How to Declutter Your Salesforce Org

You might be wondering why your Salesforce org is not performing as it should or has in the past. This can be attributed to the accumulated clutter in your org. In this article, we’ll give you an overview of why this occurs and how you can declutter it.

Technical debt is a phrase coined by wiki creator, Ward Cunningham, that refers to an approach where best practices haven’t been followed in the short run. This creates a context in which the same work will cost more in the long run instead of applying the best overall solution.

During the 2020 Salesforce TrailheadDX , Principal Success Guides, Joshua Maples and Chauncey Canfield discussed reasons why Salesforce orgs get cluttered with the technical debt and what can be done to resolve it.

To begin, it’s best to understand what kind of state you’re currently working in. Symptoms such as complexity, confusion, slower performance, or project delays are typical of a cluttered Salesforce org. Some potential root causes for those symptoms are:

  • Heavy deviation from the standard functionality

  • Deficit of time/resources to make needed updates

  • Short-term rapid delivery prioritized over long-term value

  • Lack of governance

  • Unaware of best practices

  • Inherited instances

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If you find your org is cluttered in technical debt, all hope isn’t lost. A three-step approach is recommended to declutter your organization.

1. Assess Your Org

Salesforce provides several forensic tools to find technical debt in your organization. Take advantage of these free tools such as System Overview, Schema Builder, Security Health Check, Salesforce Optimizer, etc. to complete a surface area review and get a preliminary understanding of risks and performance.

System Overview in Salesforce

If you have not already done so, it is important that you take a step back and create a Data Dictionary that can help track why a field, object, workflow, etc. exists. Documenting the need for customizations like this will help you identify candidates for removal. For example, if a field is used less than 15% of the time, consider removing that field.

Take advantage of Smartbridge’s Health Assessment Service for a robust assessment of your customizations and data integrity.

2. Define Corrective Actions

Once the Salesforce org has been assessed and you determined the amount of technical debt you have, define your approach for optimizing your org. Depending on the number of fixes needed, take one of the following approaches:

Ongoing Maintenance ApproachProject Approach
  • Keep the org moving forward while cleaning up
  • Devote a percentage of each release to clean up work (recommended 10-25%)
  • Prioritize most complex areas of technical debt and create a backlog for other areas
  • Pause new feature releases
  • Do a deep dive org analysis
  • Scope what needs to be done
  • Re-configure org leveraging clicks over code
  • Leverage Partner Ecosystem

3. Execute Your Plan

For an optimization project to be successful, it is important to get buy-in from your leadership (this includes formal leadership and informal opinion leaders.) Begin by creating a change roadmap and clearly communicate your vision. Keep the following best practices in mind as you execute the project:

  • Establish a set of agreed-upon goals and metrics for success

  • Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders

  • Set a cadence for meetings

  • Document everything, preferably in Salesforce

  • Align to Lightning Experience whenever possible

If leveraging Lightning is one of your actions, take advantage of Salesforce’s Lightning Experience Change Management Hub that contains all of the recommended activities, tools, and resources for a successful transition.

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