Explore the Site Readiness Assessment

Learning Objectives

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

  • Explain what the Site Readiness Assessment (SRA) is.
  • Describe the benefits of the SRA for partners and merchants.
  • Describe SRA roles and responsibilities.
  • List four ways you can prepare for the SRA.

Overview

Implementing an ecommerce website is a sizable task. As a Salesforce partner, you know that a powerful platform like Salesforce B2C Commerce makes the job easier. When there’s a Salesforce implementation service in the mix, your implementation success rates and merchant satisfaction can soar higher.

If you completed the Salesforce B2C Commerce for Consulting Partners module, you read about the Site Readiness Assessment (SRA) service. In an SRA, Salesforce evaluates your site implementation to verify it follows B2C Commerce best practices and is ready to launch. We offer the SRA directly to B2C Commerce merchants, who can choose to add the SRA to their B2C Commerce implementation projects. SRA engagements run the length of the project, from kickoff to site launch. 

In this module, you learn about the SRA program, how to integrate the SRA process into your project, and how to pass the SRA reviews with flying colors. 

Let’s start with some benefits. 

SRA Partner Benefits

If the merchant requests the SRA and Salesforce conducts the evaluations, you might wonder how you, the partner, benefit. That’s easy. With the SRA, you get:

  • An objective and independent site review
  • Early detection of potential issues
  • B2C Commerce team support
  • Implementation guidance

SRA Merchant Benefits

There are significant merchant benefits as well. With an SRA, merchants get:

  • Salesforce expertise and best-practice knowledge transfer
  • Close collaboration between the partner, Salesforce, and the merchant throughout the project
  • Early detection of potential issues
  • Constructive feedback

The SRA is a project safety net that drives quality and reduces risk. 

Quality Assurance

The SRA covers many of the same quality assurance (QA) tasks you already do. Think of it as the ultimate QA backup system. The SRA is an example of the Salesforce shared success model. You, Salesforce, and the merchant form a mighty trio united to achieve one goal: customer success.

The Salesforce shared-success model shown as the intersection of merchant, partner, and Salesforce teams achieving success together.

SRA Activities

The SRA includes these main activities:

  • Kickoff Call: A process overview, and a deliverables and timeline discussion.
  • Specification Review: An architecture and site-design review.
  • Launch Readiness Bootcamp (LRBC): A hands-on session led by an SRA team architect that prepares the merchant for user acceptance testing (UAT), site launch, and site maintenance.
  • Launch Gate: The final prelaunch review that includes a high-level code review, a site-performance evaluation, a support and operations review, and a launch-readiness review.

The B2C Commerce project timeline shows the kickoff call, followed by the SRA specification reviews, LRBC, and Launch Gate.

The SRA process works equally well with waterfall, agile, or hybrid project management methodologies. We set up the review process checkpoints according to your approach: linear for waterfall, and iterative for agile and hybrid.

The Site Readiness Assessment activities fit into Waterfall and Agile projects.

SRA Roles and Responsibilities

Like any project, the success of an SRA largely depends on the people. Here’s how the teams work together during the engagement.

Role
Responsibilities
Merchant
  • Owns the site being deployed
  • Pays for the SRA
  • Ensures that all deliverables are created
  • Attends trainings and review meetings
  • Verifies task completion
  • Resolves issues assigned to the merchant
Partner
  • Implements the B2C Commerce storefront as contracted by the merchant
  • Demonstrates SRA preparedness
  • Provides documentation as per project and SRA requirements
  • Manages escalations
  • Resolves issues assigned to the partner
  • Attends all review meetings
Salesforce Commerce Cloud Customer Success Manager (SFCC CSM)
  • Introduces the SRA owner to the merchant and partner
  • Sets up the SRA kickoff call
  • Owns the relationship with the merchant

SRA owner
  • Has project management skills and experience
  • Manages the SRA process and project to completion

SRA team: SRA owner, functional architect, technical architect, support engineers, and tech ops resources
  • Completes all reviews and assessments
  • Documents all assessment checkpoints and statuses
  • Schedules reviews and meetings
  • Escalates issues
  • Presents the SRA results to the merchant
  • Confirms when launch is a "Go"

Identify Issues Early

When you identify problems early on in a project, they tend to be easier and less costly to correct. The SRA helps you do just that so you can keep your project on track. Here’s how. 

The SRA team:

  • Evaluates key aspects of the implementation such as checkout, payment processing, and data-integration jobs.
  • Identifies and assesses critical areas such as performance, uptime, and security.
  • Confirms the use of best practices for storefront caching, personalization, session handling, and custom objects.

The SRA isn’t a panacea for an imperfect implementation. It doesn’t:

  • Guarantee all aspects of the site.
  • Ensure that no problems exist.
  • Verify every use case and scenario.
  • Validate merchant requirements.
  • Ensure on-time or on-budget delivery.
  • Resolve problems or provide solutions.

While our SRA team guides partners toward solutions, we don’t take an active role in resolving all problems. Ultimately, you and the merchant are responsible for the site.

If concerns arise during the assessment, there’s no attempt to hide them. We prefer transparency. The SRA owner escalates concerns to Salesforce, the partner, and the merchant. Teams can then allocate time to make improvements and implement risk-mitigation strategies. At the end of the assessment, the SRA owner provides launch-readiness feedback. The owner tells the merchant whether the site passed the assessment according to the SRA standards. After the assessment, it’s up to the merchant to make the final decision to launch. 

Track Review Status

The SRA team documents every review item in a workbook that’s based on the SRA template (Partner Community login required). The workbook is divided into three sections: Specification Review, Launch Gate, and TechOps Readiness. Each section contains a list of review items. Each item has a severity rating of launch blocker, critical, or required.

SRA Item Severity
What It Means
Launch Blocker
These are items that have the greatest impact on the merchant’s ability to successfully launch, manage, or maintain a B2C Commerce storefront. Delay launch until these are resolved.
Critical
These are items that have a major impact on your and the merchant’s ability to successfully build, launch, or maintain a B2C Commerce storefront.
Required
These are items that have the least impact on your and the merchant’s ability to successfully build, launch, manage, or maintain a B2C Commerce storefront. Ideally you and the merchant address these before the build phase starts, but with a proper remediation plan in place, build and launch can still proceed.

The initial status of all items is Not Reviewed. As the team addresses each item, we update the status to Yes, No, or Not Applicable based on our findings.

SRA Item Status
What It Means
Yes
Approved: The item meets the expected level of quality and completeness.
No
Not approved: The item does not meet the expected level of quality and completeness.
Not Applicable
Not relevant: The item does not apply to this project.
Not Reviewed
Default: The SRA team has not reviewed this item. This is either because we haven’t looked at the item or the information we received is insufficient to complete a review.

The review is complete when the status of every item in the workbook is set to Yes, No, or Not Applicable. The SRA owner shares the completed workbook with you. The SRA team assigns tasks with status set to No to either you or the merchant to resolve.

As you address partner-assigned items, be sure to enter supporting information into the SRA workbook. Describe the actions you’ve taken, and add links to missing specifications or other documents. Enter the date and time, as well as the name of the person assigned to resolve each item. That helps us track your progress. 

Prepare for Success

You don’t need magical powers to pass the SRA. Just follow our B2C Commerce project recommendations. Here are some to start with.

Be SRA-Friendly

Come prepared. Before the kickoff call, give your team insight into the SRA process. Discuss the topics in the SRA workbook so everyone is familiar with its contents. Review the required deliverables and ensure that your project plan includes all of them.

Share helpful resources like the B2C Commerce Learning Path. Make it your go-to place to find frequently asked questions (FAQs), best practice guidance, documentation, and more. 

Collaborate Efficiently

Involve the Salesforce team in all your SRA-related tasks. Whether you’re setting milestones or planning risk mitigation, we’re happy to help. The more transparent you are, the more support we can provide.

Let’s Talk

We share copious amounts of SRA information with you. We want you to share information with us. Regularly push project status, issues, and concerns our way. Every project is different, so help us help you. Work with the SRA owner to identify the best way to communicate changes fluidly.

Speak a Common Language 

Avoid miscommunications by using a common language. In the docs you create, “speak” SRA by using the category names and naming conventions that you see in the SRA workbook. Alternatively, use a Confluence or Jira project template that matches the SRA structure.

Now that you know what the SRA is and how to prepare for the engagement, let’s dig deeper into collaboration strategies for each SRA activity.

Resources