Implementation Strategies section consists of 15% of total score in the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant certification exam, covering topics such as facilitating a successful consulting engagement as well as contact center licensing and deployment strategies. Without further ado, let's get into it!

NOTE: This post is written in April 2020 and content might be changed/updated overtime. The content is inspired by

Guideline for Implementation Strategies

  • Given a scenario, determine how to facilitate a successful consulting engagement (plan, gather requirements, design, build, test, and document).
  • Given a scenario, determine appropriate contact center licensing and deployment strategies.

Implementation Process

Rollout Plan

  • Plan Phase
    • identify reasons for change and high-level requirements, and start mapping out possible solutions

    • consulting team kickoff

    • project plan sign-off (ensure alignment)

    • Components of Project Plan:

      • Purpose:
        • identify the purpose of project and how it will deliver business value
      • Scope:
        • clearly describe what is in the scope as part of the project and what is not
        • ensure expectation are in alignment
      • Communications Plan:
        • communicate with stakeholders on details, changes, milestones, involvement and etc. as needed
        • address how the communication will be conducted at all stages of the project to help increase adoption
      • Roles and Resources:
        • identify who will be involved in the project and what resources are required as part of the project
      • Change Plan:
        • assess level of change readiness and plan how to ease transition to and adoption of new system
      • Training Plan:
        • analyze how job roles will change as a result of implementing new system
        • train the trainer to train end users
      • Project Risks:
        • understand what might be the risk to the project and come out with mitigating actions
      • Milestone Plan:
        • set out plans for when the milestones of the project will be completed
        • ensure the timing corresponds with customer expectation
        • Project Milestones example:
          • project plan sign-off
          • requirements document sign-off
          • solution design sign-off
          • build and review
          • user acceptance testing (UAT) complete
          • end-user training
          • data migration
          • go live
          • project sign-off
      • Deliverables:
        • identify list of items that will be delivered as part of the project
    • Discovery:

      • Discovery step helps to prepare for the Analyze Phase, including conversations with key stakeholders to understand their current system and processes
        • Key activities are:
          • questionnaire to gather information from the customer
          • discovery interviews with key stakeholders to understand pain points
          • understand as-is processes
          • observe interactions with current systems
        • Key information to gather:
          • organizational charts
          • process maps
          • report samples
          • requirement docs from previous system implementations
          • required objects and fields
          • stakeholders and roles
          • key fields, validation rules, and business rules
    • Scope Creep

      • happens when new requirements are added to project after the original requirements have been documented
      • cause project to be delayed
      • ways to prevent Scope Creep:
        • implement a change control process to review and approve all additional requirements before they are added to project
        • prioritize the requirements and avoid low priority requirements
        • verify the scope with each stakeholder of the project
        • define written contract clearly to set expectations at the beginning of project
    • ex: a company would like implement Service Cloud for the first time

  • Analyze Phase
    • gather and prioritize requirements, identify gaps and create requirement documents
    • requirements document sign-off
    • ex: certain stakeholders of a company require a new application with custom functionality and objects
  • Design Phase
    • transform requirements into solutions, and prepare solution design documents
    • implement solution design
      • use cases and a prototype application to give the client a clear vision of how the system will look like and how it will be used based on use cases
    • implement technical design
      • includes any customizations that require code development (if not, just use out-of-the-box features)
    • solution design sign-off
    • ex: a detailed prototype of the Sales application need to be presented to the stakeholders
  • Build Phase
    • develop and configure application in sandbox
    • conduct alpha and beta reviews to confirm on configuration and demonstrate how it works
    • build and review data migration
    • develop training material
    • ex: client has provided sign-off on the solution design document, and the application is ready to be developed/configured in Salesforce.
  • Validate Phase
    • validate application functionality through types of testing:
      • User Acceptance Testing (UAT) - allow system users to validate the process and usability of the system through test scripts consisting of use cases
      • System Integration Testing (SIT) - validate data flowing into or out of Salesforce from or to external systems
      • Performance Testing - test and validate speed and response time
      • End-to-End Testing - validate the functionality of a system from start to end
    • validate configuration and code, fix bugs and more testing
    • develop training material
    • project ready to sign-off and go live
    • ex: client needs to very that the application functions according to the requirements, make sure the application is error-free
  • Deploy Phase
    • conduct training sessions
    • migrate data, configuration and code into production
    • transfer knowledge to support
    • project sign-off
    • gather project feedback via customer satisfaction survey
    • ex: application can be rolled out with training for certain group of users on a specific date

Implementation Methodologies

  • Waterfall:
    • Waterfall methodology requires upfront planning and collection of requirements in detail before implementation.
    • Distinct stages are defined and each stage must be finished before moving on to next stage:
      1. Requirement
      2. Planning
      3. Development
      4. Testing
      5. Deployment
    • Typically, requirements are reviewed and approved by customer once again before development begins.
    • Nowadays, people generally don't use Waterfall approach anymore (it really depends though).
Planning and design are straightforwardRequirements cannot be changed
Suitable for small projects with predictable workHigh risk of delivering end product as changes can be difficult to implement
Suitable for projects where there are multiple interfaces and dependencies
  • Agile:
    • Agile methodology allows development in small incremental builds, emphasizing rapid delivery of complete functional components of an application.
    • An implementation can be divided into multiple sprints, each of which delivers a value and has a defined duration with a running list of deliverables:
      • Requirement
        • Planning
        • Development
        • Testing
      • Deployment
      • Repeat the process
    • In each sprint, cross-functional teams can work simultaneously on multiple areas, ex: development and testing.
    • Agile relies heavily on customer's involvement throughout the project.
    • Scrum is an agile process with defined roles, meetings and deliverables that provides the framework to deliver high-quality value to customer faster.
Deliverables can be reviewed early and constantly improved throughout projectHigh project cost as the process keeps repeating until project is done
Greater flexibility as changes can be introduced at any stageLose direction and go off track due to frequently changing requirements
Frequent communications resulting in regular feedback from customersHigh level of collaboration required by Agile might not be feasible
Testing is performed more regularly, bugs and issues are caught and fixed right on trackLack of commitment will result in project failure

Project Rollout Challenges

  • undefined or unclear process map
  • unclear or incomplete requirements
  • lack of communication
  • canceled or delayed meetings
  • lack of availability
  • complicated requirements
  • and etc.

Contact Center Licensing


  • Compare editions and top features:

  • Salesforce Essentials - appropriate for small support team and use basic features related to Service Cloud

  • Lightning Professional - have slightly more features and suitable for teams of any size

  • Lightning Enterprise - suitable for companies that have more complex business requirements

  • Lightning Unlimited - offers all capabilities, including 24/7 support

    • NOTE: not all features are included, ex: service analytics app or customer community require additional fees
  • Find out more about Salesforce Contact Center Licensing.

Implementation Strategies

  • Big Bang Implementation Approach

    • Set a cutover date, move all the users from old system to new one.
    • Data migration is done during cutover period.
    • Once the user migration is completed, the old system can be used in read-only mode for reference.
    • Advantages:
      • use one system
      • everyone migrates on the same phase
      • shorter implementation time
      • lower cost
    • Disadvantages:
      • high risk
      • fall back plans can be difficult (or just use the old system then)
      • not getting used to new system
      • cutover causes productivity issues
  • Pilot/Phased Rollout Implementation Approach

    • System is implemented or rolled out in several phases.
    • Phase implementation can be done by Pilot, allowing small group of people to test new system and give feedback before fully cutover to new system.
    • Phase implementation can be done by functionality or by location.
    • Advantages:
      • lower risk
      • more time for system adoption
    • Disadvantages:
      • longer implementation time
      • fall back to old system becomes very difficult in later phases
      • more complex and confusing which makes training harder
  • Parallel Implementation Approach

    • Existing and new system are both in use until a decision is made to fully migrate to new system.
    • Advantages:
      • lower risk
      • more time to resolve issues before fully abandon old system
    • Disadvantages:
      • higher cost
      • longer implementation time
      • duplicate work in both systems
      • not getting used to new system, hence new system is ignored
  • Crawl, Walk, Fall, Run Strategy

    • Crawl
      • focus on implementation of minimum viable product (MVP) with "must-have" features only
      • ex: customization of accounts, contacts and opportunities
    • Walk
      • focus on adding "nice-to-have" and any additional "must-have" features
      • ex: sales process can be defined, products can be customized
    • Fall
      • certain common failure points resulting in failure
      • ex: no proactive plan, process map unclear, no clear vision or end goals, no success metrics defined, no clear expectations or communication plan, no proper roles and responsibilities
    • Run (last phase)
      • can implement "great-to-have" features if still have time
      • ex: integration with other system and automation of business process

That's all about it! Thanks for reading!

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