Aligned

I’m sitting at Dallas Love Field waiting for a flight. Yesterday I spoke at the Dallas Salesforce aligneddeveloper’s group, and it got me thinking. At our recent Circulate conference, I learned more about the problem of alignment between marketing and sales. But what about the alignment between marketing and development, or IT? Hardly anyone seems to pay much attention to that. But it can be a huge problem.

It takes many forms. There’s the challenge of having development implement desired business processes. Aside from the usual communication gap between marketers, who speak marketing, and developers, who speak software, there’s also the challenge of dealing with turnover. The developer you work with one day may be gone the next. If you’re dealing with consulting firms, there’s not only the issue of their internal turnover, but the fact that most consulting relationships are, by definition, temporary. Even if you get the software you need, they may not be there (or you may not have thought to budget) to maintain it.

Then there are IT departments. Having your IT department “own” your Salesforce instance can be a good thing, or it can be a disaster, depending on their skills, background and, of course, alignment. If your goal is to implement a business process, and their goal is to avoid breaking anything, and they don’t understand what you are trying to do or aren’t aligned with your goals, they can become an impenetrable roadblock.

Alignment between marketing and development and IT is a big problem, and one I’ll be discussing in future blog posts. For now, I’ll leave you with one thought. Every developer knows that the actual coding – implementation – of a software solution represents about 10% of the life cycle cost of that solution. What do you think is the largest cost?

A – Capturing requirements

B – Design

C – Testing and Debugging

D – Maintenance

The correct answer is D – and if your planning, budgeting and expectation does not match that, you’re going to run into trouble. Maybe not right away, but trust me – it’s going to happen.

Stay tuned for future posts where I’ll help you learn how to avoid it.

 

Dan Appleman

About Dan Appleman

As Full Circle Insights’ CTO, Dan Appleman brings a broad technology experience to our customers. In addition to having supported over 30 Salesforce.com implementations with technology solutions, Dan is also the author of the book "Advanced Apex Programming for Salesforce.com and Force.com" and has been a speaker at Dreamforce since 2012. Previously, he was the founder of Desaware, Inc. a developer of add-on products for Microsoft Visual Studio, a co-founder of Apress publishing, and the author of numerous books and articles.