6th Jun 2017

Salesforce Lightning Tour Discoveries

by: Tim Combridge

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Salesforce held their Lightning Now Tour in Melbourne on June 1st and 2nd, and shared a bunch of helpful information on the Lightning Experience. They spoke about the benefits of Lightning and what made it different from the Classic experience, how the Administrator can check to see if their Org is ready for Lightning, and how they can work with Developers to leverage some of the new tools inside of Lightning to create a better experience for the end users.

Why Migrate to Lightning Experience?

Lightning is made up of three main parts:

  1. New Experience (user interface is more modern)

  2. New Framework (new tools and technology)

  3. Community (AppExchange, etc.)

Overall, these new and improved areas help to boost productivity throughout the organisation. Administrators get brand new apps, reusable Lightning Components, and a new use case for Global Actions outside of Salesforce1. Developers get access to the Lightning Design System, Lightning Data Service, and Lightning Testing Service (Developer Preview in Summer ‘17). Finally, the end users get a much cleaner and more modern user interface that they’ll feel more at home in, a smarter way to search, and new features like Favourites, Paths, and Kanban will mean new abilities and possibilities.

Is Your Org Ready For Lightning?

Something almost every Admin has asked themselves (or others) in the last few years is if their transition to Lightning Experience will be smooth and easy for everyone involved, or a complete catastrophe. Salesforce has preemptively built a suite of tools and information for those asking this question. They call it Lightning Migration Assistant. Using this suite, Admins are able to Preview the org in Lightning to see how it would look for users, they can run the Lightning Experience Readiness Check (which is a fantastic tool for seeing which components are Lightning ready, and which need some more work), and they can begin segmenting the organisation into Lightning Users and non-Lightning Users using Permission Sets (as it is best not to run at it with a Big Bang approach and give everyone access all at once).

If you want to read more about the Lightning Migration Assistant, you can do so here, however I’d like to go into a little more detail on the Lightning Experience Readiness Check. This feature runs a system-wide check on your company’s Salesforce environment and provides you with a detailed report on the features that will function correctly in Lightning, and let you know what needs attention. It goes into detail about your User Profiles, Tabs, Objects, Territory Management, Account Contact Roles, Account Partners, Campaign Members and Influence, JavaScript custom buttons, URLs that link to other Salesforce pages, Email templates, Cases, among stacks more. As big as your org may be, this tool makes sure there are no stones left unturned when pushing over to Lightning. You’re in good hands!

What’s Stopping Me From Migrating?

Nothing! Well, that is unless you’ve caught a snag in the Readiness Check. Otherwise, there’s nothing holding you back from migrating to Lightning! All you need to do is to put together a plan for migration. 

How Do I Plan For Lightning Migration?

It is your responsibility as an Administrator to make sure that this transition is as smooth as possible for all users. This means taking each and every user into account, and understanding how they use the system and how the migration to Lightning might change them. Salesforce uses the term “Persona” to help determine this, and they even have a Trailhead Badge put together to help Admins to build the personas for their company. They can then plan around this and do some UAT (User Acceptance Testing) before rolling it out to more of the org.

There are other things that an Admin will need to plan for as well as training, such as future development. In the past, you may have created a custom JavaScript button when you needed new functionality. This feature is an example of one that is being kept out of Lightning on purpose, in this case for security purposes. Your job, as an Admin, is to utilise different features of the system to create a better and safer experience for all users. Surprisingly, there is also a Trailhead Badge for Lightning Alternatives to JavaScript Buttons, as well as other common problems.

Five Step Plan

The Lightning Now team provided a lot of information about migrating to Lightning, but it can be summed up quite simply in this five step plan.

Step 1: Project Plan

Hey, what do you know? Salesforce has prepared an entire Badge for Lightning Experience Rollout! It was also the team’s first step to migrating to Lightning - build a plan! It’s hard to keep yourself and your team aligned with a plan without writing one.

Step 2: Marketing and Communications Plan

Keep everyone in the loop - this is a huge core change for your organisation, which is scary enough for those who aren’t as familiar with the system as you are. Make sure you plan to update everyone in their own way too - no two teams will have the exact same worries or require the same information. Identify your audience, outline the end user benefits and inform people about them. It can also help to use “messengers” throughout the organisation - a few representatives from each department that believe in the power of Lightning and can pass messages onto their fellow colleagues. Make sure to pick the platform - don’t post on Chatter and assume everyone reads it, learn what your users consume best and adapt your communications to these channels.

Step 3: Training Plan

Remember who you’re working with, remember what they need to do, and make sure to tailor their training to those tasks and the possibilities that Lightning will bring. Vary your training methods from class based, online based, video training, etc. and remember to define your metrics for success before training - what will a successfully trained team look like for your organisation? Strive for that goal.

Step 4: Launch

It’s go time! Make sure everything has been addressed - all customisations are Lightning Ready, all users are informed, trained, and confident in the system, and make sure that you’ve selected the correct time for migration and notified staff.

Then, press the button! Switch on Lightning Experience! Congratulations!

The party has begun, but the work is not yet over. Your users are going to be trying to hit the same KPIs and goals they had using Classic, but with a completely different interface. They may have some feedback that you need to address, or there may be an overlooked feature that needs immediate work. Be sure to listen to your users and be understanding with any grievances they have with the system. 

Step 5: Iterate

This is where your users will start to see what Lightning can really do. The rate that you’ll push out useful tools and features will astound them, each and every one bringing exciting new time saving ability. If you keep innovating, keep listening, keep implementing, and keep following the business then your colleagues will love Lightning. Build the system around them and the business.

Useful Trailhead Information

Salesforce has built Trailhead to be a one stop shop for anyone who wants to expand their Salesforce knowledge. The Lightning Now Tour pushed Trailhead as hard as you’d expect, and I was able to note down a few important Trails and Modules that will assist when it comes to learning about Lightning and how to plan for migration. I’ve also added to the list with some that I found quite beneficial when I first discovered Lightning.

 

Name

Type

Est. Time

Target

Salesforce User Tour

Module

50m

Users

Salesforce Basics

Module

40m

Users

Lightning Experience Basics

Module

55m

Admins

Migrate to Lightning Experience

Trail

7h20m

Admins

Lightning Experience Rollout

Module

1h

Admins

Lightning Apps

Module

1h

Admins

UX Research Basics

Module

1h25m

Admins

UX Personas for Salesforce

Module

1h

Admins

Lightning Experience Development

Module

1h20m

Developers

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tim Combridge

Tim is Liquid's Lead Salesforce Consultant