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5 Steps to Building a Salesforce Center of Excellence for Government Agencies

Five Steps to Building a Salesforce Center of Excellence

How do state and local agencies set up their Salesforce development teams for success? A strong foundation leads to collaboration and better service for citizens and employees — the wrong setup can lead to bottlenecks and bugs.

In this article, we’ll cover the 5 steps to setting up a Salesforce CoE and share how agencies can leverage DevOps to set up their Salesforce CoE for success! 


What is a Salesforce CoE?

In the traditional IT field, a Center of Excellence (CoE) is a bureaucratic group that enables and enforces cross-platform governance. If architected correctly, a CoE keeps your organization firing on all cylinders and drives a continuous flow of innovation and business value. In the same way, the purpose of a Salesforce CoE is to set up the infrastructure for hybrid development teams that include low-code, no-code and pro-code skill sets.  

What’s the Common Misconception of a Center of Excellence (CoE)?

While CoEs have a reputation for ramping up governance, many organizations don’t use them to accelerate innovation. However, as a result of this misconception, teams end up forming CoEs that enforce governance at the cost of innovation — or they avoid building one altogether.

4 Focus Areas for Salesforce CoEs

  1. DevOps: Focuses on providing a shared scope for the software development lifecycle for Salesforce.
  2. Best Practices: Focuses on creating an environment of sharing best practices and collaborating on cross-departmental processes and technologies. 
  3. Innovation: Focuses on ideation and experimentation with processes and technologies that will accelerate time-to-value. 
  4. Enablement: Focuses on building competency and enabling standards to develop expertise within each line of business. 

Why Should Government Agencies Consider a Salesforce COE?

Today’s government agencies run their entire operations from the cloud via platforms like Salesforce. They have the agility and flexibility to respond to citizen needs and ever-changing regulations in real-time. 

But as these agencies develop customized mission-critical apps across multiple lines of business, how do they standardize across development teams to scale their Salesforce implementations — while maintaining visibility and compliance?

How DevSecOps Drives Agility & Flexibility

Government agencies need all the necessary controls that FedRAMP requires to move data in a way that is coordinated, safe, tested and tracked. This is known as DevSecOps.

Agencies turn to the Salesforce Platform to leverage low-code functionality and build stuff faster. But inevitably, they hit a wall where they realize they don’t have enough people to build what they need. To increase your capacity to build, you can hire more experts or work with professional services. But even if you have the right platform, the right skills and the right people, something will still hold you back: Process constraints.

By developing your Salesforce CoE the right way, you can utilize DevOps Platforms to create governance, visibility and compliance across multiple teams developing on Salesforce. 

5 Steps to Developing Your Salesforce COE

  1. Understand the Salesforce Ecosystem & DevOps Challenges
  2. Determine Authority and Ownership
  3. Centralize to Decentralize
  4. Buy vs. Build
  5. Time for Training & Knowledge

How to Leverage DevOps as a Platform for Governance, Visibility & Compliance

Agile teams are under constant pressure to quickly make changes happen in Salesforce. If only there was a big red Easy Button you could push! In reality, the secret to high-performing teams is to approach agile with a People-First mindset. Here are 5 proven ingredients to help you start your agile journey, and raise the quality of their outcomes.

  • Commit to Discipline: The foundation for safe and fast change in a Salesforce DevOps world is from a basis of discipline and rigor.
  • Treat the Product Like a Platform: Take a productization approach to transition from IT cost center to value-adding platform team.
  • High Speed, Low Drag Experience: In a “Platform as a Service” world, the Developer is your customer. Be relentlessly customer-focused.
  • Manage the Cognitive Load: Not every change, app or feature is going to be easy — even if you break it down. Manage the cognitive load of your customer in every decision you make.
  • Amplify Success: Be your platform team’s carnival barker. Leverage data to prove team worth and share the value delivered in every iteration.