a junior member on the team, share your designs with more experienced colleagues to get their feedback or approval on what you intend to build. Make sure testers get access to the design as well so they can prepare test scenarios and design Flow tests. Finally, share it with business analysts so they can validate that the business logic and outcomes will be achieved. Which leads us to…

Tip #3: Aim for Measurable Output and Business Success Criteria

What gets measured gets managed. Set clear, measurable output goals and define your business success criteria to track effectiveness of your automations. After all, success without measurement is just wishful thinking! 

One of the great tools that can help you do exactly that is Salesforce’s Event Monitoring. This is an additional Salesforce license which comes separately or bundled with Salesforce Shield. Here is a Trailhead module to help you learn more.

While event logs do not tell you directly whether business outcomes have been achieved, they can help you understand if automations built to support your users are actually being used by them and how much. This can then be used to calculate business outcomes.

Tip #4: Centralize Your Designs – The Heart of Your Org

Treat your designs like the ‘crown jewels’ and store them in a central repository. Think of it as the command center for your Flow architecture empire.

A great way to centralize your designs is to place them in a larger context. For instance, rather than having a number of separate documents for Flow designs, you could document your order of execution for a given object and then create or link your Flow designs there. This way you can always find information about automation logic in the proper context.

This is where the power of drill downs works. Each box can have lower level boxes, making it easy to structure all your content and version control centrally.

Order of execution diagram for Opportunity object with flow designs linked to each box

Tip #5: Share the Responsibility – It Takes Every Band Member

While the platform owner should lead the charge, every team member must contribute to the ‘design before you build’ culture. Involving everyone ensures designs remain valid and up to date. Remember, a successful org is a team effort – just like a band. It is not just about the lead singer (even though they probably believe it is!).

Design documentation is only good if you trust it. And trust, in this case, is binary – you either trust your designs or you don’t. If you build or change one flow without updating its designs and reviewing your order of execution / Flow orchestration designs, it will be difficult to trust anything else. If you commit to Flow architecture, you need to really commit. 

Having the ability to control access to your documentation, collaborate through sticky notes or chat, make changes easily, and version control all builds trust.

Tip #6: Picture-Perfect Designs Aren’t Enough

Your designs should be more than just a pretty picture. Use tools that make it easy to version and reuse existing designs, raise change tickets, and even integrate designs directly into Salesforce linked to metadata in the metadata dictionary. Trust us, your future self will thank you.

Flow diagram with each box linked to requirements or user stories

Tip #7: Build Automations Around the User Journey

Understanding the user journey is key to successful automations. Decisions on synchronous/asynchronous methods and before- or after-save runs, should be made with the end user in mind. A happy end user equals high adoption rates and a thriving org.


A band doesn’t become great overnight. It requires multiple band members to be coordinated and all be at the top of their game. It is not just about the quality of the artists, but getting them all on the same page.

Armed with these seven tips, you’re well on your way to mastering the art of Salesforce Flow architecture, so your team ‘brings the house down’, not the org!

If you would like to learn more, click here to reach out and request the Definitive Guide to Designing Well-Architected Flows eBook, or talk to us about how we can help you drive changes to your org faster.

The Author

Xavery Lisinski

Xavery Lisinski is the VP of Product Management at


    May 24, 2023 11:31 pm
    This post is very helpful Thank you! Would it be possible to make the image of diagram high-res? The text is too small and I can't see what they are in those boxes. It would be great to be able to read it! Thank you.

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