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10 Keys Series: Continuous Delivery – The North Star of Digital Transformation

Advisory

For centuries, navigators have used the North Star to guide them through treacherous seas and turbulent skies. No matter the conditions, the North Star has guided many a traveler home.

Continuous delivery serves a similar function in digital transformation: a guiding light by which a business charts their path to their desired destination.

The primary goal of a continuous delivery practice is to build, test, and release functionality with speed, efficiency, and consistency. Repeatable and straightforward deployment processes are essential to continuous delivery practices. Establishing processes to uncover ongoing requirements and translating those requirements into regular enhancement releases is a crucial step to embracing the guidance continuous delivery practices brings to your platform.

These processes keep your vessel—your solution—on course.

 

Charting a ‘Continuous Return’ on Your Digital Transformation Investment

Continuous delivery in digital transformation means understanding the value of a solution in the short and long term. Goal setting is the first step in the process, creating KPI’s  (Key Performance Indicators) and putting metrics in place to gauge and capitalize on improvements that encourage positive growth of your business. It means thinking about the next steps for your digital transformation and putting processes into place for how you’re going to deliver the next iteration. Tracking, resolving, and monitoring issues to ensure you are adequately keeping pace with business changes and user scale is a must in solution deployment. When a business shifts their focus from completion of the project to a continuous cycle of evaluation, adjustment, and re-engagement with business needs, it creates a cultural shift in how they regard the digital solution and adds value continuously long after User Acceptance Testing (UAT). Within the scope of adjustment, the business also creates opportunities for new functionality and enhancements to their solution. From that point on, continuous delivery becomes a guiding light for how the business approaches organizational change, embedding value that goes beyond every iteration and into the port of continuous deployment.

The beauty of the Salesforce Platform is that they build three releases a year to make improvements to the technology. Even if your business faces challenges in adopting a continuously delivered mindset, Salesforce eases this transition with its own commitment to continuous delivery. Some of the updates and changes to the platform are automatic, and some you can choose to update, but either way, you can be assured there will always be a current path to innovation. An up-to-date path maximizes your investment in the solution and contributes to the forward momentum of your business, ensuring the solution and your business doesn’t go stale.

 

Keeping a ‘Continuous Shine’ on Your Digital Transformation

When you choose a platform like Salesforce that commits to continuous delivery, you’ll save money in the long run because your platform won’t go stale and become inefficient, drifting off course. Continuous delivery best practices keep your solution on course because the processes shine brightly through every iteration. Streamlined processes also increase internal and external customer satisfaction.

 

Continuous Delivery: Staying the Course

A focus on continuous delivery means your digital transformation will progress in a meaningful way and stay on track.

Customer growth and retention is the end goal, and without a focus on the end goal, your project will veer off course by negatively affecting daily processes and the smooth pace you’ve established by building the solution.

First, external customers will face frustration in using the platform because their interaction with it won’t be seamless. They will seek out businesses that give them the prompt service and  positive digital experience they expect to meet their business goals. Continuous delivery means continuous customer engagement which helps ensure customer retention.

Second, internal stakeholders will create workarounds to get the systems and processes they require to meet the business goals of their customers. In their pursuit of solutions to do their job, stakeholders often create manual methods and systems that lead to the siloing of essential data. Manual processes will become the daily way you do business across the organization, contributing to institutional confusion. Manual processes are a great way to stay continuously frustrated all the time and adopt a reactive attitude that ends up premating your business culture if left unchecked! Continuous delivery means continuously adjusting solutions for new requirements and process consistency.

Put succinctly: continuous delivery is the guiding light and your technology, people, and processes are the navigational tools that get you back on track. Continuous delivery means process alignment and consistent engagement with a business’s purpose.

 

Three Navigational Tools For Continuous Delivery of Your Digital Transformation

 

  • Technology: A Cloud solution platform like Salesforce, with three releases a year, ensures that no matter the stage of your digital transformation, you stay up to date and forward thinking in your business. Our previous article Vision-Led highlights the importance of choosing your technology wisely while involving all stakeholders.
  • People: Your most important asset. Stakeholders should define the accessibility of your systems and gain the information and connectivity they need. This ease of accessibility and connectivity leads to retention of external customers and increased internal customer satisfaction, something we emphasized in the article Adoption Driven.
  • Processes: It’s important to track, resolve, and measure issues to ensure you are adequately keeping pace with business changes and user scale. Commit to establishing robust processes to proactively uncover ongoing requirements, translating them into regular enhancement releases. In the piece Data-Obsessed, we covered how processes can keep you locked on your destination or toss you off course.

 

Through careful planning and adoption of these steps, you’re setting up your digital transformation for success. You’ll have the tools to build and maintain a solution that will never lose its line of sight on continuous delivery.

 

How Silverline can Help

Much like the North Star, continuous delivery isn’t a destination; it’s a constant companion that will keep you on the correct path for your journey. If you’re concerned your team isn’t ready for a continuously delivered digital transformation, Silverline’s Navigator Client Services Team has the technology, people, and processes ready to create the partnership you need. The goal of each (Navigator) engagement,” says Deanna Hughes, Director of Client Services, “is to work collaboratively with the client’s business leadership and process owners to design a proactive and strategic approach that will position the client to leverage their investments in the Salesforce ecosystem year-over-year.”

You can read more about charting your path with a Navigator Team in Deanna’s article, Why Silverline Navigator is the Best Partnership. The North Star of continuous delivery remains constant, but there are many ways to chart a path towards it.

Whether you’re new to digital transformation or you need to jumpstart your existing journey map, Silverline has best practices to help you navigate your route. Subscribe to the Silverline blog as we continue to dive into each of the 10 Keys to Successful Digital Transformation on the Salesforce platform, or reach out to us to begin a conversation.

 

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