As Salesforce thought through the phases stabilize, reopen and into growth for themselves and others, they identified a gap. Getting people back to work safely would require some completely new operational processes and apps such as employee wellness checking, track and trace, and shift management. Executives need dashboards to monitor the financial health of the company – but now, they would need a command center to monitor the physical health of their organization over the short to medium term. Which is why Work.com was created.
Salesforce has taken the proven set of platform features that we all know and love and has repurposed them as a set of apps designed to support the reopen phase. In this article, I will talk about our experience installing and configuring Work.com and how we recommend you approach a Work.com implementation in terms of speed, risk and user adoption.
If you are new to Work.com, a recent SaleforceBen article gives an overview of each of the applications.
Our Experience Installing and Configuring Work.com
Work.com leans heavily on configuration rather than code, and rethinks how core capabilities can be used (eg. shift management is Field Service Lightning, employee wellness is Salesforce Surveys) has enabled Salesforce to deliver Work.com in a remarkable timeframe with limited technical risk. The platform approach means that any customer, SI or ISV can extend Work.com or write new apps (more on that later). The Work.com Command Center has been designed so that customers and ISVs can drop their feeds into it easily.
The big change is that there are several new standard objects that appear in any new Org. These went straight into GA, so there must have been some anxious moments, but kudos to the team – they delivered.
Partners and customers could stand up an Org and start kicking the tires from June 1st. We were like big kids waiting for Christmas! By the end of the day, we had a Work.com Org installed and configured. We had installed the Wellness Survey, Shift Management and myTrailhead managed packages. We also installed a couple of ISV packages, too – Reputation Studio and Traction Guest – that had been developed alongside Work.com.
Much of this was very familiar, particularly if you live in Lightning. The installation instructions were well written and easy to follow. So much so that we did it twice! Our CTO, in his excitement, mistyped our domain name as elements-LOUD in the MyDomain. As avid readers of OrgConfessions.com will know, it cannot be changed. Rather than live with the shame, he decided to create a whole new implementation – elementswork.
It took a couple of hours to get the core platform all set up and running. Then it will need to be configured, just like any Org, to meet the business needs. There are still Work.com and ISV apps that have not been delivered yet, and there will be more apps being launched as new opportunities are identified.
How to Approach a Work.com Implementation
Organizations are already starting to reopen, so speed is critical. Work.com is focused on employees rather than customers, so the recommendation is that you make this a brand new Org.
Work.com is not free. You will need a Platform licenses plus licenses for the Work.com apps and any ISV apps (see the pricing page).
Don’t expect to use it straight out of the box, it will need to be configured to meet the specific needs of every organization.
For a start, organizations already have a database of employees that will need to be kept in sync with Work.com. You may have seen last week’s announcement of integration with Workday? Whilst it is an obvious collaboration, no details have surfaced yet.
Businesses are already looking at how they reopen and much of the operational thinking is being done. If Work.com is going to make an impact it needs to be delivered in days, not weeks or months. There will be some configuration and there are SI partners/Consulting partners who are ramping up their Work.com skills to be able to support customers.
I believe it all starts with agreeing to the new operational processes so that the configuration requirements are crystal clear. As I will come to later, process content we have developed can be freely used by anyone (like super-accelerators).
I look at any implementation from the perspective of risk in 3 areas:
- Organizational: what impact does this have on the business?
- Technical: how hard is this to deliver?
- Regulatory: what compliance risks are there?
Here is the Work.com’s scorecard:
Organizational: HIGH RISK
These are new operational processes supported by a completely new system that employees are going to have to learn and adopt. Business processes and the apps will need to evolve quickly to adapt to the changing business environment – no-one has a “reopen playbook”! It is like compressing 5 years of digital transformation into 5 months, which will put a significant strain on organizations.
Technical: LOW RISK
This is a new Org with limited external integrations based on a proven stable platform. For some organizations locked in Classic, this is a chance to benefit from Lightning and an opportunity to learn from past experiences. Many (everyone) wants to build in a way that minimizes the technical debt that hobbled them in previous implementations; configure not code; proper documentation; formal CI/CD cycle. LOW RISK becomes MEDIUM RISK if organizations try to take shortcuts to implement faster – it will catch up with them.
Regulatory: HIGH RISK
The data privacy implications are significant. Wellness surveys are asking employees about their medical status. Track and trace require consents far beyond those expected by any employee. What consents are visitors expected to sign and should they be covered by track and trace? GDPR and CCPA have largely been ignored in the effort to control the pandemic, but this cannot be the status quo.
Finally, some of the operational processes such as track and trace will require evidence that those performing the work are following documented processes. Food, pharma, financial services and construction are used to this oversight. This may be a rude awakening for other industries.
Mitigating Risks, Accelerating Implementation
We set ourselves a challenge.
Could we develop the operational business processes diagrams for the areas that the Work.com apps and ISV apps supported in a single day? Could we sync the Org into a metadata dictionary with items linked to the key process steps. Could we extend the Salesforce help icons for key objects and fields with pop-up help linked to process diagrams, video and notes?
It took one of our team all day on June 1st, but he delivered it. Any customers or partners can log in and see what we have done, and then copy it and reuse it for themselves. We just need to invite them to our Work.com Space Elementswork.com.
We know that this process-driven approach is critical to reducing risk in the two high risk areas – organizational and regulatory. It also supports a more rigorous implementation approach which reduces technical risk.
Adoption will be the largest challenge by far, that is, getting employees up to speed on a new set of applications with the confidence that they are entering clean data and staying compliant.
That is why the tailored process diagrams must be delivered inside Salesforce record pages alongside other content (notes, videos, wiki pages) as “point of need” training with an easy mechanism to gather end user feedback that can be fed into the next cycle of changes.
Training content should iterate hourly. Apps should iterate daily. That is the NewNormal.
One for the Salesforce partner network. Salesforce has launched a new site Join.work.com to encourage partners to develop apps. On top of this, they seem to be prioritizing security reviews for Work.com apps. Our experience is that if you build your app and religiously adhere to the best practice standards the process will be far faster.