Project Pitfalls: The Lift & Shift Shuffle

You’ve signed a contract with Salesforce for a brand spankin’ new org and you’re ready to start assembling a project team to implement your new Salesforce org when management says a variation of the following phrase, “We’re trying to keep costs down, let’s just make this a lift & shift of our current system”.

That one little sentence should give you a sigh of relief cause it will be easier… right? Right? RIGHT?



I like to call this the “Lift & Shift Shuffle” and it makes anyone that works with Salesforce for a living, crazy.

For the uninitiated, the Lift & Shift Shuffle sounds like a fun dance move, like the Lindy Hop or the Jersey Turnpike.  However, the Lift & Shift Shuffle is an attempt to make the initial implementation easier by replicating the system being replaced into Salesforce, warts and all.  From a management perspective, the logic is sound.  If the old processes were working, why change things?  Here I will break down a list of reasons why it is a good idea to skip the Lift & Shift Shuffle.

  1. Are you replicating legacy processes in Salesforce? If you’re doing the “lift & shift shuffle” then yes, you are replicating legacy processes in the cloud.  This is a good time to clean up processes and challenge those doom & gloom “but we’ve always done it this way” folks.  I had a client that refused to ditch their legacy account numbering scheme and request a change order to build their old processes around account numbering into Salesforce.  The cost for this additional functionality? $40,000.  I don’t know about you, but I can definitely find something better to spend that much money on!
  2. Are you taking advantage of out of the box Salesforce functionality or recreating old technology within Salesforce?  I had a client that was moving from Siebel to Salesforce because they just loved the functionality and how quick and easy it was to collaborate internally via chatter.  They extolled the virtues of Chatter to anyone that would listen, but ended up rebuilding Siebel into Salesforce with a side order of Chatter. Not exactly the efficiencies they were looking to gain by moving to the cloud and leveraging the agile nature of Salesforce.
  3. Not having a roadmap for Salesforce and/or communicating the goals and objectives to stakeholders. Many times the Salesforce champion in an organization has a clear set of goals and objectives that were detailed out in the business case, but has not actively communicated this along with the plan to gain buy in.  Many times users feel like new technology is being foisted upon them without knowing why and what the benefit (long and short term) are to using this new technology.  Which coincidentally brings me to number 4.
  4. Not having a change management plan.  Change is hard and we resist change, but if the change hasn’t been actively socialized with the end users, then they cannot have a clear picture of why things are changing?  Is it because systems are being reduced from 6 to 1? Is there now a more customer centric view, is CTI being installed which makes it easier to answer calls?  These are important selling points to end users which help make change more palatable.  Anyone that helps enable change in an organization knows that you need to win over a select few and enlist their help as change agents.  If you remember Field of Dreams and the mantra in that movie, “If you build it, they will come..” it’s sorta of like that!

There is a reason why companies are upgrading to Salesforce and not just because it’s in the cloud.   Companies invest a lot of time and money into upgrading to Salesforce, it should be in their best interests to want to implement a system that meets all of the criteria that was listed on their business case to justify the investment. To get the most of Salesforce, it is important to follow best practices around successful implementations and  to use the new implementation as a good time to consider some business process redesign efforts to ensure that those business case metrics are able to be met.   If an organization does not have the knowledge in house, many Salesforce partners can assist in this area.