How to Capture Accurate Business Processes – The Foundation of Implementation

Want a successful Salesforce implementation? Start with clear business processes.

At its core, the goal of your implementation is to execute a collection of business processes – the actions or tasks performed by people to meet a business need. Consequently, the success of an implementation relies on the degree to which those needs are captured and met. This article covers a few ways to ensure you create excellent business documentation.

Get the Right Answers from the Right People.

Track down the subject matter expert for each process. No single person has all the answers. A seemingly simple process might involve multiple people.

“So, when you receive the discount request, you either approve or deny it?”

“Well, only if it’s below 20%. Anything above that goes to Accounting. You’ll have to talk to them.”

Keep notes on who told you what. It’s important to bring up and resolve any inconsistencies and conflicting explanations of the same business process. Don’t be afraid to push! Circle back with the stakeholders once you understand the process and repeat back what you heard. Everyone should agree on your understanding.

It’s amazing what you’ll uncover. Even people who’ve been working at an organization for years may not know the whole process.

Watch the Magic Happen.

‘Gemba’ is a Japanese term that is commonly referenced in lean manufacturing to mean ‘the place where value is created.’ At Toyota, teams conduct ‘Gemba Walks’ to grow their understanding of the work being done on the factory floor.

There’s a level of understanding that can only be achieved by witnessing the work being done. Find subject matter experts who don’t mind the ride along. Watch Customer Service handle a case or Sales Operations create opportunities.

When possible, take detailed notes and record any demo sessions.

Document, Document, Document.

Well-documented business processes are critical to a successful implementation. A shared understanding of the documented processes will heavily inform the design of your Salesforce implementation.

Documentation can be visual, written, or a combination of both. Typical business process documentation will consist of inputs, outputs, boundaries, and steps involved. Like any important implementation related document, make sure to version, and get explicit sign-off.

Here are examples of both a visual and written process flow.

Business Process

business process table

I hope you come away from this article with actionable ways to improve how you examine and document business processes. For a more in-depth look at this and several other critical topics, be sure to download our free DIY Salesforce Implementation Guide.



Author: Grant Ongstad, Salesforce Consultant

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