Back to Basics: Process Automation Specialist

Back to Basics: Process Automation Specialist

This is a guest post by: Kelly Walker

For this track of 100 Days of Trailhead, we focused on the basics of automating repetitive processes in Salesforce to learn more about automation in Salesforce and prepare you to tackle the Process Automation Specialist Superbadge. If you have been following this Back to Basics series, you have completed the Back to Basics: Process Builder and Back to Basics: Flow Trailmixes and with that, created almost 10 processes and 10 flows and got hands-on experience with other declarative automation tools like approval processes and assignment rules.

From these different modules and projects, there were a few key takeaways that you should remember when you start to incorporate automation in your own org:

  1. Create a plan first! No matter which tool you use, it’s important to plan out your business process before you try to automate it.
  2. Know what tool is best for the job. After you have gathered your requirements and created a plan, think about the different tools available – formulas, validation rules, escalation rules, auto-response rules, processes, flows, etc. – and which one is best for the job. As a best practice, start with the simplest declarative tool, and if there isn’t one (and really only then) consider the appropriate code solution.
  3. Optimize efficiency not only through automation, but reusability. Your users aren’t the only ones that can be made more efficient as you automate processes. Think about the different modules, projects and hands-on assessments you completed. There were a few areas of reusability that were introduced like quick actions, invocable processes and the subflow element. These aren’t just great because they can be created once and reused multiple times, but also, when/if anything needs to be adjusted within the quick action, invocable process or subflow, you only have to do it once and it will be adjusted in every Process or Flow in which it’s used. Bonus! If you’re ready to learn one more way to streamline your automated processes, complete the Custom Metadata Types Basics module.

In addition to these takeaways, I cannot stress enough the importance of plugging into the Trailblazer Community. There you will find resources and Flownatics (Trailblazers who are fanatical about Flow), as well as others who are just getting started. You are not alone! You’ll also find that no matter whom you talk to, we all started somewhere! In one of our recent Chicago Admin Trailblazer Group meetings, Cassie Supilowski from One Goal Graduation showed us how to Flow Like a Pro. I asked her afterwards if she had any advice for you. She shared, “I think one thing I share with folks trying to learn automation and Flow is that a big part of it (at least for me) was building confidence. That meant finding easy wins like login flows, using a simple flow to update a record or tweaking existing flows. Another great practice is to try building things that they may need as an admin as a more low-risk scenario to practice with (i.e. it may only impact you and not a group of end users).”

With all of this practice, remembering these takeaways, and using the Community, you are ready to incorporate automation into your own org. As we learned in the Flow Basics module “One tenet of good user experience is, ‘If the user can only do one thing, do it for them.’” So sit down with your users, understand what repetitive tasks they complete and become a rockstar by automating it!

(Please note, the above-mentioned Trailmixes did not include all of the prerequisites. To unlock the Process Automation Specialist Superbadge, you must also complete the Formulas & Validations and Leads & Opportunities for Lightning Experience modules.)

Kelly Walker is a Sr. Adoption Consultant at Salesforce who helps customers with automation processes and Lightning adoption.

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