(800) 242-8371 info@Chaverware.com

Ready To Start With Your Implementation? Think Again

This is a cross post from the Cloud for Good blog. This is the moment you have been planning and thinking about for the past 12/24/36 months. Your organization has finally made a decision and pulled the trigger. You choose a platform, signed with an awesome implementation partner who can translate your needs into technology, and you are extremely excited to get started. Wait… are you really ready to start the implementation? From our experience at Cloud for Good this is not always the case. Many organizations want to start the implementation immediately after they chose their implementation partner. Everyone wants to get up and running on the new system as soon as possible. To make sure that you and your organization are ready, you should review and answer the questions below. 1. Do you have an executive sponsor? The executive sponsor lends his or her influence to the project by becoming its champion. Having that person’s full support and participation—from the planning stage until the go-live date and beyond—is absolutely critical. Executive Sponsor Name: _______________________________ 2. Who will be the project manager? The project manager (PM) will own the implementation process and will guide the project to successful completion. S/he should be a person who understands the relevant business process and can effectively communicate with both the implementation partner and the rest of the organization. The PM needs to have an authority, whether explicit or through influence to marshal resources. We’ve all run into situations where the project manager is committed and talented, but cannot influence the rest of the organization. This person should have at least 30% of their...

At Project’s End: Separation Anxiety and User Adoption

This is a cross post from the Cloud for Good blog. Looking back over the last several months since I joined the Cloud For Good team, I’ve noticed that some of the biggest angst for my clients comes at the end of a project.  Wrapping up an implementation brings all sorts of mixed feelings: pride and excitement, but also a fair share of trepidation.  This seems even more common with Quickstarts, forty-hour projects designed to get you into Salesforce as quickly as possible.  After all, we’ve gotten you up and running in just a few short weeks, and suddenly you’re the proud owner of your very own Salesforce org.  It can be thrilling – and overwhelming.  It’s no surprise the that separation anxiety can rear its head when you least expect it, right at the tail end when you realize that your “one last question” is more like several hundred last questions.  To make matters worse, your end users may feel the same way.  Despite our best efforts, it’s impossible to fit in a truly exhaustive training for everyone, and even in the best circumstances, many people are intimidated by changes to systems and processes.  So how do you conquer your anxiety and jump-start user adoption?  Here are a few of my suggestions: My first words of advice are always to calm down and take a deep breath.  You’ve got this; you really do.  Make a couple lists to capture the things you want to do next and the questions you have about the system.  That’s it.  Your first step is just to write down all those thoughts and...

To CRM or not to CRM: Is that the question?

This is a cross post from the Cloud for Good blog. If your organization is like most of the millions of non-profits operating today you are concerned about increasing your access and engagements within your constituent base. Inevitably, while developing a strategy to engage your constituents on multiple levels and manage those relationships, you have asked yourself: “Should we start using a CRM tool?” Before discussing best practices, or if your organization should implement a CRM solution, lets first answer the question: What is a CRM solution? Constituent relationship management (CRM) is software that makes it easier for organizations to maintain relationships with supporters/stakeholders (donors, foundations, volunteers, clients, etc) by doing the following: Track the relationships with individual supporters and donors. Target and/or customize appeals, invitations to events, etc. Targeted appeals based on personal interests. Post on-line acknowledgments. Record all communications and transactions. Strengthen connections. Offer insight by aiding you to evaluate your approaches and results. As a former Program Manager and eventually a System Administrator for an upstart nonprofit, I was directly involved in the decision making process when determining if we should implement a CRM solution. During that time I was able to experience the pitfalls and hurdles that need to be overcome when deciding on implementing a CRM. In my current role as an Account Executive at Cloud for Good, I get to regularly interact with organizations that are trying to decide if it is the right time to implement a CRM solution. These experiences have added a new perspective for me and allowed me to identify some of the key questions that an organization needs...

Audit Trail – A Hidden Gem

This is a cross post from the Cloud for Good blog. Earlier this week a friend wanted to know how best to troubleshoot an error message he, and his users, were getting. Every time anyone tried to access ANY record, they got an error that looked like this: “UNABLE_TO_LOCK_ROW : unable to obtain exclusive access to this record” That’s bad!  No one could work inside Salesforce! This meant that somewhere, something had changed to cause all the records in their org to be locked.  How does my friend figure out what changed so he can quickly un-do it? The Audit Trail to the rescue!! WHAT IS IT? The Audit Trail helps you track the recent Setup changes that you and other administrators have made to your organization. This is especially useful in organizations with multiple administrators. The setup Audit Trail history shows you the 20 most recent Setup changes made to your organization. It lists: The date and time (with timezone) of the change. Who made it (by username). What the change was. Here’s an example: To view the setup Audit Trail history, click Setup –> Security Controls –> View Setup Audit Trail. WHAT PERMISSIONS DO I NEED TO VIEW THE AUDIT TRAIL? In order to view the Audit Trail, you’ll need “View Setup and Configuration” permission. WHAT DOES IT TRACK? The Audit Trail tracks lots of things. For example: changing a page layout, changing tab names, or changing activity settings. Click here for a complete list of all the thing the Audit Trail tracks. WHY WOULD I NEED THIS? The Audit Trail is useful for troubleshooting. Because it captures date/time,...

Don’t Be a Fish Out of Water: Preparing for a Salesforce Migration

This is a cross post from the Cloud for Good blog. Each Salesforce organization is housed at one of Salesforce’s data centers. Salesforce calls these groupings of clients instances and it is a good practice as a system administrator to be aware of which instance your organization is on.  You can find your Salesforce instance by looking at the URL once you’re logged into your Salesforce organization.  Your instance is the combination of letters and numbers after “https://” and before “Salesforce.com.”  If you’re a client in North America it will start with “na” followed by a number.   Why is this bit of information useful?  This is what you need to look up the system status for your Salesforce organization if you’re experiencing issues.  Salesforce posts the system health for each instance on a daily basis, noting if there are any known service disruptions or performance issues.  You can find that information by clicking here.  Also when Salesforce rolls out a new release, the date and time your organization will get the release is determined by your Salesforce instance. Because of the rapid growth of Salesforce, there are times when a particular instance’s performance starts to be impacted.  When Salesforce observes this negative performance they take action by moving the instance to a new data center to better accommodate the growth and bring service performance back up to their performance standards. Salesforce has just announced that all organizations on instance NA10 are going to be migrated to a new data center in January, 2014. If your organization is on NA10 your system administrator should have received an email from...

Avoiding Growing Pains Through Good Governance

This is a cross post from the Cloud for Good blog. At Dreamforce 2013, I had the opportunity to spend time with our fantastic Cloud for Good team, see some great sessions, meet some of our amazing customers and co-present two separate sessions.  One of those sessions was entitled ‘Growing Pains:  Scaling Your Salesforce Implementation’ and I worked with fellow MVP’s Mary Pustejovsky and Brian Kwong to discuss some of the issues and considerations that customers of any sort should take into account when expanding their use of Salesforce (you can see the session slides and here the audio on YouTube here). I thought it might be useful to expand on one of the topics covered in more detail:  Establishing Good Governance. If you Google/Bing/Yahoo the term Governance, you will be presented with a variety of definitions, but fundamentally they boil down to ‘a method or system of government or management’.  In non-profit (and even general corporate) terms governance is most often referred to in terms of the relationship between the Board of Directors and the organization and the rules that establish how organizations will function. When working with Salesforce.com (or any system for that matter), following the principles of good governance can make life easier for administrators and users alike by providing a clear and consistent framework to manage change over time and defining processes to resolve conflicting requirements.  In our experience, governance is often an evolutionary process, consisting of three stages:  Monarchy, Democracy and Republic Stage 1:  Monarchy For many organizations, nonprofits in particular, the use of the system often starts off in a very limited fashion, supporting...