As I worked with a client to evaluate and provide guidance for a migration to the Salesforce Lightning Experience, I saw some distinct analogies between the government’s readiness plan for thunderstorms and lightning (www.ready.gov/thunderstorms-lightning) and the Salesforce readiness evaluation and planning.
The government site breaks down readiness into multiple areas:
- Preparation (before)
- Do’s and Don’ts
- Post impacts (after)
Let’s take this list and see how Salesforce recommends preparing for Lightning.
Salesforce has spent a significant amount of time and money to inform the community of the coming Lightning Experience. As with a thunderstorm, it is just a matter of when, not if, Salesforce will establish Lightning as the primary platform. That is not to imply that Salesforce is retiring Classic any time soon, however to take advantage of some of the great new features coming out, you will need to be on the Lightning platform. In addition, the longer you wait, the number of elements to be modified will increase, creating a longer roll out period. Since preparation is the key to survival, this step is critical to your success. You need to be prepared, and Salesforce has provided multiple tools to begin the preparation.
- The Lightning Experience Migration Assistant that guides you through key steps to assess and enable the new interface.
- The Lightning Experience Readiness Report provides findings of what elements to address in Salesforce, predictions for ROI, and information for building a case to management and other key stakeholders for making the jump to Lightning.
- The Migration Assistant’s Preview feature allows you to see exactly how your real data and customizations work in the new user interface.
We are all too familiar with the risks associated with standing under a tree during a lightning storm (ask any golfer). There are risks associated with Salesforce Lightning, as well, but if you make yourself aware of the risks, you can minimize the impacts — and in some cases, overcome the fear.
Remember that the Lightning experience does not include everything that is available in Salesforce Classic. Documentation is available at Evaluate and Roll Out Lightning Experience for Your Org to help determine if any functionality that is critical to your business is limited or unavailable. Some of this information can also help you set user expectations when you switch to Lightning. I found the following three documents very helpful in that library.
- Considerations for Switching between Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic
- What are the gaps between Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic
- What to expect in Lighting Experience if Chatter is turned off
Do a Google search on “risks associated with Salesforce Lightning” and you will find a plethora of information regarding risks.
Become educated on Lightning using resources such as Salesforce Trailheads, Communities, and Implementation Partners. Ignore negative opinions of uninformed users for the basis of your approach to Lightning.
DOs & DON’Ts
For every URL on reasons to switch to Lightning, there are an equal number of sites to help users identify elements not available. The key take away here is each customer should decide the right time to switch. Assuming that Lightning is in your future:
- DO consider the switch to Lightning
- DO become educated on the impacts
- DO use the 3 methods to assess Lightning on your organization
- DO utilize Communities as a resource for information or questions
- DON’T put off evaluating Lightning
- DON’T perpetuate the use of non-Lightning ready components
- DON’T make standard controls do non-standard things
- DON’T hesitate to request assistance from an implementation partner with experience
The user experience is key to a successful Lightning implementation. After the storm passes, remember to:
- Check back in with your users to evaluate the new user interface (use Salesforce Surveys as a way to elicit feedback)
- Run reports to see if users are switching back to Classic and then investigate why
- Help users that may need additional assistance
- Utilize reports and dashboards to monitor and measure the rollout
Besides Salesforce official documentation, I found that the Trailblazer Community is a wealth of knowledge created by users, just like yourself, who have lived through a Lightning strike! Post your question and you will most likely see a response almost immediately. Another great resource is Lightning Experience Salesforce Trailheads. The catalog has 41 modules, 11 trails and 6 projects. There are Trailheads for migration, implementation, customization and Visualforce — for admins and developers, alike.
OK, so now you can prepare, plan, understand the risks, you are educated on the facts, and you have resources readily available. There is no reason now to not venture into the Lightning storm.
Ken McCumber is an Architect with Statêra. He has 15+ years of experience with Salesforce implementations for SMB through Enterprise organizations.