Know Implementation Roles

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • List the different roles for implementation success.
  • Describe the three implementation models.

Meet the Team

Sending a rocket into space requires a team with all the right expertise. It’s no different for a solid implementation. You need the right people in position for a successful solution launch.

Let’s take a look at a typical implementation team. 

Role Owner
What They Do
Business Executive Sponsor

  • Champion the implementation
  • Manage communication
  • Provide leadership
IT Executive Sponsor

  • Set priorities across IT
  • Define the IT budget
  • Remove technology roadblocks
Client Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

  • Explain a-day-in-the-life for various roles
  • Help with process flows
  • Assist with user experience and user acceptance testing (UAT)
  • Work with the implementation team to validate that a workable solution is being created
Engagement Manager

  • Transfer knowledge on proposed solution and client needs to the implementation team
  • Act as an escalation point for both customer and implementation team
  • Mitigate and manage critical escalations
Project Manager

  • Communicate with the project sponsor and the team
  • Develop and manage the project plan
  • Track milestones, budget, and timeline
  • Identify risk items
Solution Consultant

  • Conduct solution workshops
  • Facilitate business process automation discussions
  • Guide best practices for security model, mobile deployment strategies, business process, workflow, data validation, and analytics
  • Author solution design and configuration specification deliverables
Salesforce Admin

  • Maintain users and supports system after launch
  • Oversee required post-implementation for the customer's long-term success—this could be contracted
Change Management Expert

  • Design and implement the adoption strategy

Keep in mind, for smaller SMB projects, the team may consist of just one or two people playing multiple roles. The scope and complexity of the project determines which roles are fulfilled by the partner and which roles are fulfilled by you. The roles defined above are just a place to start.

And of course, at any point in time, your Salesforce account executive and our Customer Success Group (CSG) teams are here to support you. 

Who Pilots the Ship?

The last thing to consider when selecting the right partner for blastoff is which implementation model fits you the best. There are three options to choose from:

  • The partner does all of the implementation.
  • The partner and you co-pilot the implementation.
  • You do all of the implementation, with a partner’s guidance.

Left frame is the partner as an astronaut. Center frame is the partner and customer as astronauts. Right frame is the partner advising the customer to be the astronaut.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of each model.

The Partner Does All of the Implementation

In this model, you outsource most, if not all, of the project work to the partner. 

  • Technical work is completed by experts with extensive product and industry knowledge
  • Experience with implementation processes
  • You focus on connecting business process and desired outcome
Higher out-of-pocket implementation cost
  • You may not understand the power of the platform and therefore don’t drive full utilization of your investment
  • You may not have fully trained staff to support the solution

The potential risk: Do you have the resources to manage the solution after the implementation, or are you prepared to engage the partner to manage the solution going forward?

The Partner and You Co-Pilot the Implementation

In this model, you and the partner split the deliverables for joint development.

  • Lower out-of-pocket implementation cost
  • Architecture is designed by Salesforce product experts
  • Your staff gains hands-on experience configuring and customizing the solution
  • Your staff is trained to support the solution post-implementation
  • Complex project management managing both external and internal resources
  • Longer timelines due to your ramp-up time could create cost overruns and missed deadlines
If your team doesn’t understand the Salesforce platform, they may re-create the existing processes

The potential risk: You might experience project delays and increased cost if your team doesn’t understand what the Salesforce platform can do.

You Do All of the Implementation with a Partner’s Guidance

In this model, the partner takes on an advisory role. You own all the deliverables with a partner as your guide.

  • Your team is up to speed on the platform and how your business processes can best be supported
  • You become self-sufficient
Project may take longer to complete if there aren’t enough knowledgeable resources to do the work
  • Partner team may not have the correct level of sponsorship, which could result in suggestions being ignored
  • Your team may not have the skill set to complete the deliverables

The potential risk: If your in-house resources lack experience with and knowledge of business transformation and the Salesforce platform, you could end up with a set of requirements that simply re-create the same pain points, just on a different platform. 

It’s critical to the success of the implementation to make sure your model is clear. Provide details in the proposal about who is doing what and who owns each deliverable. It’s just as important to outline what you’re not going to do. Leaving things undefined creates more uncertainty, and no one wants that to happen.

No matter which model you choose, you now know the importance of selecting the right partner, at the right time.

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