Spring Cleaning for Architects

Thanks & Disclaimer:

This post is a collaboration between Nana Gregg (Blog, Twitter) and me. We found together over two posts on spring cleaning. Same topic, same day, what a coincidence.

This post is built on the feedback we got on our initial posts, thank you! Let us know if you like to learn more about Salesforce Spring Cleaning for Architects..

As always, this post is our personal opinion. Your situation might differ.

Introduction

Good architecture needs a clean org to truly shine. In the same way, the best meal loses most of its appeal in a dirty restaurant. Also, in that dirty restaurant, your cooks and sous chefs can’t do their jobs efficiently if the kitchen is a mess. It takes extra time to find the right pots and pans and poor maintenance leads to equipment failure which might mean spoiled food. It all compounds.

In our opinion, the Salesforce Architect needs to make sure that her org stays clean and tidy. That preventative maintenance needs to be prioritized.

The cleaner the org, the easier your next project will be. Furthermore, your users will not be able to appreciate your great Architect work if the page layouts are full of unused fields, if their App is full of Tabs they never need, and there is a general confusion about cryptic buttons.

Depending on the Team/Org size you (as an Architect) may not execute all the cleaning yourself, but delegate some of the work to your colleagues. But in any case, the definition of best practices and guidance, which are the basis for any cleaning, are on the Architects table.

Spring Cleaning List: 

And what better time to start cleaning than now, soon it will be spring. The following topics are our ideas for a Salesforce spring-cleaning. Let us know what’s on your list!

Not all cleaning has to be done all-the-time. Like in a restaurant where the tables need to be cleaned constantly, the kitchen daily and the storage room only once a month your Orgs element need different intervals of cleaning.

Our spring cleaning menu offers 3 flavors of spicy:

Mild (Every Month)

  • Remove unused Objects
  • Clean up page-layouts & List views
  • Review/Remove unused fields
  • Clean-up reports 
  • Check all Dashboards
  • Clean your Backlog & To-Do Lists
  • Deactivate inactive users (Security!)

Medium (Every release)

  • Delete unused AppExchange packages
  • Check critical update list
  • Record Types
  • Archive unused data
  • Review/Remove unused validation rules & automation

Spicy (Once a year)

  • Update your Architect Artifacts
  • Use Lightning Page Performance Optimizer & Run Security Health Check
  • Clean Up Role-Hierarchy.
  • Refactor some classes
  • Refactor Process Builders and Flows
  • Align User Licenses with real usage

Continuous cleaning/refining

Many stakeholders are no fans of big clean-up projects. They don’t see an immediate return on investment. One way of doing it is, set aside a fixed time-slot every week, maybe Friday afternoon. Each team member cleans up a little bit. You would be surprised, what difference a couple of hours of cleaning every week can make.

Another benefit of cleaning tasks is training for team members. If you have new team members clean a part of your org they will learn a lot. See if they can come back, tell you if it is being used, how it is being used and why it is being used (or not). Teaching your team to investigate is an investment in their growth and ultimately will help them learn all the intricacies of the org.

Org Cleaning as a Service

And for all consulting companies out there, offering “Cleaning Services” can be a way of getting happy customers, some extra revenue, and a learning opportunity for junior staff. Maybe some of your employees might even become professional Org-Cleaners and you get yourself a USP.

Operational Process Review/Validation

Finally, it’s not just all about the technical structure. Are the Operational processes that the system has been designed to support still in use? Still, needed? Still of value?

The information you are gathering from your cleanup efforts should be driving business conversations about the usage of the system. Fields aren’t being used? Why? Are they no needed any longer by the business? Is training an issue? Is there some technical problem no one has reported? By keeping your Org in tiptop shape, you can uncover these issues proactively.

As the Architect, it is your job to help your business maximize the full potential of the platform. You can’t do that if your org is not operating as efficiently as possible! And that means keeping things clean. Make the bed. Take out the trash. Dust things off on a regular schedule. Everyone will benefit from the effort.

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