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Why You Should Consider an Optimization Instead of an Org Switch

6.17.22 By: Allie Petrina

Have your squeaky floors woken your baby for - you swear - the very last time? Ever wonder what monster built a closet in your shower (true story)? Does building a new home seem like the only way to regain your sanity? If you’re like me, you’ve felt this way about your home and, if you’re like many of my clients, you might feel the same way about your Salesforce org. Wouldn’t it be easier to start over? Well, I can’t advise you whether to build a new house or not, but I might be able to save you time and money by counseling you to “remodel” your existing Salesforce instance, rather than building a new one.  

Much like home construction, it can seem enticing to build a new home from the ground up, like starting fresh in a new org. However, there may be advantages to partnering with a Salesforce expert who can help you plan and execute an optimization of your existing org. Similar to remodeling a house, a Salesforce optimization can give you the fresh start you’re looking for while saving you time and money.

Iterate, don’t replicate


Have you redecorated and re-painted multiple times but still feel unsatisfied with the feel of your home? Maybe instead of making small aesthetic changes, it’s time to tear down some walls and create an open floor plan. In a majority of cases, an optimization will be the best option for a nonprofit wanting to upgrade its CRM. Since Salesforce is built to be an iterative system, almost any redesign is possible without needing to move to a new org. Many problem areas including incomplete or duplicate data, broken automations, or unnecessary customizations can be addressed with a comprehensive optimization. Nonprofits often find themselves with a system that has numerous customizations or automations that are either broken or longer useful. If there is little to no documentation or no systems admin available to investigate these customizations, it can feel like an overwhelming task. 

Working with the right partner is key to understanding why your system’s customizations exist so that they can be fixed, removed, or replaced. At Idealist Consulting, we conduct a thorough discovery process to better understand your organization’s goals at the start - leaving you with a system that is trustworthy, intuitive, and useful to your team. Our guiding principle is that an optimization should improve user experience and create a system that people want to engage with. You wouldn’t want to start tearing down walls without knowing which ones are load-bearing - our team can help demystify your build so we know what to keep and what to omit.


“We’ve seen enough of Salesforce in many different instances to unravel that stuff and understand why the automation does what it does.” - Rochelle Currier, Senior Salesforce Architect


Signs you may need to move to a new org


Just as building a new home might be the only way to get the perfect floorplan, the best cooking amenities, and the right number of bathrooms for your family, there are times with building a new Salesforce instance is the only way to get you everything you need. The most common use cases that require building a new org are instances where you’re using a system that is being retired or isn’t set up with capabilities that your organization needs. The timeline for an org switch will typically be much longer than for an optimization. This is because moving to a new system requires completing a full assessment of your current system, then rebuilding it in the new org.

You can think of this as starting construction on a new home - you’ll need to draw up new blueprints and apply for permits, wait months for the construction process, and then move all of your furniture and belongings. Alternatively, you could undertake a remodel in a much shorter timeline, and still have that enhanced functionality that you’re looking for. For example, NGOC and Luminate CRM are set to be retired, while Raiser’s Edge can impose limits to capability. These are uncommon circumstances and an experienced Salesforce expert can easily help you determine if you are currently set up in a system like this. For all other cases, whether your data needs cleaning or new customizations are needed, an optimization is best.

Keys for a successful remodel… I mean optimization


So maybe you and your team have been engaging in workarounds for years, you don’t trust your data, and are ready to [metaphorically] burn your org down. From a user adoption standpoint, starting fresh in a new org is attractive - there’s a clear goal (implementation) and end-point (go-live) - but with a little evaluation and planning, you can get that same fresh feeling from an optimization. Be sure to:

  • Consult your users to understand their pain points. Make sure you understand what drives them nuts about the (org) layout or where they need more natural sunlight (err, reports?). This information will inform your goals and help your users trust in the outcome.
  • Discuss what success looks like and make sure you’re in alignment. What’s going to make them walk in and say, yes, this feels like home? 
  • Plan a party. Seriously, choose a reasonable deadline and tie it to an event. Giving Tuesday might not be a party in the traditional sense, but it’s a meaningful date when you can see the fruits of your labor and enjoy the ease of your new system.  

Your funky org and your remodel dreams don’t scare us. We’ve seen it all and are ready to help. If you’re ready for an optimization or want to talk through your options, give us a call.

Get in touch with a construction (Salesforce) expert today

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