Best Practices

Hidden Costs of Technical Debt in Salesforce

Hidden Costs of Technical Debt in Salesforce
Max Maeder
Salesforce technical debt is inevitable. And it's hard to manage. Here are 3 proven solutions for how to tackle it.
Hidden Costs of Technical Debt in Salesforce

Technical debt is costing you a FORTUNE.

At least 20% of your Salesforce Developer’s time goes toward handling technical debt.

The downstream impact of technical debt is MASSIVE, whether you realize it or not.

In addition to increasing the support load, it absorbs a considerable amount of your Engineering capacity.

This means time wasted on:

👉 Re-factoring legacy code

👉 Fixing bugs

👉 Slowdown in product release because the codebase is a mess

How to manage Salesforce Technical Debt

First and foremost, you have to accept that technical debt will accrue within your Salesforce org.

Even the most talented Engineering Leaders and Salesforce Developers understand this fact. Assuming that you have the right processes in place to avoid it altogether will get you into trouble.

That said, obviously implementing a Dev Ops and release management process will help.

1. Preventing Technical Debt in the first place

Dev Ops has been lacking in Salesforce for a LONG time and while we’re finally seeing an ecosystem of tools like Prodly, Copado, AUTORabit, and others that help maintain a clean org, the damage has been done to many orgs.

But companies that are building out Salesforce today and scaling a Salesforce Engineering team NEED to prioritize Dev Ops and release management processes to scale a healthy environment.

2. Build a Technical Debt roadmap

Just like you have a Salesforce product roadmap for new feature build (’future state’), you should have a roadmap for technical debt reduction.

  • Identify legacy code causing the most problems.
  • Map out where to work down technical debt as part of new releases.
  • Dedicate Salesforce Engineering capacity to tech debt on an ongoing basis.

You can do this with your full-time Engineering team efficiently by baking it into your ongoing release management process and roadmap.

This is the best way to reduce tech debt that is embedded in the core feature set - functionality, automations, and integrations that no longer serve the business and have become debt in the org. Often, this technical debt requires more intimate knowledge of the business use case or current technical set up of the org, which is why it's best handled by your internal Salesforce Developers.

3. Leverage a Staff Augmentation Model

Which technical debt can be cleaned up in isolation?

As noted above, some of it requires deep business knowledge is best handled by the internal team.

But some of the backlog and refactoring is straightforward. In these scenarios, we’re seeing adoption of dedicated staff augmentation teams (mainly offshore) as a way to tackle tech debt.

This approach involves engaging dedicated Salesforce Engineer Contractors focused solely on cleaning up technical debt, refactoring code, and working through a backlog of bugs / break fixes.

4. Deploy a Greenfield Salesforce Org

In the most extreme scenarios, the only option is going nuclear.

Salesforce orgs that have been around for 10+ years can easily reach the point of no return with technical debt. No planning or staff augmentation resources can get you out of the hole.

And getting anything shipped is impossible.

In these cases, deploying a parallel org gives you a clean slate. Slowly chip away at existing functionality in the org. Move it into the new org piece-by-piece. Eventually, decommission the legacy org.

Do you need help tackling technical debt or evaluating your Salesforce resourcing options?

Book a free strategy call with FoundHQ here.

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