You might assume that because Salesforce lets non-technical teams create software updates and releases through low-code and no code tools, deploying new features is simple. While it’s certainly faster to develop without code, successful deployments still require comprehensive planning and execution.
Moving from development to deployment is a process called release management. Factors to indicate success include whether releases are deployed on time, on budget, and without troubling the current users. Much of the same process applies to Salesforce release management, and in this article, we will address five different ways you can apply to optimize your Salesforce release management strategy.
1. Schedule releases in advance
Planning Salesforce release cycles ahead of time can prevent unexpected bugs or delays. This will also help ensure each component being developed is aligned and unit tested before hitting the production environment. Publish a release calendar that highlights specific dates from unit testing to final deployment into production. This way, releasing updates on a consistent schedule can set clear, company-wide expectations.
While crafting your schedule, always make sure to keep company needs in mind. That way, you can prioritize tasks and sort enhancement requests based on the total cost of ownership or ROI for the business. Prioritizing requests that have the greatest impact on your company helps keep IT and the business teams in alignment.
2. Utilize recycled templates
Instead of starting from scratch, take advantage of the available templates to speed up everyday processes in your Salesforce release cycle. During the testing phase, use seed templates based on parent-child hierarchies to seed data across projects and sandboxes and streamline repeated tasks. Use recycled templates and integrated filters to isolate data sets and create sandboxes with identical data structures. During the rollout, templates can make deploying data quick and easy. They ensure records are created in the correct order and all the necessary objects for extracting and installing data are readily available.
3. Automate when possible
In order to innovate more efficiently, finding small ways to save time is crucial. Automating everyday processes whenever possible reduces errors, removes repetitive tasks, and streamlines sprint cycles. It also makes it easier for developers to focus their attention on more important duties and ensure new features and applications meet quality standards by the time they go live.
4. Track changes
It’s easy to overlook small changes when making software updates. Make sure to have each developer track the changes they make to ensure each one is included in migration. From a spreadsheet to a work tracking system, developers can use these tools to account for changes in detail and ensure a smooth rollout when they release into production.
5. Simplify the testing phase with Own
Before releasing new features into production, go through user acceptance testing or test them yourself to make sure they're properly set to enter the deployment cycle. Salesforce sandboxes provide isolated environments where you can verify updates without putting production data at risk. These safe, open environments make it easy to test updated features, pinpoint errors, and fix them early in the development process. Having the right testing environment allows you to create high-quality customizations and reduce avoidable re-work post-production.
At Own, we make the testing phase easier. By integrating our Own Accelerate, our sandbox seeding solution into your release cycle, Salesforce updates can be thoroughly examined before pushing to production and you can keep the costly development errors at bay.