Today’s business environment is dynamic, to say the least. Companies who want to better manage these changes and take full advantage of opportunities need an automated way to optimize results. HigherEchelon (HE) understands the complexities of managing all the information required to run your business – whether it be sales, service and account information; purchasing and supply chain information; manufacturing; or even financial information. With Salesforce® technology and HigherEchelon’s approach, your organization can rapidly scale a custom solution that will improve performance, increase efficiency and enhance customer service.

HigherEchelon is a registered Salesforce® consulting partner and can provide value to your organization by:

  • Delivering small or large scale enhancements
  • Implementing complete rollouts from process design through user training and adoption
  • Providing a combined approach of process improvement and technology consulting to ensure organizations get the most value from their implementation
  • Preventing costly mistakes by assessing the big picture of an implementation, including the future uses of a system

It Begins with People:

There is a reason why the phrase, “People, Process, Technology” starts with People. Without designing for the user and without user input during the design phase, there is a high likelihood of costly re-work or a lack of user adoption – in either case (or both), this results in a significant distraction to the project and reduction in value from the system. Depending on the size of the organization and the project, HE’s approach to handling this is through a combination of focus groups, user acceptance tests and agile development.

Process Design "Beyond the End" of a Project

Salesforce implementations must begin with a deep understanding of desired business outcomes, current processes and technologies, dependent databases, PLUS possible future uses of the system. Organizations often ignore the last point – possible future uses of the system – when implementing their design, which inevitably results in unanticipated technical debt that must be addressed in later projects. While an implementation cannot possibly address all future use cases, there are low-cost methods of minimizing these situations – or at least assessing the options thoughtfully so that decisions can be made with a full understanding of future impacts. HE’s approach to managing Salesforce projects includes a look to the future, using this “Beyond the End” approach.

Technology Design and Development Philosophies

When designing the system, HE incorporates the above People and Process considerations points along with the two additional best practices: 1) utilize standard Salesforce functionality where possible, and discuss proposed custom features with the customer to gain alignment on the pros and cons of such; and 2) identify the reporting requirements prior to designing the functionality.

During the project, HE utilizes a combination of agile and standard Project Management Institute (PMI®) project processes. While agile is an excellent method during the development effort, to manage the deliverables and workload within a project, HE finds that an agile-only approach often misses key points that enable overall project success.

HE’s blended Project approach includes the following:

  • Initiation
    • Define the scope and objectives
    • Identify the stakeholders and key personnel
  • Planning
    • Schedule for objectives and dependencies
    • Create, refine and approve the budget
    • Develop requirements and ensuring they are understood and approved
  • Execution
    • Utilize agile sprints with user acceptance tests for key deliverables
    • Include training and implementation support
  • Controls
    • Agile sprint meetings – sprint planning, sprint demos, standup meetings
    • Schedule and requirements reviews with the customer at key milestones
  • Closing
    • Project acceptance by the customer
    • Provide all user and technical documentation to the customer