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Salesforce Success Framework (3)


Salesforce™ Success Factor #2 - Blueprint for Success

Starting with the end in mind

In the previous article, we dealt with the importance of having a clear vision for your project or transformation programme. Once you have a clear vision for your Salesforce solution, the next step is to create a ‘blueprint’ for what the organisation will look like when all the related projects are completed and the new (or changed) capabilities are in place. The blueprint comprises the current, intermediate and target end states for the organisation. It may also encompass partner, customer and supplier organisations that must change for benefits to be realised.

A blueprint is typically described as a ‘target operating model’ (TOM). The target operating model allows you to communicate the vision in a practical way that enables collaboration across different parts of the organisation. 

For smaller Salesforce projects, I like to use the POTI model to ensure the project scope considers - as a minimum - the necessary changes in terms of processes, organisation, technology and information. I have seen Salesforce initiatives charge full steam ahead before properly considering its impact on existing business practices and how data is used by different parts of the business. Such mistakes inevitably lead to expensive, but avoidable problems.

“Use the POTI model to quickly assess smaller changes and projects.”

For larger Salesforce projects or business transformation programmes, it is essential to explore the gaps between the current ‘as is’ state and the desired ‘to be’ state. An understanding of these gaps is necessary to define a path from the present state to the future state. For complex changes, these may have to be delivered in several phases. This also enables benefits to be realised in stages and requirements to be aligned to the most recent business requirements.

If a company can use Salesforce ‘out-of-the-box’ functionality, they can be up-and-running within a few weeks. It may be tempting to rush Salesforce projects on this basis, especially where Salesforce is just one part of a major programme. However, most organisation would want to configure Salesforce to fit their specific needs. This is especially important where the Salesforce configuration has to respect an enterprise data model. 

The speed of implementing Salesforce should also be tempered by the organisation’s capacity to embrace and adapt to business changes. Too fast, and the expected Salesforce benefits may not materialise. Too slow, and the project may lose momentum and business support.

Example target operating model eTOM for telecommunication providers

A target operating model helps people to visualise the organisation from a variety of perspectives across the value chain as every significant element of business activity is represented.

By overlaying the Salesforce capabilities on the target operating model, it becomes easier to see where Salesforce will add value to the future organisation and how different business functions will be using Salesforce in the new operating model.

Now that we have some understanding of what we mean by a ‘blueprint for success’, let’s look at how to evaluate an organisation’s position on the 8-Factor Scorecard:

At Company A, Salesforce is chosen to replace an obsolete IT system and may be used more widely in the future. The intention is to establish a software project to install and configure Salesforce before handing this over to the users. I would rate this company in the 1-3 range. A technology-driven project can be risky, especially for Salesforce projects. The ethos of Salesforce is to provide better tools for business users. Business involvement is essential to succeed.

At Company B, Salesforce replaces a legacy system and enables integration with other systems. It also enables business process changes and provides better reporting capabilities. In addition to architectural plans and signed-off business requirements, plans for migrating data from the legacy system has also been investigated. The business representative will be responsible for rolling out the new solution. This company illustrates a ‘us-and-them’ situation that is regrettably common. The position in the 4-6 range depends on whether the business involvement is genuine or superficial.

At Company C, Salesforce is a key solution to streamline business processes and achieve a more integrated IT architecture incorporating cloud computing. In addition to capability maps and comprehensive development plans, a cross functional team has identified the process and business impacts to ensure those changes are also prepared for. I would place this company in the 7-9 range.  

At Company D, they know the as-is way of doing business and have an agreed target model for the future. The Salesforce solution provides the new capabilities to fulfil strategic needs based on Salesforce’s scalability and ease of integration. For a score of 10, I would expect detailed analysis of processes, organisation, technology and information. For a 11-12 score, there would need to be a comprehensive target operating model with process mapping to level 3. For transformative results, the programme would also need commitment from the heads of each business area as well as active executive sponsorship.

I hope the above examples help to place your organisation, or initiative, on the ‘Blueprint for Success’ scale. The POTI and TOM models are great tools to shape initiatives and engage with stakeholders in a meaningful way. Use these to advance your project to a stronger position.

With a clearer idea of the ‘Blueprint for Success’ factor, the next chapter will show you how to plan a roadmap for delivering new Salesforce capabilities, successfully!

PS If you already have a Salesforce project and want to use the scorecard now, you don’t have to wait for the other articles. Just email me and I'll get you all the details.