The term ‘Technical debt’ has originated from software engineering and refers to the cost of additional re-work caused by choosing an instant and easy solution in the current situation instead of opting for a better approach that would take longer to implement. It’s also known as “Shift Left” – ‘the earlier you diagnose problems, the more economical it is to fix them.’
Earlier technical debt was a developer’s problem – when using shortcuts with code. But, with low-code platforms such as Salesforce, technical debt now appears as a result of ‘clicks’ as well as code.
Technical debt is accrued in the same way as financial debt, i.e., by making short-term decisions that seem economical or instant. Both debts are akin in that the higher the debt you accrue, the more difficult it becomes to make long-term decisions to repay it, thus continuing the cycle. Technical debt causes displeasure and can lead to significant losses in terms of productivity, morale, and even revenues. Salesforce users become frustrated as they always end up into timeouts and errors performing their jobs. Admins also become disenchanted as they expend their time maintaining primarily fragmented processes rather than evolving operations that actually benefit the company.
How to Manage CRM Technical Debt
The first step is to get an in-depth understanding of the health of your Salesforce org and where technical debt may exist. With the Salesforce platform being so extensive, this can be a Herculean task to undertake manually. However, we, at TechForce Services, have helped several organisations perform this type of assessment and can also help you speed up the process and point out risk areas that need further analysis.
Plan & Execute
With a clear picture of the existing state, we can plan for platform maximisation, and prioritise based on the functional impact of the identified risk items and organisational goals. Taking those goals into account will enable your organisation to continue making progress on time-bound initiatives.
The task of managing technical debt in your org is never fully complete. With Salesforce’s major release cycle of thrice a year and highly adaptable platform, it’s significant that Salesforce teams budget between a quarter and a third of the time in each sprint cycle addressing earlier configuration and customisation, re-determining to ensure compliance with best practices and gradually eliminating accrued technical debt.
How to Eliminate CRM Technical Debt
With Salesforce technical debt, the most common issues are the process builder issues since it is quite easy to create several different process builders and set them all live. However, this is not a best practice and can result in several different processes boomeranging simultaneously and even sparking off one another until they break.
The following one or more approaches can aid in quick wins:
- Integrate: Integrate simple one-action process builders or workflow rules into a single multi-step process builder.
- Unclutter: Deactivate or delete actions and automations that are not used any longer.
- Centralise: Combine similar actions into the same process builder execution node.
- Defer: Move non-urgent updates into scheduled actions.
TechForce, which operates in several verticals such as Education, Government, Finance, etc., helps reduce your Salesforce technical debt by conducting regular Salesforce health checks to assess the state of your current Salesforce and suggests the risk areas for further analysis and rectification. It also helps in Salesforce implementation and integration.