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.
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: