10 Reasons A Small Change To Your Salesforce Org Can Take A Long Time To Implement

Photo of author
Jerome Clatworthy

Certified Salesforce Administrator

For end users of Salesforce, it can be hard to understand how long it can take for a small change that you have requested be made to Salesforce, to be implemented.

Even if the Salesforce Administrator or Developer who works for your company says that they will do it, it can still take weeks for what is seemingly a very small task to be completed.

In this article, I will outline some of the reasons that tasks that seem small can take a very long time to be implemented in a Salesforce Org. 

Some of the reasons are simple practicalities to do with personnel and availability, and others are reasons inherent to the software development lifecycle and the associated limitations of working with a very large relational database (Salesforce).

1. Unplanned leave

One of the reasons that your small development request may take a long time to be actioned is due to unplanned leave on the part of the Salesforce Administrator or Developer.

This can impact any type of task in any organization and likewise, it can impact how long it might take for a small Salesforce enhancement to be completed.

2. Staff Organizational Skills

How well organized your Salesforce Administrator is can also play a big role in how quickly your request gets actioned.

If the Administrator of your Org is not well-organized and finds themselves subject to many competing demands then they may find themselves working on things without a clear strategy and without a clear list of priorities.

Though they may have been genuine when they told you that they would complete your task, it is quite possible that it is now buried under a list of new tasks that have since been received that they started working on due to a lack of organization of their workload.

3. Prioritization

vector illustration of team looking a tbig white board prioritization list items.

Even if your Salesforce Administrator is present at work and is organized, there may have been new but more important tasks that came up that they had to focus on.

It may be a request for a new object that is required to enable a certain business process to take place, or it may be in organizing critical user access issues for people who could not do their work in any way. 

There are many forms of urgent tasks that could arise which could override and supersede the importance of the enhancement you have requested in a Salesforce org

4. Clarifying The Request

Though the change that you want to see take place in yourself force.org may be simple, it may take quite some time for the Salesforce Administrator to come back to you asking further questions and clarifying what it is that you want and what you hope to achieve, before they have a clear picture of the work that needs to be done.

If this process is happening via email then there could be hours, days, and sometimes even weeks between the replies to these messages both on your side and on the side of the Salesforce Administrator.

What might seem like a very simple request from your perspective may actually be a bit more involved and complicated from the perspective of the Salesforce Administrator and how they will implement the solution you have requested.

Because of this back-and-forth communication may required for them to get a clear picture of the change that you are requesting and what that would look like from a systems point of view.

5. Checking How The Requested Change Might Impact Other Things

Even when the nature of the job is clear it still might take a significant amount of time before the Salesforce administrator to determine how the requested change may impact other parts of the system.

Given that Salesforce is a relational database many of the fields and objects relate to each other in very specific ways.  This relational nature of Salesforce is what makes it so powerful but this power also comes with significant responsibility and you need to be very careful how new additions to that database impact those existing data relationships and how the proposed change may or may not disrupt those existing functions.

When working on a large Salesforce.org this process of thoroughly analyzing how one change may affect the broader system can literally take hours, if not days.

6. Testing The Change

vector illustration of person typing on a laptop.

Once your Salesforce Administrator has configured the change that you have requested there will need to be testing to determine how this change impacts, or does not impact, the rest of the system.

Salesforce Administrators need to take time to understand all the potential impacts on the existing configuration and to make sure that the change they have made is having the desired impact.

Deciding how to test the new change can take some time as well as asking others to assist with testing, and then waiting for them to be available to test, can also create a blowout of hours or days in the release of a new enhancement.

7. Waiting for external support reply configured the change you have requested

Depending on the change you have requested, it could be that part of that change requires feedback from, or support from an external vendor

Certain aspects of Salesforce Org functionality are often provided by third-party applications that are connected to Salesforce.

Because of this, if the change you are requesting involves a third-party application there may be a need to consult with the external vendor and get their support and/or assistance in completing the changes requested.

If that is the case then the Salesforce Administrator will be at the mercy of the time frames in which the external vendor or third party is able to communicate with them and do the work that they need to do to contribute to the enhancement.

8. waiting for manager/peer review

When working in an information technology team environment, it is best practice to have the work that you do peer-reviewed by your manager or another member of your team. 

Though your Salesforce Administrator may be very good at their job they still have the potential to make mistakes from time to time. Peer review is a time-tested process that increases the chance of high-quality work being done on a consistent basis and minimizes the risk of poor-quality work being released and having a negative impact on your Salesforce org.

So even if your Salesforce Administrator has completed your request, and it is working as planned, there may be further delays while they wait for the peer-review quality control process to take place.

9. preparing relevant communications and training

vector illustration of spech bubbles in bright pink and yellow colors.

If the enhancement that you have requested has a significant impact on a large number of users and will change the way they do their work then communications and training materials may be needed to accompany that release so that users know what to do with the change that you have requested is released.

If a system enhancement has a significant impact on the user interface it could be quite confusing for your Salesforce users when they log in and see this change, without knowing what the change is and what they are supposed to do.

Depending on who is responsible for these communications and how communications and training materials need to be prepared and distributed in your organization, this process alone could take weeks for the preparation, approval, and dissemination of these resources.

10. waiting on the release cycle

Even if all of the above have been completed, your requested change is complete, it’s been peer-reviewed, and the support materials are ready to accompany the change – you may still need to wait for a broader release event to take place. 

Depending on the size and sophistication of your Salesforce Org, there may be a clear and concrete release schedule that governs the way that updates to the Org are rolled out. Because of this, you may need to wait for the next scheduled release date, before your completed and approved enhancement can actually be pushed from development environments through to the live production environment.