Automation for Admins!

As a Salesforce Admin, you are asked to do everything. A common issue I see among admins is the inability to properly prioritize tasks that will create more free time for them. They jump right into the tasks that are getting executive attention, or that sound urgent, and often don’t take a step back to look at how they can create more time in their day.

Focus Funnel

If you are not yet familiar with it – please watch my quick video introduction to the Focus Funnel, a framework by Rory Vaden that helps you decide what to spend time on and when.

What do I automate?

Now as an admin, a common task that can cause a lot of busy work is user management. This is something admins often don’t think to automate, but should be right at the top of most admins list. Why? Simple – you won’t have to spend time creating users anymore. You won’t have to spend time debugging which permission set or public group didn’t get set up that is causing a bug for a user. You won’t have to deal with the fact that user management tends to be an interruption worthy task, meaning you get to drop whatever you are working on if there is an urgent user issue. Less interruptions = much more productivity.

How do I automate admin tasks?

Admins often think it will be difficult to automate their tasks, because it requires elevated permissions. Enter session based permission sets. Using these permission sets, you can give a user elevated permission sets in the context of a visual flow, then revoke those permissions once the work is done. As a best practice, I like to make sure I am granting and revoking the permissions without changing screens, to ensure the user doesn’t accidentally keep the permissions longer than intended. In other words, don’t grant permissions on one flow screen, then revoke them on another. Get all the information you need in the flow first, then grant permission, make changes, and revoke permissions all without stopping for additional screens.

The video below walks you through a simple whiteboard example of how to do this for user administration. (you will forgive my poor handwriting).

Get Started

Look at the tasks you are spending the most time on, and ask yourself which ones (if eliminated) would make the biggest impact for you. Then take a few simple steps:

  • Who are the people requesting that I perform this action?
  • What permissions are required in order to perform this action?
  • Whiteboard a simple interface that gathers the information needed to fully execute on the task.

  • Plan out your logic and what objects you will need to get data from, write data to, or access via the metadata api.

  • Build a visual flow according to your design.

  • Test the visual flow, by requiring users to provide you the information for your flow in their request, and simply copy and paste the information into the flow and run it to ensure it is working properly.

  • Once tested, work with the business to decide who could be trusted to run this flow without your intervention.

    • If there is concern about this, use approvals, or cache all the data in a custom object and route the request to you for a simple review to complete the transaction.

    • Work towards not needing to be involved at all, either using approvals within the business, or by ensuring that you will monitor changes at the aggregate level using a dashboard.

  • Make the flow visible to them either on their homepage, or in a custom lightning app.

  • BOOM! You have more free time. Rinse and repeat until you are spending your time exclusively on problems that can’t be automated.

If you run into roadblocks or have questions about how to do this, feel free to reach out to me using the free consult button at the bottom of this page, and I will be glad to give you a hand.

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