I still get butterflies when signing into an established Salesforce Organization for the first time. I ask myself things like, “Are there going to be 2 custom objects, or 200?”, “Have they ever created a custom field?” and “Are they running into their field limit?” Since I get to explore four to six new instances every year, I’ve created a checklist to ensure that I explore the critical areas on my first pass. Here’s how I get started:
Page Layouts Take a look when exploring the custom objects. Are there tons of them, or just a few? Open a couple and compare field usage. This will help determine the different processes being used by teams or regions.
Workflows and Approvals Quick scan of name, description, and object. You can’t avoid diving into this section at some point but I prefer to start with a basic knowledge (such as heavy opportunity workflows) that tend to be status related. This lets me start the conversation about what each stage means and what attributes are collected.
Apex You don’t have to be a developer to take a look at triggers. Open a few to see what objects they live on and if they’re updating, creating, or deleting other records. This will give you a sense of what’s going on behind the scenes, and will also come in handy when you start trouble shooting data quality questions.
Fields We always want the data, but never want to comb through it. Where is the field located, and how often is it used? Finding where it’s located can be tedious, but a bit of page layout digging should get you there. As for when it’s being used, I install Field Trip. It easy to set up and gives you a perfect starting point to determine which fields are being used. Check it out on the AppExchange.
Reports Don’t even open them! No matter how big or small the organization, their reports are always a mess. Work through them slowly. Start by using the Admin reports to audit which ones have actually been recently run.
Hope this helps take away any butterflies you’re getting when opening Salesforce instances for the first time. Think of it as an adventure, they’re all different!
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