Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Your Automations with Salesforce Process Builder

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Automation is one of the things that makes Salesforce really powerful, and I am an advocate of Process Builder because it encourages Admins to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle automations for a less destructive org.

As Election Season is upon us, I was trying my best to be an informed citizen. I was watching the democratic debate last night – actually, it’s probably more accurate to say that I was zoning out while the debate was on in the background, focusing a bit more on building out a process in the process builder. At some point, the conversation switched to climate change, and I paused my work to listen in…

You see, for as long as I can remember, we’ve learned the “Three R’s:” Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. The extent to which we implement them in our daily lives is up to us, but at this odd confluence of moments I realized that this mnemonic mantra we all know is in fact a very useful tool to direct our use of the process builder.

Clean Up Your Salesforce Automation Litter

I’ve worked with a number of clients who were perhaps a bit too liberal with their use of workflow rules. Don’t get me wrong, automation is one of the things that makes Salesforce really powerful, but with such great power comes — you guessed it — great responsibility. Pages and pages of workflow rules, active and inactive, overlapping in purpose, with no clear naming scheme, executing in unknown order… this is the stuff of nightmares.

So I became a devotee of the process builder.

In short, it gives us a way to group similar workflows, to modularize our logic, and breathe new life into our work as Salesforce administrators and developers. In other words, it lets us reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Let’s take a look.

Reduce

The most important environmental R, and the most immediate impact the process builder provides.

Reduce the:

  • Development time: replace multiple workflow rules operating on an object with a single process with multiple branches.
  • Complexity: especially for multiple administrators. Provide a graphical, birds-eye view of process logic.
  • Difficulty of troubleshooting: active or deactivate an entire process rather than multiple workflow rules, hunting for the right one.

Reuse

Feels good in real life, and in Salesforce.

Consider how you can Reuse your:

  • Logic: build a process which can be invoked from another, and reuse it wherever necessary to save time.
  • Apex: hire a developer to write invocable utility classes for the functionality that you can’t get out of the box.
  • Nodes: as requirements change, add or replace functionality without having to rebuild conditions or rewrite formulas.

Recycle

We could describe it as creative destruction! It’s all for an ultimately greater purpose, so recycle:

  • Inefficient rules: as process builder lets us control the order in which logic happens, we can build more precise logic.
  • With recursion: make changes, then run again against those changes… but be careful!
  • Just because: take the opportunity to gather stakeholders and redefine requirements — take a fresh look at what can and should be automated.

Looking Back

Apparently, the “Three R’s” have been around since the mid ‘70s; yet it seems like only now we’re starting to have a real debate about the environment! Let’s not delay so much when it comes to moving our use of Salesforce into the 21st century.

Remembering this lesson on how to reduce, reuse, and recycle by utilizing the process builder to its full potential will put you ahead of the curve, whereas letting your stack of workflow rules proliferate will only lead to a crisis down the road.

One thought on “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Your Automations with Salesforce Process Builder

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    You missed something cool about Process Builder – run Flows
    And missed the worst bit of Process Builder – it’s hopeless because you can’t create list views (I hate time wasted finding a Process)

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