“The only constant in life is change.” This may be an ancient quote, but it’s as relevant as ever. In today’s fast-moving business environment, change is a constant force. And when it comes to sales, marketing, and customer success, change is vital to driving revenue. 

Ops teams sit in the command center of all that change, creating strategies to improve operations, adapting systems and processes to perform more effectively, and implementing new tools. To ensure that those changes are successful, they must implement change management in Salesforce and the many SaaS tools they manage.

How is change management essential to ops?

In order to optimize the systems and processes go-to-market (GTM) teams rely on, Marketing Ops, Sales Ops, and RevOps teams are constantly driving change. Change management provides the framework to keep projects on track and encourage users to adapt. Without this framework, ops teams invite risk into their projects. 

Perhaps one of the biggest risks of change is unplanned downtime. Making a change that causes systems to be inaccessible or essentially useless has a direct impact on revenue. Users are forced to implement their own workaround processes, and important data isn’t logged into Salesforce. That creates frustration for users and can break the trust between GTM teams and operations. 

Another major risk of change is a lack of alignment. When all of the stakeholders involved in a change project aren’t on the same page, there’s no way to objectively measure success, and some may feel caught off guard by the outcomes of the project.

Leveraging the right combination of Salesforce change management tools and processes allows you to circumvent these issues. 

What change management elements are important for ops?

In order to implement change management effectively, ops teams must focus on the tools and processes that will reduce risk and ensure an efficient process. Here are the more important elements of change management.

Communication

An intensive change project can be completely derailed if users fail to adapt. When people are invested, the change is 30% more likely to be successful. That’s why communication is a vital element of change management. Users need to know why the change is being made and how it will impact them. When they feel prepared for change, they’re more likely to accept it. 

Planning

Change management is all about process. Without a firmly established process, it’s easy for a change management project to fly off the rails. By starting with a plan, you ensure that everyone involved knows their role in the process. The plan forces you to consider all of the broader elements of your change project, not just the technical aspects. Planning also allows you to implement an agile change management process. With an agile approach, you can break your project down into segments, which enables you to adapt as circumstances evolve. 

Documentation

Maintaining documentation – both before and after the completion of a change project – is an important best practice for ops teams to embrace. Not only should you document your plan, you should also document what was changed, when, and by who. This prevents knowledge loss when people leave the team, and it makes it easier to bring new employees up to speed. Also, in the event that something goes wrong, documentation is a key tool for investigating the cause of the error. 

Tools

To communicate, document, and plan for change, you need the right tools. Those tools can range from a project management tool, to a Slack channel where you communicate with users. Failing to consider which tools you need for change management can result in gaps in execution. 

For instance, if you don’t have a central location where users can access information about the change, you may find yourself inundated with questions, or users may disengage with your communications. But if you use a tool like your company intranet or knowledge base, where users can always go to keep up with the latest changes, you can prevent those communication lapses. 

How Sonar helps Salesforce users with change management 

As you consider which tools to use to manage change, think about Change Intelligence. Change Intelligence gives you total awareness of every potential impact and dependency so you can manage complex change with confidence. 

Sonar was made to give ops teams insight into the downstream impacts of change, from right inside Salesforce. It’s a Change Intelligence tool that simplifies one of the most complicated – and risky – aspects of making change. With Sonar, you can visualize the dependencies of items you want to change to prevent unforeseen issues like broken automations and lost data. 

Change Intelligence closes an important gap in change management. Without it, ops teams have to rely on memory and luck to avoid unintended errors. With it, they can prevent hurdles in their change management processes, automate their documentation, and prevent disruption to users.