I’m lucky to work in the Salesforce Success Cloud because I get to meet a lot of dynamic people interested in finding unexpected paths to success. Dev teams, in particular, are a lot of fun to work with because they’re always looking for new ways to innovate. We get so many questions from developers that we thought we should share our top five pro tips for developers who are innovating on Salesforce. Check out the list below for some great ideas from the folks here at Salesforce Success Cloud that will help you transform the way your team gets things done.


1. Rehearse metadata migrations.


When building a custom app, don’t postpone your metadata migrations until the very end of development. “Practice your metadata migrations early and throughout development between Sandbox orgs so that you have a better idea of the time and people that will be required to conduct the actual production deployment,” says Shawn Franklin, CSG Product Senior Manager. You can also create your own custom metadata types which will decrease upfront work and reduce time spent on updates to configuration.


2. Catch bugs before they bite.


More than 50% of customer-reported bugs are unique to a single organization. To avoid being that one org that people complain about, make sure to develop and test in an isolated environment with Sandbox before you launch. “Your dentist says, ‘you only floss the teeth you want to keep’ and we say, ‘you only test what's critical to your business,’” says Mark Ustinov, Release Manager. Take advantage of the 4-5 week Sandbox Preview window to test for regressions before your production org is upgraded to the newest major release version this winter.


3. Use integration patterns.


When you need to integrate the Salesforce Platform with your on-premise applications, make it easier on yourself by referring to existing Salesforce integration patterns. “Get to production as fast as possible and have the most stable, scalable, and maintenance-free set of applications possible,” says Shawn Franklin, CSG Product Senior Manager. Become familiar with the integration capabilities and options available. Salesforce’s own consulting architects use our published integration patterns as reference points during architectural reviews and are actively engaged in maintaining and improving them.


4. Move away from email.


Trying to collaborate using email can get complicated really fast. Switching to Salesforce Chatter is a much better way to keep track of all the moving parts — but you have to make sure everyone’s on board with the change. “A formal change management agenda makes the transition to Salesforce Chatter a fun and smooth transition,” says Sean Ouimette, Success Specialist. “When moving away from email threads to Chatter, create a formal change management agenda to outline your vision.” Establish an appropriate timeline for user adoption and make sure executive leadership will help you pave the way for change through their example.


5. Keep WIIFM top of mind.


Let’s face it: innovation isn’t always welcomed by everyone in an organization. When communicating with end users about change, always make sure you’re answering the question, “What’s in it for me?” Otherwise, your coworkers might not see any point in going along with the change. “Using the WIIFM principle ensures your end users feel like you're relating to them, not just telling them what to do,” said Katherine Flowers, Senior Principal Success Specialist. Communicating why they should embrace the changes you’re implementing will make new things more palatable to end users and help them make the most of the latest Salesforce releases so your business can continue to thrive.

Innovation isn’t going to happen by accident. Successfully steering an organization to a more innovative place takes consistent, methodical action and a little bit of experimentation. It’s a continuous path of discovery and these tips are just the beginning. How will you find your path to success? Get some great ideas in the latest blog post from By Jamie Domenici, VP, Customer Success and Adoption at Salesforce. And if you missed the earlier post in our pro tips series with ideas for productivity, be sure to check that out here.