Predicting Success of your Salesforce Development Projects

Can you really predict the success of your Salesforce Development projects with a high degree of confidence at the beginning of your project?

The answer is No!

But you can rate your people, process and tools that are required for success and use that to predict success with a ‘good enough’ confidence level.

Salesforce development projects
Pillars of Salesforce Development Project success.

Before getting into how to predict success, lets first define the success itself. Success for your Salesforce Development projects is measured by:

– User Adoption  (Are the features being used?)

– A positive endorsement from the end-users and stakeholders on the delivered product feature  (do people like it?)

– Budget & Schedule adherence

Good enough definition for any software development projects I suppose.

Now let’s get to assessing your Salesforce Development projects people, process and team. Here is how I assess the Salesforce Development projects for their success (and even use this for pricing fixed bid projects as well):

#Project AttributeDescriptionAttribute WeightsRating Scale (0 to 5)

0 worst case

5- best case

1Solution ArchitectPerson in-charge of designing end to end solution. An ideal person will be

-Must have experience in building a solution of similar complexity

– Must get along with the team (should be able to speak the team language and not live in enterprise architect cloud

– Must have excellent business acumen and analytical skills to evaluate and explain options

2Program Driver Delivery CapabilitiesPerson driving the end to end delivery of the program across different teams (applicable for lager rollouts). An ideal person will have:

– Experience leading Salesforce development projects experience with program of similar sizes

– Must have experience with Scaled Agile with similar types of teams

– Must have technical background to anticipate hidden challenges

– Must be able to ask hard questions and raise flags early

– Must be a great people person who can inspire team members to go above and beyond

– Must be decisive instead of dragging the decision making process

3SCRUM Master/Project ManagerPerson playing the SCRUM master/Project Manager role for the team. An ideal candidate:

– Must have experience managing SCRUM teams for Salesforce projects of similar complexity

– Must be a great people person who can inspire team members to go above and beyond

– Must be excellent at SCRUM methodology and must be able to customize it for the team

– Must have technical background to anticipate challenges

– Must have good negotiation skills

– Must have good leadership skills

4Development/Test Team MembersPeople who do the actual work.

– Must have development background in technologies other than Salesforce

– Must know Lightning development

– Must have good experience with code version management and general DevOps practices

– Must get along with each other

– Must enjoy working on Salesforce

– Must have excellent communication and collaboration skills

– Must be self driven and should not shy away from taking accountability and ownership

5Team LeadsCritical role in a team that has new team members or team members with less experience.

– Must have good development background on platforms other than Salesforce

– Must have led the Salesforce design and development of projects of similar or higher complexity

– Must have good knowledge of SCRUM and must believe in SCRUM

– Must be respected by team and should get along with team members

– Must have excellent communication and leadership skills

6Salesforce ArchitectMakes decision on Salesforce architecture – what objects to use, when to write code vs configure, what clouds to use etc. Could be a team lead.

– Must have in-depth experience with Salesforce clouds

– Must have in-depth experience with Salesforce Lightning (if development required)

– Must know the key design principles

7Product OwnerThe individual who documents and explains the requirements to the team.

– Must know the business well

– Must know the business stakeholders well

– Must be able to negotiate with the business stakeholders and team

– Must be able to work with end users and get their buy-ins and feedback on work in progress

– Must know how to do functional decomposition of the requirements from features to Epics to small stories

– Must know how to work in Agile teams

– Must have excellent communication skills

– Must have time for the team

– Must have leadership quality and team members should be inspired by him/her

8DevOps SolutionsThis attribute is important in larger Salesforce development projects with 5 or more developers.

– Must have good Salesforce code branching strategy in place

– Must have good Environment Management solution in place

– Must have automation for Code Version Management, Continuous Integration and Deployment automation (including pre and post deployment steps)

– Must have data refresh automation in place

9Project Management ToolsProject management tools used by teams and stakeholders.

– Must allow multi-sprint planning (PI planning)

– Must be able to have the basic features required for SCRUM teams

– Must have a tool to maintain and track milestone based plan across different teams (for more than one team program)

10Feature and Solution Architecture Clarity at the time of Release Planning (PI planning)Jumping into delivery sprints without knowing the program scope and the solution architecture will leads to re-work and frustrations.

– Must have clearly defined Epics with acceptance criteria

– Solution architect and Salesforce Architect must together to create end to end solution architecture and Salesforce architecture

– All Epics must be sized and dependencies identified with a fairly high degree of confidence

11SCRUM Adoption– Must be able to follow SCRUM with multi-sprint planning

– Must do grooming, demos, planning and retro with diligence (no exceptions)

12Familiarity to Agile–  Team members including program owner, drivers must have good understanding of Agile process4
13Program Owners’ ability to drive through Organizational barriersIn larger and/or organizations with contentious departmental priorities, the success of project depends on the degree to which the program owner is able to keep protected from distractions.

– Must shield the team from distractions

–  Must be able to reduce the management overheads on the team

– Must make decisions, instead of dragging the decision making process

– Must be connected with the team and must inspire the team

14Release Planning / PI PlanningThe program teams must have a cross team release plan, laying out development sequence for the Epics and stories. Must have cross team dependencies identified and reviewed on weekly basis.8

Well, this is it. You may adjust the model.

Once you get the rating scale set, you can deduce probabilities (assuming a rating of 5 means 100% certainty for success – remember I said ‘good enough’ confidence level). If you need help with calculating the probabilities, reach out to me through Mirketa contact us page.

Rajeev Kumar

Rajeev has over 20 years of experience in IT managing large software development programs, organization change initiatives and Agile transformations. Prior to joining Mirketa Rajeev worked at startups and fortune 500 companies in senior management roles. He founded and, personal finance management applications for Indian and US market. Rajeev is also the founder of, a wedding planning application with online market for wedding planners and wedding merchandise.
Posted in Agile, salesforce development. Tagged with , , , .

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