Why Tackling Salesforce Technical Debt is Your Key to Success

Don't dive headfirst into your next Salesforce upgrade without checking the engine! A healthy org is key to a smooth implementation and achieving your desired functionality. Technical debt, even in the most well-maintained Salesforce instances (yes, even ours!), is a natural by-product of adapting to ever-changing business needs on this versatile platform. The good news? It's manageable!
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Just like financial debt, technical debt needs regular evaluation and control to prevent it from hindering your future agility and business growth. Partnering with a Salesforce expert can quickly pinpoint hidden technical debt, saving you time, frustration, and unnecessary workarounds.

What Does Salesforce Technical Debt Look Like?

You don’t need a developer’s eye to spot technical debt in your org. It often impacts everyday users the most, then occasional users, and ultimately, the entire business. Here are some signs:

  • Stuck in the Past: Using Salesforce Classic or inconsistent interfaces.

  • Information Overload: Long, cluttered page layouts with unnecessary or unclear fields.

  • Slow and Buggy: Lengthy loading times and intermittent errors.

  • Unreliable Results: Inconsistent outcomes from clicks and automations.

  • Limited Access: Unexpected lack of access to features, records, and reports.

  • Frustrated Users: Simple requests go unfulfilled, leading to distrust and reduced platform adoption.

Behind the scenes, admins and developers face their own tech debt battles:

  • Custom Objects Galore: Custom objects where standard objects are a better fit (e.g., a custom “Tickets” object instead of leveraging Cases).

  • Security Woes: Overly complex security and sharing models with an abundance of Profiles/Roles compared to Users.

  • Outdated Functionality: Custom Visualforce pages or JavaScript buttons with features inferior to Lightning UI and native, declarative functionality.

  • A Workflow Web: A tangled mess of Workflow Rules, Processes, and Flows, along with multiple Apex Triggers on the same object.

     

  • Code on Borrowed Time: Apex Classes and Triggers calling outdated or soon-to-be-deprecated API versions.

     

  • Abandoned Projects: Minimum viable products, proofs of concept, or apps left to gather dust.


This backend complexity not only hinders performance but also negatively impacts the entire implementation and development cycle, from planning to deployment and maintenance. Release times balloon, leveraging new Salesforce features becomes difficult, and your overall success on the platform (and potentially downstream systems) is jeopardised.

How Does Salesforce Technical Debt Happen?

While we all strive to minimise unintentional tech debt with a well-trained and certified technical team, any form of technical debt can have a significant impact on your org.


Even carefully planned “good” technical debt can quickly accrue “interest” that’s expensive and difficult to “pay down” without a proper management plan. This often leads to admins and developers spending most of their time patching a fundamentally flawed foundation that becomes more fragile with each release, rather than implementing features that, for example, streamline your quoting and contracting processes or improve customer support.


Here are some other ways your org might be accumulating technical debt:

  • Code-First Mentality: Prioritising code over well-designed system architecture.

  • Change Chaos: Frequent off-cycle enhancements or a lack of formal release structure.

  • Independent Admins: Multiple System Administrators making independent changes without centralised governance.

  • Production Playground: Configuring directly in the production org instead of a sandbox.

  • Release Note Neglect: Not evaluating Salesforce release notes for potential impacts on your org.

Technical debt is a reality. Your org’s needs may necessitate changes that inevitably evolve into technical debt down the line. That’s why it’s best to view tech debt as something to manage on a regular basis.

Managing Your Salesforce Technical Debt

Effective management starts with a three-phase approach to Salesforce org optimisation: Assess, Plan/Execute, and Maintain. This proven methodology not only rebuilds a future-proof foundation for adapting to future challenges but also establishes a framework for ongoing measurement and “repayment” of technical debt.

Partnering for a Technical Debt Health Check

A Salesforce health check conducted by a trusted partner can be an invaluable first step. They can provide a comprehensive assessment of your org’s technical debt, uncovering hidden complexities and inefficiencies. This deep dive will not only pinpoint areas for improvement but also prioritise them based on potential impact and effort required. With a clear roadmap, you can then develop a data-driven plan to tackle your technical debt and ensure a healthy, high-performing Salesforce org that fuels your business success.

Let’s look at how it happens...

You’re a thriving online retailer, the go-to for outdoor enthusiasts seeking the perfect gear for their next adventure. But lately, you’ve been feeling a bit sluggish on the climb. Your once-agile Salesforce org, the platform that helped you scale new heights, now feels more like a heavy backpack, slowing you down.

Your biggest problems are:

  • Frustration at Basecamp: Your users, the adventurers navigating your digital trails, are getting bogged down by slow loading times and clunky interfaces. They spend more time battling error messages than comparing climbing ropes.

  • Tangled Web of Workarounds: Your admins are like seasoned wilderness guides, spending most of their days creating workarounds for a labyrinth of custom objects, outdated workflows, and a security model that’s become more impenetrable than a Himalayan blizzard.

  • New Peaks, Old Gear: Implementing new features feels like summiting Mount Everest without oxygen. It takes ages, and by the time you get there, the competition has already planted their flag.

You know you have the potential to be the ultimate outdoor gear store, but this technical debt is weighing you down. It’s time to shed some weight and embark on a journey to optimise your Salesforce org.

How We Fix Your Salesforce Technical Debt

You don’t have to conquer this technical debt alone. We, your trusted Salesforce partner, are here to be your Sherpa, guiding you to the summit of a streamlined and efficient org. Here’s how we’ll help you reach new heights:

1. Base Camp Assessment:
First, we’ll conduct a thorough Salesforce health check. Think of it as setting up base camp. We’ll meticulously assess your org, identifying the technical debt that’s hindering your performance. This includes:

  • Mapping Your Terrain: We’ll analyse custom objects, workflows, automations, and security models to understand your current landscape.

  • Identifying Bottlenecks: We’ll pinpoint areas causing slow loading times, user frustration, and implementation delays.

  • Prioritising the Climb: We’ll work with you to prioritise technical debt based on its impact on user experience, core business processes, and future growth.

2. Charting the Course:
With a clear understanding of your technical debt landscape, we’ll develop a customised plan to tackle it. This roadmap will include:

  • Standardisation is Key: Whenever possible, we’ll replace custom code with native Salesforce functionality. Think of it as using well-worn, reliable trails instead of hacking your way through the wilderness.

  • Streamlining the Ascent: We’ll optimise page layouts, consolidate workflows, and simplify security models to create a smoother user experience. Imagine lighter backpacks and more efficient routes.

  • Automating the Grind: Repetitive tasks will be automated using workflows and process builder, freeing up your admins to focus on strategic initiatives. It’s like having helpful porters carry the heavy loads.

  • Data Cleansing for Clarity: We’ll eliminate duplicate and inaccurate data, ensuring clear visibility of your sales pipeline and customer base. Think of it as clearing away the fog for a better view of the summit.

3. Scaling the Peak: Implementation and Training
We won’t leave you hanging on the ropes. We’ll be there every step of the way, implementing the agreed-upon optimisations and providing comprehensive training for your admins and key users. This ensures everyone is equipped with the knowledge and skills to navigate the new and improved Salesforce landscape.

Reaching the Summit: Measurable Success

With your technical debt addressed, you’ll experience a dramatic transformation. Imagine faster loading times, happy users who can easily find the gear they need, and the ability to implement new features swiftly. We’ll track key metrics to measure your success, such as:

  • Reduced Page Load Times: Your users will spend less time waiting and more time exploring your virtual aisles.

  • Improved User Satisfaction: A streamlined and intuitive platform will lead to happier and more productive users.

  • Faster Feature Implementation: You’ll be able to adapt to changing market demands and roll out new features quicker than ever before.

  • Increased Revenue: A more efficient platform translates into a smoother customer journey, potentially leading to higher sales and conversions.

The Adventure Continues:

Just like any seasoned adventurer, we understand that the journey never truly ends. Technical debt can creep back in over time. That’s why we offer ongoing support and maintenance plans to help you stay on top of your Salesforce org and prevent future problems. We’ll be your trusted guide, ensuring your Salesforce platform remains a powerful tool that fuels your continued growth and success.

Partner with us today and embark on a journey to conquer your technical debt. Let’s reach the summit of a streamlined and efficient Salesforce org together!

At Pracedo, we’re not just Salesforce Consultants. We’re the driving force behind innovation, change, and visionary solutions dedicated to boosting revenue. Our mission is to redefine the customer journey by simplifying processes and helping people to work smarter, not harder. Our purpose is to create a lasting impact on people, organisations, and communities, all powered by the capabilities of Salesforce.

Our recent acquisition by Collabera Digital, marked a significant milestone in our journey of growth and innovation. This exciting new chapter promises to propel us forward in our mission to redefine excellence in the industry globally across the EMEA and APAC regions.

Tags:  Salesforce,  CRM, Salesforce Integration

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Dan Edwards

This article was written by Dan Edwards, Principal Technical Delivery Lead at Pracedo. For eight years, Dan Edwards has crafted seamless system integrations and championed best practices through proof-of-concept projects. Currently leading technical delivery at Pracedo, Dan has a background as a Salesforce Development and has worked at Slalom, SiteTracker and Tether. He possesses a deep understanding of customisation, integration, and best practices, constantly pushing boundaries with innovative proof-of-concepts and a dedication to research. This commitment to excellence extends beyond technical prowess – Dan is a leader who inspires and cultivates success through the strategic implementation of Salesforce solutions.

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