Imagine your team is implementing Salesforce. It’s an important and weighty project to tackle, so you’ve brought in a consulting business to help out. You recognize that the new platform will affect team members from different departments, so you want to make sure the leaders of these divisions participate throughout the execution of the project. You’re excited to start your mission, and so you facilitate a meeting with the consulting company and your internal team. What could go wrong?

On the day of the meeting, you have ten individuals from your side, and three personnel from the consulting firm in a conference room at your headquarters. This is the first day of discovery, and the goal is to talk about your company’s story, short-term vision, long-term vision, pain points, solutions and Salesforce-specific goals.

It’s 9:00 am and everyone grabs their freshly brewed cups of coffee and water to start the meeting strong. The consulting team introduces themselves to your team and you share your awesome company’s story. This takes an hour. Everything’s going well so far.

Implementing Salesforce? The 8 Things You Need to Know

At 10:00 am, your team starts speaking about their short-term and long-term visions. You observe that your crew isn’t staying on the topic and is veering off on tangents. Also, you realize that each department is focusing on their own vision for the project and you as a company cannot come to a consensus. Each division continues to debate, and your consultants are just waiting for you to come to an agreement. This part of the meeting was planned to take one hour, and yet it’s taken over two hours; you still don’t have a settled solution. At this point, one of your consultants gently suggests that you discuss this problem internally in the coming days so that you can continue working on the other items. Since it’s 12:30 pm, you decide to take a much-needed lunch break. You’ve ordered Viva Chicken for everyone to enjoy.

At 1:30 pm, the meeting resumes. This time, your team members are asked to talk about their pain points. It starts well, yet soon you recognize that some of the pain points aren’t relevant to the project. In addition, you diagnose conflicts with certain pain points; one issue might be a discomfort for one department but not noteworthy to other divisions. You meet inconsistency again, and this too takes longer than projected. Your consultants try to assist, but they’re limited as they don’t know the ins and outs of your team.

The meeting is scheduled to end at 3:00 PM, and you only have 30 minutes left, forcing you to schedule a follow-up meeting with the consultants as you weren’t able to accomplish everything. This snag will not only delay the project launch day, but it will also cost your company more than expected as you are consuming more time and being less productive.

You understand the main reason for your problems — internal conflicts that could have been solved ahead of time — but that doesn’t answer your biggest question: “How can I keep everyone on the same page?” These 7 tips will help.

7 Project Management Tips for an Efficient Salesforce Implementation

  1. Before meeting with the consulting company, set clear roles and expectations for your team members for the duration of the project and beyond.
  2. Minimize the number of team members in a meeting. It’s recommended to have 3 to 5 people in a team. This will not only help you come to a consensus on time but will also help you accomplish more throughout the meeting.
  3. Schedule separate meetings with each department. This can be very effective as each division can be interviewed on their specific pain points and visions. This can result in much more focused and productive meetings. It will make the lives of your consultants easier too, as they’ll be able to gather the most important information from each team and put the common themes together for you.
  4. Make adjustments as needed. Being flexible can help you complete the project successfully. This could be in terms of project timeline, design or even who’s involved. That last one may sound harsh, but I’ve seen all too many projects derailed by a single unsatisfied team member. Pivoting discussions and participation in a way that ensures productive contributions from everyone involved can go a long way toward ensuring project success.
  5. Similarly, stay open to scope changes. Your consultant might suggest them after discovery. The scope change could require more or less time to accomplish it, depending on what you need. This isn’t unusual, so being flexible with this can prevent possible surprises.
  6. Have regular status updates to track project progress, identify potential problems and understand whether the team is on schedule.
  7. Have fun, crack jokes, and try to learn as much as possible throughout the project. This will make the meetings pleasant for you, your employees and your partners.

Looking for more tips to help your Salesforce project go smoothly? Check out our on-demand webinar on 8 things to know during the Salesforce implementation process.

Tags
Strategy, Salesforce Consulting

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