Step Two: Developing A Strategy
Once you’ve done all of your research, it’s time to start planning your migration strategy. Keep in mind that any plan you make may be met with unexpected circumstances, so building some buffer and flexibility into your plan is key to success. And while all organizations are different, we recommend a few key steps to take when formulating your Lightning migration approach:
- Performing Technical Due Diligence
- Creating a Roadmap
- Contingency Planning
- Communication Strategy
- Training and Support
Doing Your Research
While research and preparation were part of step one, it is now time to dive deeper into the technical aspects of what you will need to accomplish. The big three topics you will have to look into are processes, configurations, and data. If you can create a plan to keep all three of these intact, you will be that much closer to pulling off a successful migration to Lightning.
In order to ensure that all processes are translated correctly to Lightning, you are going to have to do some digging. Talk to your different business units to map out existing workflows and processes for each team. Work with each unit to make sure that the workflow is easily accessible in Lightning, and if it isn’t, dedicate some time to develop solutions that work. When it comes down to it, the migration should not disrupt anyone’s daily tasks. Your users should be able to experience the additional features of the Lightning Experience while continuing their jobs as normal.
It is a good idea to audit all of your Classic configurations to make sure that core functionality is not lost in a migration. This can mean examining all of your customizations, third-party applications, or reporting analytics. This can take a good deal of time, as customizations can range from custom code to objects, fields, settings, rules, or any other organization-specific changes you may have made. The golden rule here is to document everything so nothing slips through the cracks.
Lastly, a migration is a perfect opportunity to examine your data. If you are going to be moving everything over to Lightning, you want to make sure that all of your data is clean and accurate. Some common issues with data include duplicate values, incomplete entries, or simply wrong ones. There are many different tools in the AppExchange store that can help you with many of these issues.
Planning Your Migration Roadmap
With any large project such as a Salesforce migration, it is important to have a roadmap and project plan to oversee the process. This complex map will show exactly how to move from your current state to the ideal future one you are creating in Lightning. And with any complex plan, it’s good to start with simple steps.
Setting goals that are SMART friendly (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based) will give you a direction to work towards. This framework for goal-setting allows you to create metrics to determine how your migration is performing. Working with your different business units to define these goals creates a sense of ownership and support that you can tap into in order to strengthen your migration efforts.
Once you have some clear goals, it is important to determine your migration approach. Because Lightning can be implemented on a case-by-case basis, we recommend a phased approach. This means that you migrate users over to Lightning in small groups, which will allow you to resolve any issues quickly and efficiently, strengthening your migration strategy for future groups. Any lessons learned during early implementations can be used to streamline future experiences. A phased approach also creates super users who are familiar early adopters of the platform who can be leveraged to help others just making the switch.
At this point, all that is left to do is scheduling. We recommend doing a few small migrations first to get a handle on the timeframe it takes to complete a migration phase. Once you have a better grasp on timelines, you can create a roadmap that tells what work will be completed, how long it will take to complete, and which resources will be consumed in order to make everything possible. This roadmap will provide transparency into the project plan and allow you to easily communicate progress to anyone who needs to know.
Even if a project is perfectly planned, there will always be unexpected issues that arise. The best way to handle this is to have a framework in place for documenting, tracking, and resolving problems. Two tools you can use are risk registers and issue logs. Risk registers document all potential risks to your project, detailing the probability, impact, and mitigation strategies for each. On the other hand, issue logs keep track of actual issues that have been experienced and the resolutions that have been completed. Both of these tools can be used to justify any schedule changes to your project. They help manage expectations, which can be a great advantage to your migration if you experience any issues.
In the case that everything goes wrong and your users are completely unable to continue working, it is important to have a rollback plan. This plan can be designed in many different ways from dedicating a “war room” to resolve all issues all the way to reversing the rollout in order to do more testing before trying again. Either way, it is important to know what your backup plans are so you aren’t left unprepared if the worst occurs.
Communicating Along the Way
The biggest part of managing expectations comes from your communication strategy. In order to maintain transparency and build trust, you need to communicate clearly, simply, and often. Before any technical steps have been taken, it is important to inform your users about the upcoming changes and what they can expect from the migration. Reassure them that the goal is to provide robust functionality without any productivity drops and that there will be plenty more communication in the pipeline.
Adjust your communication style and content to your audience, and give them something to get excited about. Keep your communication consistent so there are no surprises. Leveraging different communication channels can also help spread your message far and wide. Consider using email, Chatter, or even physical posters and handouts in your office. As long as you keep your message consistent, you will align expectations with your own migration vision.
Training and Support
Once everyone knows about the changes to come, you can begin offering training and documentation about Lightning. Education is your greatest defense against resistance to the new platform, as you can show your hesitant users that there is nothing to fear. We recommend working with a technical writer to comb through the different Salesforce documentation about the Lightning Experience in order to create material that appeals to your organization. It may be a good idea to create a master list of all Lightning documentation that is available to all users as a reference point as well.
Preparing answers to frequently asked questions and concerns can save you a lot of time in the future, and it can help turn incidents of resistance into opportunities for education. Once you have acceptable training materials, begin training small teams of users early and often. Cater different materials to different learning preferences, and offer different forms of training for those who learn differently. For instance, in-person training may work for some users, while others may prefer video guides or even a digital document. Remember to make yourself and your material available and accessible to all users ho have questions.
Getting Professional Assistance
Planning your migration can be time-consuming and resource-heavy if you attempt it on your own. Ntegro can support you with resources and knowledge of successful migration best practices. We are available online, and your first consultation is free when you reach out!
Do you have any questions about step two? Are there any topics you wish we covered that you don’t see here? Comment below to let us know and check back in soon for step three: Making the Switch.