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Release readiness tips
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How to Get Ready for Release Time: Q&A With Our Release Experts

To help you tackle the Spring ’20 Release like a pro, we asked some of our customer and partner experts to share pro tips around release time.

The Spring ’20 Release Preview is here! We’re excited to showcase new products and features coming your way. To help you tackle release time like a pro, we asked some of our customer and partner experts to share pro tips around release time.

Meet our experts:

Release readiness expert panel

Here’s what they had to say:

How do you enable your stakeholders during release time?

Rakesh: We use the Release Website to filter and identify new features for each cloud. I also watch Release Readiness Live videos, where the product managers each explain the latest features and provide demos on how they work. Those are really helpful.

Carlos: I go through the Release Notes and find the key new features that will have an impact on my business and then hold a lunch-and-learn to show my teams the feature in the sandbox and let them play with it. This gives them visibility into how new features will work and enables them to learn by using the new feature before it’s released.

Jennifer: I read through the release notes, and, with my team, identify items our team will be interested in. We then go into the pre-release org and configure the features to allow our users to visualize what’s coming. We also hold one business-focused training to demonstrate the impact of new, upcoming features for our users. In addition, we hold a lunch-and-learn for admins and developers to give them visibility into what’s coming down the pipeline.

How do you get ready to implement new features?

Jennifer: I read through the pre-release notes. I pick out the highlights my team will be interested in and go into the pre-release org to test things out. This way, I can play around with the features to better understand them. The Release in a Box gives me even more insights on new features once I know what I’m interested in. I attend the various Release Readiness Live sessions or catch the recordings offline and read release-related blog posts from the Salesforce Admin and Salesforce Developer evangelist teams as well.

Rakesh: I like to find articles and tips in the Release Readiness Trailblazer Community. There, I connect with other Trailblazers to discuss what features other users are excited about or enjoy. Salesforce also has a new feature called In-App Guidance, which allows us to send links with new feature information to our teams and showcase what new features are available and how the team can use it.

Ines: A picture is worth a thousand words, and everyone digests information differently. I find it useful to review some of the Release Demo Videos to check out new features and see the release notes come to life.

How do you navigate challenges at release time?

Raymond: The Release Highlights Trail on Trailhead gives us a way to learn about features changes and updates in a quick and easy way.

Christian: We rely a lot on the pre-release Release Notes. We read about the features, and we have different sandboxes to try and figure out how to implement it, then go into the community to ask questions. We have great customer success managers from Salesforce to help us out when we need more detailed information on a new feature.

Ines: We all have things in the pipeline we want to deliver, then release time comes! So instead of going through this surprise cycle, plan it! In the Trust Site you do have the next 2-3 releases dates. So if you work in sprints, for example, you can add some placeholders to your backlog to cover areas of functionality. So you can ensure you, your team, and your organization makes the most out of Salesforce’s continuous innovation.

How have new features helped you become more successful?

Harry: One of the great things about being a partner, is we get to work with every single product area. So many features are completely new functionalities and our customers are ready and waiting for these types of features to up their game. For those updates intended more as productivity enhancements, we hold adoption training to help our users become more efficient. And across the board, we see successful improvement.

Ines: Salesforce enhances your org (at least) three times a year, and taking advantage of it is where the true return of investment lies. For example, Salesforce recently released the In-App Notifications feature, which allows you to communicate with users. You can let users know about new release features, your company product updates, or even how to RSVP to your Christmas party, all in the app. Before this feature was released, I have used convoluted processes to get information to our users. Now you can take advantage of it, declutter your org, reduce technical debt, whilst Salesforce enhances, upgrades, and maintains it!

Raymond: Our platform is used a lot with our ticket sales and service team. Using Activity Timeline Filters, a recently released feature, our teams can now find old notes on the activity timeline to improve our efficiency. This means our reps can make 10 additional calls per day, allowing us to increase our sales.

Takeaways

Carlos: Get your team engaged in new feature tests early. Allow admins to get comfortable with new features as early as possible, and train end-users to use the feature so when the feature goes live they are ready and comfortable using it.

Ines: Tackle the releases as an evolution, not a revolution! Use the power of iteration to pace the delivery both for your team and your users. This will allow them time to digest and get the most out of new features. They have a job to do and it takes time to adjust and get into new habits, so don’t overwhelm them with everything at once.

Harry: Get on Lightning, if you aren’t already. That’s a huge part of the value of Salesforce, where you can see the latest updates.

Our Spring ’20 release goes live on February 17. Get ready today! Check out our release website to see what’s new from Salesforce and find all of the above-mentioned tools (and more) to make release time a success.

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