A Day In The Life Of: A Senior Salesforce Consultant - Alex Reed
Hey there, I’m Alex and I’ve been at Cirrico now for just over four months; so I’m pretty much part of the virtual furniture, working on some really exciting projects and ever musing about how tall my colleagues in real life are… But today I’m going to talk about what a typical day looks like for a Senior Salesforce Consultant.
So, I’m sure most people answer this question the same when asked “what does a normal day look like for you?”. It’s a tough question to answer as most roles these days encompass many different tasks and responsibilities that happen at different times. Sometimes it’s hard to even tell yourself what a “normal” day looks like! So instead, I’ve broken it down into three core areas we as consultants at Cirrico find ourselves involved in.
I must add that every day does start the same though, with a daily stand up (or sit down these days). These thirty minute meetings include all the project managers and consultants where we run through each active project, what we did the day before, what we’re doing today and any blockers or risks we may have identified. This helps the PM’s keep the project trains on track and ensure the whole team is aware of everyone’s schedule and where our focus is.
So, here’s the three different duties a day in the life of a Cirrico Consultant will sometimes looks like:
Define & Plan Workshops
These take place right at the start of an engagement with a customer usually as part of our “Define & Plan” offering and can range from 2-3 days or more based on the amount of requirements the customer has and what they’d like to discuss. This is our opportunity to get on a call with all the stakeholders and begin understanding their business, the processes they have and how they want to grow strategically.
This is when we’re at our most laser-focused and full of caffeine, asking question after question to get to the why behind the why. We keep each workshop to around three hours to prevent information overload and make sure we have breaks scattered throughout, with one workshop in the morning and the other in the afternoon, continuing that model over the days we’ve agreed. We form together a working agenda of talking points and use this to keep on course. It’s important to note here that we’re not thinking of a solution, merely getting a high level grasp of what the customer wants to achieve. Do they want to centralise all their data, track donations more accurately or create a self service customer experience? The list of possibilities is endless and most importantly it’s our job to ask, listen and make note of all these pieces of information the customer trickles out to us. As I mentioned, this part of the process requires a great amount of concentration and the ability to manage multiple stakeholder voices to quickly digest information so that you can follow up with questions they may never have considered answering.
After the workshops are complete, we then move into write up. Write up is where we look back at all of the notes we made, the process maps we may have created and give them a lot more structure and detail. Once we’ve formed our notes up into something more articulate and digestible we then move onto creating a varying number of high level user stories to present back to the customer. A user story is a single requirement in its most basic, written from the perspective of an end user. An example could be:
“As a user, I need to be able to create an account record, so that I can continually store information about new accounts we’re engaging with.”
Because we’re still at an early stage of the process, the user story is written without mention of the solution or how it’ll be delivered; the focus is entirely on what the user needs to be able to do within the system. We continue writing these stories out, using our notes from the define & plan to shape the high level user story document; and can normally come out with over 40 stories. During this time we also refine the process maps we created (using LucidChart) or create new ones from scratch that help visually break down and explain step by step some of the larger processes a customer may have and wants to improve on.
Write up is a vitally important part of the process as it confirms whether we’ve really engaged, understood the customer and allows us to deliver back to them a comprehensive list of requirements which we also use to estimate the time needed to deliver if they wanted to move forward with the project.
This is where the real fun starts! Once the customer is happy with our estimates for the project delivery based on the user stories, then we can begin the project… At the start, we’ll have a couple more discovery sessions with the customer to flesh out the high level user stories. Normally, this includes agreeing items like field names, email templates, form capture information and any other bits and pieces they may have gone away and thought about during the time between the define & plan and now.
After all the requirements have been firmed up and the deliverables have been signed off, we then start the build! Our build days are also booked consecutively so it allows us to go into a zen like state and begin building out the platform and the solutions, working through each user story one by one until we’ve completed each one.
The build is personally one of my favourite parts of a project as you get to actually start creating and visualising all that you’ve spent time designing and refining in the previous stages, it becomes real and the customer can start seeing something tangible and eventually get their hands on it!
So, that’s it. Those are the three key area’s a Senior Salesforce Consultant at Cirrico is involved with, talking to people, listening to how businesses work and helping them improve and make real impactful change. It’s pretty awesome!