Bridging the Salesforce process gap between users and developers

Ideas for new solutions will spring from half-baked applications created by lay users who may start down the path toward a solution, but may lack the expertise to finish it.
– Andy Mulholland, Chris S. Thomas, and Paul Kurchina, Mashup Corporations: The End of Business as Usual
Looking to bridge the Salesforce process gap?
There are going to be times when users need someone with analyst skills to help them better define a complex application. There are also going to be times when IT or third-party developers will need to be engaged to code some specific functionality for an application.
This is the role of the Salesforce process analyst.
A Salesforce process analyst helps translate a user’s requirements into terms, model the data needed to support the application, and help translate complex business logic. The situational process analyst works with IT on behalf of users to secure access to corporate data as needed, and to work with users to write specifications for custom functionality.
Salesforce process gap – A bridge to IT
It is true that there often will be the need for some coding to complete a robust application. Therefore, the platform does not seek to exclude IT or code – it makes it easy for IT and business developers to work together collaboratively to reach their goals.
salesforce process gap The Salesforce App Cloud framework ensures that users don’t hit a wall by providing a bridge to IT.
Unlike previous generation technologies like Access, Lotus Notes, and SharePoint, where business users were building apps without IT knowing what was going on, with Salesforce App Cloud – governance, control, and compliance are built in right from the start.

IT knows exactly what is going on and who is using it, and there’s a complete audit trail built right into the service.  

With Salesforce App Cloud tooling and products, the key is to articulate the tooling as closely as possible to the business need. The great news is that all the tools come pre-integrated, so when the customer is more comfortable with software concepts and wants to build more apps, the platform makes it easy to switch between tools.

Clicks PLUS Code: A bridge to IT  

With the right tools, an ever-increasing amount of an application can be built with clicks versus code.  But the more important point is that when clicks are unable to provide the functionality required, code can be written and slotted into the application – seamlessly. This is achieved through a common platform and application framework that was not available before the advent of cloud computing. This further reduces the barrier to effective citizen application development by eliminating many of the traditional problems experienced when users and developers attempt to work on the same applications.

Clear roles

The idea of a “bridge” between users and IT is simple – when you clarify the role of IT and the role of the business developer, and provide a clean line between the two roles, the platform acts as a bridge. This makes it much easier for the two groups to work together collaboratively to achieve their goals. This takes the principle of embedding the business user into applications even further. By allowing the business developer to drive the value and purpose of an app, amazing things do happen. If you surround that value with APIs that allow your developers to extend this business value with new services and capabilities, truly explosive things happen – we move into an age of revolutionary innovation.

No more toe stepping

By proving very clear boundaries between users and developers in the Salesforce App Cloud framework, Salesforce App Cloud eliminates many of the traditional problems experienced when users and developers attempt to work on the same applications, thereby preventing them from stepping on each other’s toes.

Simpler development

There is the added advantage that the developer does not have to understand the entire application to develop some code. There are very clear places in the flow of an application in which externally developed code can be slotted.  The developer also does not have to be concerned with the architecture of the application, or dealing with security and permissions.
salesforce process gap The situational process analyst is the primary player in situational process development.

The Seed-Evolve-Reseed Cycle

An important aspect of the emergent methodology is the idea of seeding.
The analyst would work with users in the following way:
salesforce process gap The Seed-Evolve-Reseed (SER) model ensures the situational process gets off to a good start, and then is kept on track as it evolves.
  • The analyst would basically seed the application with the user, helping the user put the first version in play.
  • The user(s) would then evolve the application any way they like.
There may be a point during this evolution where the analyst needs to get involved once more to reseed the application. Reseeding is necessary when evolutionary growth is no longer proceeding smoothly. It is also an opportunity to organize, formalize, and generalize information and application functionality created during the evolutionary growth phase so that it can be found and shared with others.
Want to bridge the Salesforce process gap and start making project management easier? Request a copy of our white paper.