Customising the Help Menu!

Who knew? I have to confess that I was late to this party and did not know this was an option until this month (May 2020). So if I have been tragically unaware of this feature, then maybe you were too. Consider this post an attempt to rectify that.
Why Customise Your Help Menu? Why should we care? Why is this worth reading about I hear you ask, and I will answer. In my experience the number of users each Salesforce Admin or Helpdesk Exec has to support does not leave them with the capacity to quickly respond to every user's questions. There is often a backlog, and cloning machines do not yet exist. We also know that users getting stuck and feeling frustrated can kill adoption, which is the enemy of a successful Salesforce implementation.
Now I know that every good Salesforce Admin has spent a lot of time and care creating detailed user guides for their colleagues, but how many of these users remember where the guide is saved at their time of need? Not many..... which is why it is a fabu…

Give Your Users A Helping Hand With In-App Guidance

I recently presented at the inaugural Virtual Dreamin', and my session was entitled
Give Your Users a Helping Hand with In-App Guidance.
My session talks about the Prompts In-App Guidance functionality and not the Walkthrough feature as this is a paid add-on and requires a MyTrailhead subscription. I prefer to highlight the items to which we all have access, rather than the chargeable extras.
In this presentation I talk through seven different use cases as well as demonstrate exactly how easy they are for every admin to create, deploy, and monitor.

In-App Guidance is a gift to your user and to yourself. Provide step by step prompts, leave recommendations and tips, as well as documentation, all for your users right from within the Salesforce UI. Give them the answers before they realise they need them, and cut down on those support tickets. In this session we’ll go through some of the best use cases for In-App Guidance, leaving you empowered and inspired to build them out in your own …

5 Quick Dreamforce Tips

I've posted my Dreamforce advice in the past - How to Have an Awesome Dreamforce - but now I have collated some new quick tips. Here are a few things I try and remember -

Prep for Trailhead
In order to get the special Dreamforce Trailhead badge you usually need to complete a module while on the official WiFi. In order to save yourself time, before you leave home prepare a module by completing all except for the final unit, and then once you are at DF and connected, complete the final unit and 'Ta Da', you will get your special badge.

The App is Key
The Salesforce Events App is essential for DF. If you have watched any of the Road to Dreamforce sessions you will know that nearly every logistical question was answered with "see the app". Where to get lunch, what time and where you can collect your badge, and where to find the gender neutral bathrooms are all there. Most useful, IMO, though, is the at a glance agenda and the reminders it provides. DF is frantic, and s…

Preparing for Community Events

I am a big fan of a Salesforce Community Conference, I have so far managed to make it to French Touch Dreamin' (twice), WiTness Success, InspireEast, Surf Force, and each and every London's Calling. I already have my ticket for Southeast Dreamin' later this month, and both Yeur Dreamin' and Yeur Leadin' in June. Unlike Dreamforce community conferences are short, normally one or one and a half days. This means that time is precious and so a bit of planning is required. Here are my recommendations for your pre-event preparation:
Do Your Homework Take the time to review the schedule before the day. Both London's Calling (here) and Southeast Dreamin' (here) publish their sessions and schedule a month or two out. There are often 5 or 6 sessions per time slot. The organisers will have tried their best to offer something for everyone in each slot but that doesn't mean that your choices are already made. Take the time to pick out the sessions you want to attend …

It's fun (and essential) to play in the sandbox

I sat for, and passed, the Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer certification earlier this month and it really was a reminder of the importance of sandboxes for all Salesforce admins and developers. This exam, being part of the architect track, is pitched at a more technical level than that of your average admin, but proper use of sandboxes does not require this kind of experience and is definitely not just for developers.

Last year I wrote a series of posts entitled Best Practices and Recommendations for New Admins and one of the Tools from post four was Sandboxes. Here is a deeper dive into the world of Salesforce Sandboxes.

I was shocked recently to hear a tale of an end customer having no sandboxes in use at all. There really is no excuse, sandboxes are available to all customers. How many, and what type, depends on your edition. Here is a handy grid to tell you how many you have access to out of the box. You can, of course, buy more.

Why make it complicated and have four…

Boost Not Berate

Sometimes we have moments of self-assessment and clarity, and they are not always positive.

I talk to myself, I know this, but I have only just taken real note of the fact that so much of my narration is self criticism.

For example, I called myself stupid 3 times putting the washing out the other day. How one can hang the washing out incorrectly I don't even know, but I judged that I had made a mess of it.

More often, as someone who spends much of my working day trying to get Salesforce to do what I want it to, and often not immediately succeeding. It is not unknown for me to be sat, literally head in hands, muttering at my inability to triumph before spotting my mistake, and, of course, berating myself for making said mistake.

Why do we do this?
I tell myself to stop picking on myself but its a habit I slip back into with ease.

This week French Touch Dreamin' released the photos taken at the event here.
As a presenter at the conference there were photos of me delivering my ses…

Trailhead: The Salesforce CPD Scheme

Many of the industries my company works with have mandatory CPD schemes for their qualified practitioners. In order to retain their status as a licensed Accountant or Solicitor individuals must show that they are continuously developing their professional skills.

One reason for this is to prevent said professionals from getting rusty, to keep that grey matter active, but another is to encourage members to stay abreast of new developments in their field.

Those of us who are certified Salesforce professionals have similar obligations. Three times a year we need to pass the maintenance exams of each track in which we are certified in order to retain our certification.

But as Salesforce has never been the kind of company to leave its community to fend for themselves, Trailhead was created to aid and encourage our continuous development.

Trailhead isn't just there to help us pass our exams though, far from it, Trailhead is for the whole ecosystem. Trailhead is used by employees, certif…