Implementor, Consultants, Contractors, Subcontractors…Oh My!

I have a story I would like to share about a Client interaction that left me shocked but made me realized misconceptions of Consulting industry specific to Salesforce ecosystem.

I want to set the stage of why this blog is important for Consulting companies, potential Salesforce Customers and even existing Salesforce Customers.  Salesforce ecosystem is expanding and growing at rapid pace.

“According to new research from IDC, Salesforce and its ecosystem of customers and partners will drive $1.2 trillion in new business revenues and 4.2 million new jobs worldwide between 2019 and 2024. The growing demand for Salesforce solutions presents a massive opportunity for Salesforce partners—in fact, many have reported that their Salesforce practices are growing by more than 50% annually”            Salesforce Blog

What does this mean for the Salesforce ecosystem:

  1.  Salesforce Consulting companies are increasing.
  2.  Investing in right partnerships will be key to success of any project.

Back to the conversation with a client (whom I will reference as Sally).

Sally and I have weekly Project Management weekly check in call.  We were discussing roadblocks and happen to identify a major gap with the resources staffed on the implementation project.

Sally asked this question:  ” What I am hearing you say, is we (the Client) purchased consulting service as a low cost and we (the client) cut corners on important items during the scoping.”  Sally paused.

I sat there holding my breathe, processing her comment.

Sally continued, “In other words, we (the client) paid for consulting services relative to a price point of a Pinto car, when we should have been paying the price to get the Porsche we needed.”

I exhaled and responded “Yes”.

Sally did make it clear, it was not the level of service provided or with the delivery team. Rather, Sally realized a deeper understanding of what level of service was purchased and what level they actually needed.

As the ecosystem continues to expand, it is very important that partners and customers are aligned on terminologies on roles in what I find in the ecosystem.

Role Definitions: 

Implementors:  Experts in getting clients up and running quickly, with using standard setup and configurations to accomplish. Usually resulting into phase approached projects.

Consultants:  Experts in improving business processes by asking to understand current processes and/or if there are not any processes in place, the Consultants will assist the Client in discovering the best approach based on technology and market needs.  

Contractors:  Hands-on Expert.  Admin, Project Manager, Change Manager are roles that can fill the avoid of missing roles on the project.  Typically, client does not have current resources on project to fill this space.

Subcontractors:  Contractors that work with Implementors and Consultants companies that have specific area of expertise.

Maybe you are asking yourself, what is the difference? There is a big different in each role and understand what value they bring.  It is key for Customers  to have a pulse on 3 areas before starting the vetting process.

  • Project Resources
  • Customer work culture
  • Data

STEP 1:  Current resource pool.

  • Do you have representation to help with day-day activities of the tool?
    • In the Salesforce and FinancialForce ecosystem this would be considered System Admin.
  • Do you have a resource identified to drive the change, communication, manage testing, training?
  • Do you have a  resource who will help manage budget, timeline and tasks?

STEP 2:  Work environment and how change is handled in the organization.

  • When was the last time change happened and what was the reaction?
  • How was communication handled about the change?
  • Are there specific people who resist transition?

STEP 3:  Lastly, think about what business systems (tools) may be affect or impacted by this new technology.

  • Do you have a resource on the project that is data guru?
  • Does the data need to cleansed or duplicated?
  • Are there any systems going away?
  • Integration that will need to be considered?

 

Now, if the customer has done their pre-vetting process addressing Step 1 – Step 3, they are ready to determine which Partners would be the right fit for the project.

If any of this is overwhelming, we should connect.   A.GAME Consulting assist clients’ to save time, eliminate confusion and bring cost-effective solutions for long-term success in adapting change.  It is ideal to partner with someone who can guide you through the pre-vetting process, partner vetting,  life of the project, and support post go-live.

Cheers~

Mistakes Leaders Make With Change

In the last decade, almost every customer I have engaged with during an implementation of new technologies, expressed feelings;  overwhelmed, frustrated and even confused.  I took that as a learning opportunity and started to explore different methods to how I was consulting these unhappy and confused customers.

Consulting is an Art.  Consulting is Agile.

I started deeper conversations with clients, quickly realized it was the workplace culture and how leadership was not managing the transition effectively. 

I started researching resistance change in workplace. That is when fell upon Dale Carnegie class on “Lead Change Effectively”.

Lead Change Certificate 2019

 

I am about to blow your minds with Dale Carnegie’s:  8 Most Common Change Leadership Mistakes.

Please know these are my responses and did you know based off Carnegies’ 8 categories.

 

1. Implementing too much change in too short a timeframe  

  • YES! This is number one in my consulting book.  Seems like customers want to have everything ‘done’ for go-live with an unrealistic date picked without thinking of the impact on users and the their experience.
  • Response:  Clients’ and Consultants slow down and consider a phased approach to the next change. With a phased approach, users get to ‘real’ life experience using the tool, and might express pain for manual processes.
    • Did you know:  User’s  pain will quickly turn into motivation for the next phase. This also gives the users skin in the game, be listen too and overall increase user adoption.

 

2. Lack of a long term vision and strategy

  • Oh another great one! With an implementation of new technology, consultant partners do a great job getting customers to the finish line.
  • Response:  Clients’ will want to ensure the change ties back to a business strategy with a vision of long term goals.
    • Did you know:  Planning and staffing for how to manage this ongoing change have a great impact on the business long term vision.

 

3. Not making a convincing case for change

  • Yuppers! Leadership knows why change is happening, but does the Staff?
  • Response:  Leadership start conversations early, asking input and feedback about the change. It’s amazing how quickly buy-in happens and excitement will happen when there is continued conversations.
    • Did you know: Communication is a key method to adopting change in the workplace.

 

4. Limited individuals skills

  • In my Consulting book, this would be number 2.
  • Response:  Leadership make sure skillset on the team have been identified either before project kicks off or immediately following the change.  Make sure to invest in training in additional training for those individuals managing the change.
    • Did you know:  Leaders who plan ahead and include training costs in budget, have smoother transitions and less resistance to change.

 

Half way done.  Thought I would make sure readers understand the bullet points listed are my thoughts.  But Carnegie studies provided the 8 common mistakes.  Back at it…

 

5.  Shortage of organizational resources

  • This is hard one for companies to understand and/or plan for, as they do not know what they do not know.
  • Response:  Very common when initiatives start strong, but then day-day work happens for project members, slowing and delaying the results of project.
    • Did you know:  Having a resource dedicated to the managing the change effort will result in seeing the change to completion.  Third parties seems to be best partners for this role.

 

6. Leadership resistance to changing roles

  • Ouch! This is one really hurts any change.
  • Response:  Resist may occur when leaders see an eroding of their control or responsibility as an outcome of the change.  Make sure this is addressed before implementation change is consider.
    • Did you know:  Bottom up approach is hard method and lacks the ability to impact behavior. Typically, results in the staff leaving the organization.

 

7.  Failing to integrate and align all change initiatives

  • Believe it or not, I see this a lot in my role.
  • Response:  Think about all the other systems and processes that may be impacted before starting the project. Consider flow diagrams to show the flow of data, processes and think how this will effect the change.  (Risk Analysis, for the Project Managers reading this).
    • Did you know:  If this is not thought through in the beginning of the project planning, it will quickly caught up and impact cost and delay timeline.

 

8. Poor follow-through, measurement and monitoring of change outcomes

  • This is key to understanding how the culture handles transition.
  • Response:  A. GAME Consulting are experts to help Clients define key measurements upfront and throughout the project.
    • Did you know:  Questions to consider how much were systems and processes improved by the change? How well was the change accepted and embraced. These questions are never asked during implementation and should be practice.

 

As a strategist for change, A.GAME Consulting will assist clients to save time, eliminate confusion and bring cost-effective solutions for long-term success in adapting change.  We focus on the resistance to change and understand behaviors in the workplace during transitions.

A.GAME will work one-one; on project teams; or provide small group training to professionals to become change leaders at their workplace.

I hope you enjoyed my take on the 8 common mistakes made by leaders.  Reach out anytime via @chattyadmn on twitter and continue the conversation on change.

Post #DF19, Now What?

Although, I was not at DF#19, Kelly Leslie understands the post DF19 struggles.  With that said, Kelly founder of A.GAME Consulting will be hosting a 45 minutes webinar session to help create and channel energy into productivity.

With an easy 7 Steps Action Plan, attendees will have the foundation to not think, just do all within 3 weeks.  If attendees follow this plan, by December 20, Salesforce knowledge will be shared, sponsored and moving on 2020 Salesforce Roadmap.  In addition, A.GAME Consulting will be holding a follow up session on December 20 to ensure progress in the plan is happening.

Please check the Events tab to register or click on on  7 Steps Action Plan(here).

A.GAME Consulting would like to thank  OpMentors for supporting 7 Steps webinar session.  As A.GAME Consulting is expanding services to include change management and project management, it made sense to align with other consulting companies  that has passion for  business process and technology, and allow me to bring passion for the people into business models.

Did you know Jocelyn, COO / Co-Founder & Salesforce MVP was hosted DF19 Customer 360 for SMB? Check it out and learn more about Customer 360 for Small Business.

 

A.GAME Consulting…Expanding Services

As a strategist for change, A.GAME Consulting will assist Clients’ to save time, eliminate confusion, and bring cost-effective solutions for long term success in adaption change.  

A.GAME Consulting will be offering Change Management Consulting  services along with Project Management  and Implementations Consulting services coming in 2020.  A.GAME Consulting is expanding services to include people-side of implementations and projects, helping to eliminate peoples’ worry, lessen confusion, and increase adoption.

In the last two years, I have been working on projects that either go really well or not so well.  There is a common thread in both experiences…. the People.

Part of A.GAME Consulting new service will assist in getting to know the people (the users, stakeholders, admins, developers) on the projects by providing assessments and engage on a cultural level to develop a customized  Engagement Approach Program.  The Engagement Approach Program is  based off product (platform implemented, process change), people (project team, users, stakeholders) and organization (work culture).  Understanding the three elements will help the transition.

If you organization is struggling with projects failing one after another, high stress and overworked resources, and struggle with confusion across departments, reach out via twitter @chattyadmn to continue this conversation and we can create an experience that will shift behaviors around change.

Back to School, Back to Change

For those readers with children, you will relate well to this post.  Every August / September, the planning of the new school year begins.  Sending kids back to school is a reminder managing tasks, schedules, and planning at very basic level.  As a new school year approaches quickly, there are many tasks:  Shopping for school supplies Clothes […]

How Salesforce Admins and Pardot Marketers can help each other!

Pardot_Logo.png3Working with customers and community, I was hearing a lot about Pardot and Salesforce.

Salesforce Women In Tech User Group & User Group co-hosted Salesforce Pardot event in Madison.

Wow!  What an amazing turn out, the event exceeded my expectations. Thank you to all attendees for taking time out of your day and special thanks for User Group Leaders; Brian Kwong (@kwongerific) and Lauren Miedema (@lrmiedema) with assisting.  I do appreciate the volunteers that help promote it (@andyschmiechen)!

Successes:

1.   100% attendance rate.  Everyone that registered, attended the event.

2.   The level of engagement was high.  Asking questions, sharing experiences, and gaining knowledge, was impressive.

3.  For this event, a community member is interested in starting a WI Pardot User Group.

@StephanieFoerst, (MVP, WiT Leader and Pardot User Group Leader), the Pardot expert in the community shared scenarios below on how Admins and Marketing can collaborate with Salesforce and Pardot.

Salesforce Admin Problem #1:

  • Your business wants copies of certain emails sent through automation saved in Salesforce. It is needed for record keeping and gives sales confidence that the email was sent. You can hack this when using the process builder or workflows but…

Pardot Solution:

  • If email logging is turned on in the Salesforce connector settings
  • Any email sent through Pardot is saved as a task in salesforce automatically
  • Setup your automation using Engagement Studio or Automation Rules instead!
  • Keep in mind: no attachments; links only

 

Salesforce Admin Problem #2:

  • You send emails through salesforce that contain links to training. The link may change over time, as training gets updated and people always need to be directed to the most current version. And you don’t want to have to update 100+ email templates…

Pardot Solution:

  • Custom redirects to the rescue!
  • Allows you to customize the URL given to a lead/contact
  • Redirects to your specified location

 

Marketing Problem #3:

  • The CMO is asking for a daily status update on a marketing campaign that’s currently running. The marketing team has their engagement program setup to add the prospects to campaigns and update campaign member statuses as they proceed through the program. But now they need the easiest way to give the daily update.

Salesforce Admin Solution:

  • Reports and Dashboards to the rescue!
  • Campaign Influence
  • Campaign best practices (parent/child campaigns, customizing campaign member status)

Also, shout out to @Allium IT for sponsoring the event.  It was great to have you there and thank you again for supporting the @Salesforce #Ohana.

Cheers~ Until next time

ChattyAdmin Next Move

allium logo_committed

Wow!  What an amazing last couple months.  Not only did I get nominated for MVP and awarded MVP Winter 16, I will be moving onto another new journey within my career. 

I have honored to announce that I have accepted a Salesforce Consulting position with a local Wisconsin company,  Allium IT . 

Allium is recognized by Inc. 5000’s list of America’s fastest-growing companies.  Allium earned the rank of 2112 in 2016. The ranking is based on percentage of revenue growth over a four year period. Allium attributes this success to their customers, employees, partners, friends, and family who have supported them and made this achievement possible.

#Ohana has been asking what will happen to A.GAME Consulting, the advocate for Admins with a focus Training Admins and Training End Users?

Great news, Allium loves A.GAME business model so they will be incorporating it into their business model working and collaborating with clients.  It is a win-win-win.  Yes, 3 wins!  

  1.  Allium wins: Salesforce Admin trainer with customized module(s) and personal coach for Admins as well.
  2. I win:  continue my passion of educating Admins and Leaders about investing in people, process then technology.
  3. Most important win: Allium customers will receive Salesforce customized training based on their org and tailored Admin or End User training to best suited for the customers’ need.

I am excited to integrate my business model into a well-established organization whose moto:” Our proactive, collaborative, and candid approach to Salesforce.com support, technology staffing, strategy and project management, and privacy and security services, is a direct result of our experience. It’s the reason our clients continue to engage us for new projects and services”.  

My personal goal within this organization umbrella is to help Leaders understand the Salesforce is an ever-changing platform and the need for improving processes is led by people within.  

Thanks #Ohana for your support and helping me get to where I am today. I am so grateful for the opportunities, mentors, guidance from the amazing Salesforce Community.  

Please join me in celebrating this new adventure and provide me a virtual “high five” on twitter @chattyadmn.  

~ Cheers ~

The Award Goes To… Me?

Wondering if any ChattyAdmin readers watched the 2017 epic Oscars mistake that unfolded as the wrong film was awarded…. that uncomfortable, confusing moment that appeared on television being viewed of millions of people.

theoscars2017-2

On Friday, February 27… I had those same uncomfortable and confusing emotions arise as I read an email with a subject line “Congratulations!” With curiosity, I opened the email and noticed it was from the one and only Holly Firestone.

Shocked, confused, humbled, and honored and self-doubt heightened while I read the email.  I seriously read the email at least 3 times before I realizing I was being awarded Salesforce Winter 17 MVP.   I emailed Holly thanking her and the team.  I figured if there was a mistake of awarding the wrong “Kelly”,  that gave the team the opportunity to address it before I walked on “stage”.

Now,  that the week is settling down within the Success Community and Twitter, I want to write and thank all that have acknowledged my doings and the award of MVP.  Getting the MVP award is a great accomplishment and I am grateful… however I have learned it is a “way of being”.  Being able to looking deep inside and process these emotions tied to being nominated, let alone selected for MVP, is heart-felt recognition that I do not take lightly.

ohana-image

 

 

I would like to share 4 ways how the Salesforce #Ohana Community has been a part of my growth, professionally and personally as I developed a better sense of “way of being”.

 

 

  1.  Identify Weakness, only brought forth Strength:  The Salesforce ecosystem and people within helped me gain confidence by asking questions and being okay with “asking”.  Pushing myself to try and learn new things.  Such as participating in “Radial Apex Developer” (free) program, I  quickly learned that I have not desire to write code. This also built level of knowledge about myself no ever writing code, but now being able to read and understand code.
  2. Tap into a great sense of Creativity:   By using my active listening skills and identifying business problems, I create solutions using Salesforce as platform.  As a Communication and Psychology  College major, I am drawn to resolving problems while understanding the people-side of business.
  3. Uncover my passion for educating and building a strong community:  Giving me the opportunity to lead Women In Tech chapter, has allowed me the opportunity build a stronger, supportive network which includes Allies.  Providing support and encouragement gives me a greater sense of “being”.  Thanks for all that participate.
  4. Ability to overcome fears:  This may seem like a strange one.  However, the community has been very supportive in allowing me to address my fear of public speaking.  I always worry that I will not have an answer, but I am okay with not having the answers all the time, and that is a way of “being”.  Where now today, I love leading group discussions and presenting in front of large groups.  Thank you for the opportunity for growth.

What I find most amazing are the people who want to help one another.  There are so many great resources provided by the Community such as podcasts, blogs, webinars and books all on Salesforce created and delivered from our people in the #Ohana.

I feel honored to be part of Salesforce #Ohana (MVP status or not). I sometimes wish that all of the world could follow this model of community by supporting one another and leading with our full hearts.

For those new or seasoned to Salesforce ecosystem thank you for all you have done and continue to do, it is a “way of being” that makes #Ohana so special.

Cheers~

Why Documentation?!?

Hey ChattyAdmin readers…. as mentioned in my last post I have organized A.GAME Consulting 3 part webinar series… FREE for the Salesforce community!

The first topic of Salesforce Documenting your org:  we will define what “TASK ARTICLES” are.  We will explore how Amy (fictional character) will look at how to identify what to document, format of document and where to store TASK ARTICLES.

Meet Amy:  Amy has been with the company less then 3 months supporting the Sales team. She calls leads, schedule appointments and builds email templates. Sales Manager noticed what a great job she was doing, decided to give her more responsibility.  Now, Amy helps the team by tracking data in Salesforce.  Since Amy is organized, data oriented and eager to learn. Where does Amy start?

I am excited to be partnering with fellow community #Ohana @Salesforce experts on Documentation.  I hope you will join us on the first webinar.  Seat will be limited.

Once you register, you will receive an email the next day with Join.Me details for Webinar and Call-in information.

Please register here:  Session 1: Salesforce Documentation Friday 2/3 12:00 p.m. CST

Cheers~

Get excited about Documentation!?!

Chatty Admin readers… hello to all.  I am so excited to have an opportunity to share that I will be doing a series of FREE Webinars on topics relating to Salesforce Documentation.

Yes, documentation.  There is not a lot to say about Documentation but you need to have it, right?!? Does your Salesforce instance have documentation already?  Is it updated? Does it overwhelm you to think about what to document?

Relating to any or all these concerns about Salesforce Documentation?  In the 3 FREE Webinar (series) hosted by A.GAME Consulting will offer steps on eliminating concerns and provide a starting point.

Please stay tuned and check out A.GAME Consulting. 

Cheers & Happy Holidays~