The new job
‘Eat well & healthy’ is the newest, hottest start-up out of Jaipur. The website provides tasty and healthy dishes delivered right to your doorsteps. All ingredients are fresh and locally sourced. They have the best chefs in town. The tech and product team has built amazing infrastructure. Millions of orders are handled every day, all payment options are supported and the UX is praised. Customers are loving it!
And you, you got hired! You landed your dream job as the Solution Architect for the Salesforce instance of “Eat well & healthy”. You will make sure the 3.000 service agents can handle any support request thrown at them.
You expected a high-stakes environment, but nothing prepared you for what was expected from you. You became part of a fast-growing Start-Up. Management is constantly pushing for new features, everything has to be done today. Your Org is constantly evolving and growing. There’s not a single day you are not pumping out new features and still, your backlog is growing.
Slowly you get the hang of it. Your Salesforce team performs well, most features are delivered in time and the bug reports are low.
Since you got a little more breathing room you made it a habit of walking the office and chatting with Users on Friday afternoons. You enjoy the buzzing sound of hundreds of service agents. Everything seems to go well.
One Friday afternoon you walk by a team lead and notice her looking at an Excel spreadsheet. First, you don’t make much of it, but you see the same again next week. When you start to ask the team-lead about it, she switches back to Salesforce. The spreadsheet was nothing important, just a simple list for her to analyze the performance of her team. She made sure to confirm: “Yes, our Salesforce is great, everything fine!”. A little suspicious, you ask your Admin to show you the latest Salesforce adoption reports. Nothing to worry about, adoption is at an all-time high, all Users log in daily.
One Tuesday afternoon you are asked to the CTOs office immediately. You find the CTO and the COO standing behind the desk. They are waiting in silence to close the door.
Without much prelude, the CTO informs you: “The Salesforce contract is up for renewal by the end of the months. The company plans to cancel the contract. Salesforce is just too expensive.”
It takes you a few seconds to understand, you stutter: “But why?” The CTO pulls up a spreadsheet on the big screen on the wall, it’s the same spreadsheet you saw one Friday afternoon on the team-leads screen.
The COO surveyed all the service team leads to decide what to do with Salesforce. What was supposed to be a routine decision about renewing the Salesforce contract became something much different. The service team leads reported that everybody switched to spreadsheets to manage cases. A whole system of spreadsheets has been developed and all without you noticing. Users still log in to Salesforce, but only for making calls.
Your world crumbles under your feet, some tears come to your eyes. Your mind becomes blank.
In your dreams you already have been a Salesforce Architect at Google, the job at ‘Eat well & healthy’ was supposed to be your stepping stone for something great, something amazing. Now everything suddenly stops and you will be fired by the end of the month.
You stumble back to your desk. Nobody in your team is supposed to know the termination of the Salesforce contract, you are all alone with your thoughts. Unlocking your laptop the backlog steers back at you. What can you do to turn it around, what can you do to make the service team love Salesforce again. You have a long list of stories in front of you. All would add something valuable. Is it the new integration to the order management system, is it the new Lightning component for easy appointment scheduling or should you finally build that custom Case Feed everyone has been requesting for months?
You do something, you didn’t do in a long time because you have been too busy. You log into the production Org as a service agent. You see all the tabs, components, buttons, fields, and reports you delivered with so much hard work. Why are they not using it?
The production org
You stop looking at features, fields, components and take in the Org as a whole. You notice, there is still the Salesforce Logo, you meant to add the company logo since your first day. You never got around to do it, now is as good as ever. While you add it, you change the branding to match the companies branding directly in production. You are some kind of trance, nobody uses Salesforce anyway. New logo, new branding, already looks better. You think, while I’m adding it, let’s clean up the tabs. You remove most of the tabs and re-order the remaining ones by importance. Much cleaner already. You start to remember the joy you had when you started out being a Salesforce Admin, it all comes back now. You are on a role. List Views, Page Layouts, Report Folders, unused fields, old data. Nothing is safe anymore. You just do it right in Production. With every refresh of the page, you like more what you see. What was an unsorted, ugly mess just a couple of hours ago starts to look like something coherent you actually would like to use. You look around you, nobody stops you, nobody complaints why not add one more thing, you install the AppExchange app “Fabulous Confetti” (It’s a real app, not a fairy tale). You set the app up to display a firework of confetti every time a Case is closed. After one last look at your new Org, you close your laptop and go home. It’s still early afternoon but you don’t care. You will be fired end of the month anyway.
You fall asleep on the couch immediately and sleep until the next morning on the couch. Reluctantly you take a shower and drive to work. Checking your email, nothing extraordinary. Nobody seems to notice that you changed the whole Org. Nobody but you.
You continue your usual work, write tickets, create solution designs but you don’t approve any features anymore to be released to production. What difference would a few more features make anyway?
The weeks go by and the last day of the months comes. You wait to be notified to leave the building. Wednesday evening you are asked to come into the CTOs office again. Now it’s happening, one last time you look around the office floor. It was nice while it lasted.
Last day of the contract
Again the CTO and the COO are in the office and wait for you to enter. The same silence but something this time you are asked to take a seat. As it is the CTO’s way without any introduction: “We want to promote you to Head of Salesforce, do you accept?”
You can’t believe what you are hearing. The Salesforce contract was supposed to be fired, not promoted. You don’t understand the world anymore. Without waiting for your answer the COO starts talking: “We are impressed how you turned around Salesforce. The whole Service Department loves your new Salesforce. We extended the Salesforce contract for 5 years. You did an amazing job in rebuilding the system from the ground up. We don’t know how your team accomplished that in just a couple of weeks. Anyways, we are sure you will be a great Head of Salesforce. HR will get in contact to discuss the new contract.”
You don’t understand anything, why are you not fired. What happened, what changed? Nothing major has been released in the last 4 weeks.
The CTO and COO start to look at the screen and discuss something. Slowly you leave the room. Walking back to your desk you notice, indeed all the service agents look at Salesforce. You notice the logo and the branding you did a couple of weeks ago. You even see some confetti raining down on one of the screens. And with the confetti slowly fading from the screen, you realize: It wasn’t any new features you released, it was the one afternoon you made your Org fabulous.
Going forward you don’t take any chances anymore, keeping your org fabulous will always be a priority going forward. As your action as a newly minted Salesforce team-lead, you set up a center of excellence to keep the business engaged. Furthermore, every Friday afternoon your team will take turns working as a service agent between all the other service agents. The center of excellence and the hands-on experience should make sure no more spreadsheet drama!
If you like your own confetti in your Org, get Fabulous Confetti from the AppExchange.
This tale was written with the help of Nina Rosen, Tanja Janjić , Melissa Hill Dees and Paul Ginsberg.