Find, Enable, and Communicate New Features
After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- Apply Release Notes filters to identify features that are automatically enabled.
- Prioritize features to enable based on stakeholder feedback and ease of implementation.
- Identify best practices around communicating with stakeholders and users about new releases.
Knowledge is power. And power is…well…powerful. To help your company to learn about what’s coming in the next release, you’ve got to learn about it first. If you don’t have time to take a deep dive into all the release readiness resources, you can discover some Quick Wins and Low-hanging Fruit that your users will love by reviewing the Release Notes.
In this unit, you learn how to use the Release Notes filters to quickly identify a list of features that will be automatically enabled, and find useful features that you can easily enable and roll out. You also learn the basics of working with stakeholders and communicating what’s coming in the release to your users.
The one resource you absolutely cannot live without are the Release Notes. They are THE official, authoritative source containing all the details about what’s in the release for nearly all Salesforce products.
Before you say, “Wait, I don’t have time to read the Release Notes!” keep reading and you’ll learn the secret to getting the most out of the Release Notes with just a quick review.
We admit it…the Release Notes are huge and go on for days. “I wish I had printed out the PDF and read through the whole thing on my last 12-hour flight,” said nobody, ever. Well, maybe one or two people, which is why the PDF option is available. Most likely you won’t need to use the Release Notes PDF file unless you want to practice your speed-reading skills. Release Notes are written in HTML, which is searchable, and they have really useful filters.
Release Notes Filters for the Win
The filters help you quickly focus on the features that are most relevant to your organization. An hour or two is really all you need to find that handful of features.
When you dive into the Release Notes, use the Feature Impact filter to quickly find features of two types:
- Quick Wins. These features are automatically enabled and are available to your users without any preparation or configuration.
- Low-hanging Fruit. These features require minimal action, such as checking a box or making a simple configuration change, to be enabled and available to your users.
Before every new release, find the Quick Wins, and determine whether you want to communicate them to users before the release. There are two main reasons why you may want to give your users a heads up.
- To avoid confusion over anything new that appears when your users log in, and anything that changes their everyday experience.
- To highlight something cool and useful that can make them more productive.
To identify Quick Wins, use the Feature Impact filter and select Enabled for Users. You can also select your edition and focus on specific products.
To identify Low-hanging Fruit, use the Feature Impact filter and select Admins must Enable. This is extremely important, because these are the features your organization misses out on if you leave them inactive.
As you scroll through the list, look for features that have the potential to deliver maximum impact and are easy to roll out. The time you spend reviewing these features is far outweighed by the innovation you can bring to your organization by merely enabling them.
Use the quick links on the right side of the Release Notes to focus on products and feature areas related to what your organization uses. For example, if you have a Sales Cloud license, look at Core Sales Features. Also look at improvements that apply across our products, such as Productivity, Chatter, Files, and Mobile.
Here’s a video that shows how to use the filters.
If you haven't already designated super users at your company, now is a good time to find users who have extensive experience with Salesforce, and ask them to share their expertise to help you prepare for new releases. Once you have identified your Quick Wins and Low-hanging Fruit, run them by some super users to ensure that they are useful. Tell your super users how you plan to communicate new features to users, and ask for their feedback. Super users can also help by sharing new features, training users, and answering questions from your users.
Making sure your users and stakeholders know about the upcoming release, new features, and Quick Wins is critical. Because you have full control over when to roll out the Low-hanging Fruit, you may decide to do it in phases, so be sure to incorporate feedback as you prioritize what to do first.
When communicating with users and stakeholders about the upcoming release, focus on the benefits for the user (answer the rhetorical question “What’s in it for me?”). Also make sure your users know all the key dates for the release.
Consider the following communication channels:
- In-app notifications
- Customized Help menu in your org
- Cheat sheets
- Lunch and learns
- Virtual meetings and webinars
Make sure your users know where to report feedback and ask questions. A Chatter group or topic can help your super users and stakeholders respond to questions and feedback.
Now that you’re familiar with the release process and resources, repeat these activities every three months:
- Save the dates! Know when the release is coming and mark it on your calendar.
- Join the Release Readiness Trailblazers Community to access resources and ask questions.
- Get early access with the sandbox preview.
- Filter the Release Notes to find some Quick Wins and Low-hanging Fruit.
- Prepare your users and incorporate user feedback.
If your Salesforce implementation is relatively small (fewer than 50 users), this is all you need to do to prepare for releases and make sure you implement the most useful new features.
If your implementation is larger, or you have a lot of complex customization (especially custom code), invest more time in preparing. Complete the other badges in the Prepare for Salesforce Releases trail for more tips and suggestions to help define your release readiness strategy.
If you have a little more time and you want to see new features in action, visit the Release Readiness Trailblazers Community once a week to find all the latest resources in many formats including webinars, videos, documents, and web pages. It’s also a great place to ask questions and connect with experts, product teams, and other customers.
- Documentation: Release Notes
- Release Note Article: Add In-App Guidance for Training, Onboarding, and News (Beta)
- Trailblazers Community: Release Readiness Trailblazers
- Trailhead Trail: Prepare for Salesforce Releases