Between the preemptive strategizing, integration concerns, data mapping, end user adoption, and executive opinions, there’s a lot involved when someone mentions “merging orgs.”
Whether doing an internal org merge due to acquisition or merging multiple Salesforce instances for a client, there are several best practices we at Simplus have learned from experience to ensure success with this intimidating task:
Agreeing on whether or not you should merge, to begin with.
The first priority is gaining a consensus on whether or not an org merge should even happen. If your business operates with standard global processes or you need to collaborate and share data on a worldwide scale, you probably want to move forward with an org merge to avoid any silos.
Aligning on goals and maintaining communication between teams.
Next, it’s important to make sure there is a stakeholder from every department, region, and functional role. This helps ensure that all concerns and objectives are considered as the strategy and planning get underway.
Planning with business process review.
Once you have a collaborative team of stakeholders on board and ready to talk, you can start gathering requirements: what does every role need to do its job well? And, how could it be better with one single org?
Holding regular stakeholder workshops.
The process of merging multiple organizations can take a lot of time as data is carefully moved and prepared for the new cohesive org. That’s why it’s important to pause throughout the journey to check in on the progress made and how each stakeholder feels about the changes so far.
Sticking to the migration strategy along the way.
While adapting for unforeseen circumstances or challenges is certainly advisable, it’s also critical to hold fast to the original objectives and focus on those goals. If you pick up too many nice but new ideas along the way, you won’t accomplish anything very well. Save the new ideas for another project after the initial migration.
Considering data mapping and integrations.
When planning for data, you should always review the target org’s standard and custom fields, document processes behind picklist and approval fields, prioritize data fields, and look at the usage percentages. Compare this information with the counterpart information from all merging orgs. Once that is aligned, the data mapping process can begin.
Following the order of operations.
It is absolutely critical that your technical data merge team, the boots on the ground, follow a systematic order of operations when moving data across the organizations. Going out of order could threaten the usability of the data.
Reviewing the workflow of the end-to-end high-level processes.
Once you have merged most or all relevant data, it’s good practice to review the high-level workflows in the newly merged org. Is everything working as it should? Or are there new stumbling blocks or redundancies to address?
Engaging with change management throughout the merge and beyond.
Inevitably, your org merge will ruffle some feathers from one or all involved organizations. Your team member will have to adapt to a new way of doing things, and even the smallest change to a picklist in Salesforce can rattle users. Prepare your team at large long before the org merge is complete with a strong change management plan in place from the start.
Merging orgs is a massive undertaking for any high-growth organization, but it’s often the smartest path forward for easy collaboration and seamless customer experiences. To succeed with the merge, we recommend these best practices—standards to keep the project moving forward and your employees on board. For more data merge insights, check out our ebook co-authored with OwnBackup: 10 Things IT Leaders Should Consider When Merging Salesforce Orgs