Okay I can admit I have been a huge skeptic since Lightning was launched last year! I dragged my heels for over a year before I finally launched Lightning for all of my users. I was determined not to do it or at least put it off for as long as I could. It seemed that so much was missing for administrators and developers, it was easier to stay in the Classic UI. During the day I’m an advanced administrator working closely with my in-house developer and we use multiple sandboxes for development and testing. For us, accepting Lightning has been a slow process because at first it was not clear that the benefits outweighed the drawbacks.
Lightning was initially launched for the purpose of improving businesses that used Salesforce as a sales engine. The improved look and feel to Accounts, Opportunities and Contacts were the big leap forward for B2B companies or even B2C companies that have less focus on service features. Since we are more focused on Service Cloud and our Customer Experience, and on less forecasting and pipeline it didn’t make sense for us to make the leap right out of the gate. This excuse only carried us through the first 3 to 6 months, though. Once the subsequent releases starting adding features and fixing some bugs, we didn’t have much to left to hang onto as legitimate excuses for avoiding Lightning.
Our reluctance really comes down to habit. People get used to working and moving quickly in a particular environment. When the Lightning UI came out it was (and still is) beautiful, but it’s a massive change across the board. The setup section is completely different and there are still details that show up in the classic look and feel.
So here we are over a year later, and we finally unleashed a whole new intranet portal for our users built completely on Salesforce Lightning Experience, and launched primarily in Chrome. For us this browser works best and looks better then IE. In fact it has been a success. All of our users like the look and feel of it. I am actually doing administration in Lightning (shocker!).
Now that some additional bugs have been fixed and a few releases have come out, I have eased into Lightning and I am starting to feel more confident with it. Lightning has some features that are not available in Classic. These include the Kanban view, the Pathing concept (whether for sales or service), the calendar option, and being able to add charts to list views. These are just a few features that have improved the user experience and have potential to improve our level of customer service and even increase our sales.
Salesforce is good about delivering on their promises, which is one of the many reasons why I like the company and working on their platform. It is exceptionally rare to see a tech company actually pay attention to suggestions and recommendations from their community. Not only does Salesforce acknowledge their community, they follow through on the community’s input. Yes Lightning is a big change and that change was nerve-wracking because our environment is highly customized. Change is not always a good thing, but I firmly believe we have made the right decision to finally launch Lightning. But if you plan and launch the transition with the support of your team and your users, Salesforces Lightning Experience can be very successful.
Hey, I almost forgot to mention the Dashboards and Reports are just plain beautiful in Lightning!
Check out these other resources about Lightning:
Now that I have realized Lightning is not as bad as I thought it was there is still the task of transitioning to the new UI. Salesforce’s Trailhead has been instrumental in helping me to feel better prepared to roll out Lightning Experience to my users.
Now that I have realized Lightning is not as bad as I thought it was there is still the task of transitioning to the new UI. Salesforce’s Trailhead has been instrumental in helping me to feel better prepared to roll out Lightning Experience to my users. With that said there are times when one can be over prepared. I feel as if I am over-stressing about migrating to the Lightning Experience. I am reviewing the numerous modules and trails about Lightning Experience. There is a ton of content, articles, trails and modules around this topic. I think the fact that there is so much content and focus on this it is making it even more overwhelming for me.
That is not to say that the modules and trails in Trailhead are not very helpful, they are. The modules are simple and very clear. I love Trailhead and only wish that Salesforce could have come up with this new training program years earlier. This new Salesforce training concept and site is stunning. Unfortunately the trails and modules around preparing a Lightning Migration does not alleviate the stress of the change. If your company and org is anything like mine then this is not a project that can take up a large amount of your time. As a member of my company’s IT time we are constantly prioritizing projects and finding ourselves knee deep in development of one kind or another.
As much as Salesforce can give advice and preparation about including key stakeholders and having your executives on board with a Lightning rollout in the end you (Admin and possibly Developer) are doing the majority of the heavy lifting. I need to feel comfortable with what needs to change, what will and will not work in Lightning experience. We also want to improve our users’ ability to navigate to the items they themselves will use in their role. This means (for me) a revamp to profile mapping and having to lay out all new Apps that are profile and department specific.
Obviously this is something that goes hand in hand with any new transition for a UI. As an admin and an IT professional I should not be surprised and in truth I am not. Unfortunately this not the type of project that can or ever will take priority as much as I (or you) would want it to. Salesforce is good as saying that something like this is not a simple transition and should be considered a priority if it will improve your Business. I agree but transitioning your UI is not necessarily going to raise your ROI immediately especially if you have development that is ongoing that is in fact improving said ROI.
My point is do not feel discouraged as you go through all of the Content about Lightning Experience. It is overwhelming how much there is to learn about Lightning and preparing for a transition to the Experience within your org. It is not going to be a simple switch to flip and there will always be the inevitable hiccups and problems. The change may not be as quick as you would initially have hoped for but give it time. I do think Lightning Experience is constantly improving my original opinion. I like the look, the feel and the bells and whistles that are hidden gems within it. I am looking forward to the transition to Lightning Experience but pacing myself in the transition is what I have found to be the biggest necessity.
Change can be a good thing.
I have attended Dreamforce for the past two years with the Lightning theme dominating everything. When Lightning first became available it was not designed with the ability to customize it for custom objects. With this inherent flaw initially it was not something for those of us with highly customized organizations and custom objects to put into use.
Now over a year later with three additional releases of updates and changes, Lightning Experience is quickly becoming the “norm”. I have been inherently fighting the transition. There is no real reason to delay the transition to Lightning Experience now except habit. Even I admit that the reports and dashboards in Lightning Experience alone make moving over worth the hassle. Dashboards are interact and more visually stimulating in Lightning Experience.
With that said my CIO decided it was time that we transitioned our users over to Lightning Experience once we got back from this year’s Dreamforce. It has been a month since Dreamforce and I haven’t officially turned Lightning Experience on for everyone. I have been slowly forcing myself to do Trailhead modules about transitioning over to Lightning. Since the Awesome Admins have started the Lightning Challenge this past week I realize there are more tricks in Lightning that are just more useful. The Calendar option for anything is really useful for being able to pop up a calendar with color coded events showing them either weekly or monthly. This is very useful for my Company that hosts public events weekly and monthly. The Calendar enables my users to see all of the upcoming events on a Calendar within their Salesforce browser without having to leave and visit our external website event page.
The ability to add a List View Chart was also a revelation. We use Service Cloud and our service team uses List Views to control their work load and determine their work queues throughout the day. Adding Charts for their managers to get a visual representation of their work queue is a better way for them to visually manage their teams daily work queue without having to also continually refresh the management dashboards throughout a given day.
As I have been participating in the #LightningChallenge I have come to realize that the small tips and tricks in the challenge are what will boost my user adoption when I do launch Lightning Company wide. By giving these daily challenges the Awesome Admin team is showing us the small details we would’ve missed unless we read the Release Notes word for word. I have been slowly realizing that the Lightning Experience transition will not be as hard and as difficult as I initially thought. Sometimes Change can be a good thing.
When I first started as an Administrator in Salesforce (and even now 7 years later) workflow rules continuously tripped me up and proved difficult. When Salesforce introduced the Lightning Process Builder in 2014 I did not give it much thought since it wasn’t going to solve any problems I had at the time they mentioned it. Of course once I stepped into my current position in January 2015 I started learning more about what Salesforce is really capable of at an accelerated rate than I had the previous 5 years. When Lightning Process Builder became available in our Sandbox as a Beta test I was skeptical about whether we should begin using it.
By the time Process Builder was available in Production we were impatient and eager to use it. Process Builder takes complicated single workflows and combines them and simplifies their flow. The whole layout is clean and reads just like a flow chart where you write out the process flow starting with the target object and defining the initial criteria. The Process Builder allows an Administrator to create a configuration that would have originally required a Developer and knowledge of Apex. Salesforce is now on a mission to encourage point and click automation over code configuration. They want their customers to be able get jump in and be able to work smart and efficiently without having to be bogged down with code writing and complicated customization.
By introducing Process Builder as the first part into the Lightning Platform they opened the way for Administrators to be able to better refine business procedure using fewer processes than multiple individual workflows that may have needed complicated Apex code written by a specialized Developer. Process Builder is so easy and clean I activated nearly 5 processes the same day the tool was released from Beta testing and launched live. Since then there have been 3 releases that have all included upgrades and improvements to an already simple tool.
When I attended Dreamforce this past year I was stunned to find so many Administrators, Developers and Customers who were hesitant to use it. I encouraged anyone I met that was not already using it to test it and demo it. Process builder is one simple tool that can streamline an entire Business. What is the harm in using an easy, user friendly point and click automated tool? So if you are asking whether or not you should use Salesforce Process Builder to automate business functionality and flow within your platform the answer is as simple as the tool itself. Of course you should use it!